BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb opened the fourth period with a 13-4 run to lead by four points with just over seven minutes remaining, but the Runnin' Bulldogs were unable to hold on, dropping a narrow 51-48 decision to Charleston Southern on Monday evening.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (11-16, 6-10 Big South) trailed by five points to open the final quarter, but would rally to take a 42-41 lead after a three-pointer by Kiera Currie with 7:49 on the clock. Currie would knock down another corner three on the following possession to give GWU a four-point edge over the Buccaneers (15-12, 9-7 Big South) with 7:09 remaining.
CSU would respond with seven unanswered points to claim a three-point lead with 3:46 remaining, but Gardner-Webb would tie the game at 48-48 with 2:19 on the clock after a three pointer by Savannah Plentovich.
Ke'Asia Jackson would knock down a jumper on Charleston Southern's next possession to give them the lead for good.
The Runnin' Bulldogs had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but the three-point attempt by Tierra Huntsman was off the mark.
The Buccanners would take an early advantage in the game, building a lead as high as seven points midway through the opening period, yet the Runnin' Bulldogs would respond with a 9-0 run to close out the period to hold a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Play would be tight throughout most of the second period until Gardner-Webb was able to build a six-point cushion with 1:38 on the clock after a layup by Huntsman. CSU would respond with the final five points of the period to pull within one point at 25-41 at halftime.
GWU would extend its lead to as high as four points in the opening minutes of the third period at 30-26 after a layup by Celia Tibbs, but Charleston Southern would score seven unanswered points to take a three-point lead with 6:08 on the clock, and would extend their advantage to five points at the end of the quarter.
Huntsman led the Runnin' Bulldogs with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting, including going 3-of-5 from long distance. Currie, GWU's lone senior who was recognized in a pregame ceremony, followed with 13 points.
The Buccaneers were led by Jackson with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Rachel Burns added 10 points.
Gardner-Webb will close out the 2016-17 regular season on Saturday afternoon at UNC Asheville. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm.