BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb closed the second half with a 14-0 run, seizing control of the game, to go on to defeat Longwood by a score of 89-55 in front of a crowd of nearly 800 local elementary and middle school students.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (10-12, 5-6 Big South) led Longwood (3-19, 0-11 Big South) by only one point after the first period, but would outscore the Lancers by a 26-8 margin in the second period to take control of the contest.
GWU would open the game with a 6-0 run in the first two minutes, but the Lancers would respond with an 11-2 run to take a three-point lead at 11-8 with 5:42 on the clock. Gardner-Webb would once again build a six-point lead, going on a 9-0 run to set the score at 17-11 after Tierra Huntsman converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 3:00 remaining in the period.
Longwood would answer with a 9-2 run to take a 20-19 lead with 1:19 on the clock, but that would be the final lead of the game for the Lancers, as Charlisa Jenkins would connect with a layup with 47 seconds to go in the quarter.
Gardner-Webb slowly built a seven-point lead in the second quarter with 3:29 on the clock after a layup from Jenkins gave the Runnin' Bulldogs a 33-26 lead.
Longwood would trim their deficit down to five points with 2:57 to go, but GWU would respond with a 14-0 run to close out the half, capped by a three-pointer from Kiera Currie as time expired to push the lead to 19 points at 47-28.
Play was balanced throughout the third period, as another late three-pointer from Currie pushed Gardner-Webb's lead to 22 points at 65-43 to close the quarter.
GWU would open the fourth period with a 9-2 run, pushing the lead to 29 points after Savannah Plentovich knocked down a jumper on the feed from Huntsman with 7:28 remaining.
The Runnin' Bulldogs would extend the lead to a game-high 34 points in the final minute of play, with Morgan Ackermann connecting from long distance with 38 seconds remaining to set the score at 89-55.
Gardner-Webb had four players reach double-digits in scoring, led by Alexus Hill, who had 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Jenkins was one rebound shy of a double-double for the Runnin' Bulldogs, grabbing nine rebounds to go along with 12 points.
Gardner-Webb went 35-of-75 from the floor, shooting at a 46.7 percent clip throughout the game, while Longwood was held to a 40.7 shooting percentage, going 22-of-54 from the floor.
The Runnin' Bulldogs remain at home for their next contest, hosting High Point on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm. The game can be seen on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).