HIGH POINT, N.C. – A fourth period comeback effort by Gardner-Webb fell short as the Runnin' Bulldogs would rally from an 11-point deficit to take a late lead over High Point, but a layup from HPU's Lindsay Edwards with 15 seconds remaining would doom GWU as the team would fall, 71-69, in Big South Conference play Saturday afternoon.
Tierra Huntsman led the Runnin' Bulldogs (8-9, 3-3 Big South) in scoring with 23 points on an 8-of-17 shooting performance. Gardner-Webb shot just 35.9 percent from the floor throughout the contest, while allowing High Point (5-12, 3-3 Big South) to shoot at a 48.2 percent clip.
The Panthers were led offensively Emma Bockrath with 24 points, going 8-of-13 from the floor.
The Runnin' Bulldogs would jump out to an early 5-3 lead with 8:48 to go in the first period, with all five points coming from Carly Plentovich. GWU would lead at 12-11 with 5:57 on the clock after a layup from Alexus Hill, but High Point would then score seven unanswered points to build a 18-12 lead, and would lead by a score of 24-17 at the end of the period.
High Point would extend its lead to as high as 11 points in the second period, leading 30-19 with 4:50 on the clock, yet the Runnin' Bulldogs would fight back, going on a 9-0 run to pull within two points with 1:27 to go after a three pointer from Carley Plentovich. The Panthers would stop the GWU run on their next possession, but Evelyn Adebayo would score with 26 seconds remaining in the half to set the score at 33-30 at the break.
The Runnin' Bulldogs would pull within one point at the beginning of the third period after a layup from Carley Plentovich, but High Point would score five unanswered points to lead once again by six points at 38-32 with 8:17 to go in the quarter. Both teams would trade baskets on their next few possessions until Gardner-Webb was slowly able to chip away at the deficit, tying the game at 42-42 with 5:06 on the clock. GWU would take the lead on its next possession after a three pointer from Hill, yet High Point would answer immediately to tie the game once again. The two squads would swap baskets again over the next few minutes until HPU would claim a four-point lead at the end of the period, 54-50.
High Point would build its lead to 11 points at 66-55 with 4:46 to go in the final period, but the Runnin' Bulldogs would answer with a 12-0 run to take a 67-66 lead after Hill knocked down a jumper with 1:05 to go. HPU would reclaim the lead on a pair of free throws on its next possession, but GWU would answer on its next trip down the court as Huntsman gave the Runnin' Bulldogs a 69-68 lead with 30 seconds remaining. The Panthers would score the take the lead back with 15 seconds to go on a layup from Lindsey Edwards, and GWU would be unable to score in the final seconds, falling by a score of 71-69.
Gardner-Webb returns to action on Tuesday evening at Charleston Southern. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm, with live video of the game on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).