LYNCHBURG, Va. – Gardner-Webb led by as many as six points early in the fourth period, but Liberty would outscore the Runnin' Bulldogs by an 18-9 margin throughout the remainder of the contest to hand GWU a 66-63 loss in Big South Conference play on Saturday afternoon.
GWU (9-12, 4-6 Big South) took a six point lead at 55-48 with 9:02 remaining in the fourth period after a three point basket from Tierra Huntsman, but Liberty (8-13, 7-3 Big South) would score seven unanswered points over the next 2:17 to take a one point lead with 6:45 to go.
The two teams would trade the lead back and forth over the next several minutes, with the Runnin' Bulldogs taking a two point lead with 2:30 on the clock on a jump shot from Kiera Currie, but the Flames would answer on their next possession as a three pointer by Lela Sellers would be the final lead change of the contest.
Liberty controlled the majority of the first period, building a four point lead in the first 2:30 of play, and expanding the lead to nine at the end of the period, going on a 7-0 run in the final 1:14 to lead by a 20-11 score.
The Runnin' Bulldogs would respond at the onset of the second period, opening the frame with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 20-20 with 6:31 on the clock after Currie connected from long distance.
Liberty would answer with a 12-2 run to lead by ten points at 32-22 with 2:49 remaining in the half, yet Gardner-Webb would be able to trim the deficit to three points as Alexus Hill knocked down a jumper with one second remaining in the half to set the score at 34-31 at the half.
The Flames would push its lead to eight points with 4:35 to go in the third period, but the Runnin' Bulldogs would close the period with a run of 12-4, tying the game with seven seconds left in the quarter on a pair of free throws by Ky'Asia Stanford to set the score at 48-48 as the game headed to the final period.
Gardner-Webb was led offensively by Currie, who scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including going 5-of-8 from behind the three point line. Hunstman added 13 points, going 3-of-10 from the floor.
Keyen Green was the leading scorer for Liberty, scoring 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Gardner-Webb returns home for its next contest, hosting Longwood on Tuesday morning at 11:00 am, as the Runnin' Bulldogs welcome several local elementary school children for and Education Day game. Live video of the game will be provided on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).