No. 8 Gardner-Webb Downs No. 9 Winthrop, 82-43, To Open the 2017 Big South Championship Thursday Night

Morgan Pointer (Tim Drexler Photo - BigSouthPhotos.com)
Morgan Pointer (Tim Drexler Photo - BigSouthPhotos.com)
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LYNCHBURG, Va. – No. 8 Gardner-Webb outscored No. 9 Winthrop by a 28-6 margin in the second period to seize control of the opening contest of the 2017 Big South Women's Basketball Championship. 

Morgan Pointer led GWU (12-18) with a career-high 16 points, going 6-for-7 from the floor.  Carley Plentovich and Alexus Hill each added 12 points.

Gardner-Webb shot 46.3 percent from the floor throughout the contest, including a blistering 76.9 percent in the second period.

Erica Williams led Winthrop offensively with 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting.  The Eagles shot 35.8 percent for the game.

GWU set a handful of records for the first round of the Big South Championship with 10 made three-point baskets and a 39-point margin of victory. 

The Runnin' Bulldogs opened the game with a 6-0 run in the first 2:53, highlighted by two baskets by Ky'Asia Stanford.   Winthrop would respond with five unanswered points to pull within one with 4:43 on the clock.  

Alexus Hill would knock down her first basket of the evening with 3:27 on the clock to stop the run, but the Eagles would score two straight baskets to take a 9-8 lead with 1:17 remaining in the period. 

GWU would reclaim the lead late in the quarter, as Morgan Pointer would connect from mid-range to give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 10-9 advantage at the end of the first period.

Gardner-Webb would open the second period with a 14-6 run, capped by a five quick points by Tierra Huntsman, to lead to a Winthrop timeout with 4:08 on the clock.

The Runnin' Bulldogs would finish the quarter with 19 unanswered points, going 8-for-8 from the floor during that stretch, to lead by 23 points at the half at 38-15. 

GWU would open the third period with back-to-back three-point baskets by Carley Plentovich, followed by layup by Hill to lead to a Winthrop timeout with 8:29 remaining with the Runnin' Bulldogs up by a 31-point margin at 46-15.

A layup by Carley Plentovich with 7:35 on the clock gave GWU a 33-point lead until Winthrop scored its first bucket of the second half with 7:22 remaining.  That basket ended a 29-0 scoring run for the 'Dogs.

GWU would push the lead to 38 points at 66-28 with 1:12 on the clock after a layup by Morgan Ackermann, but a jumper by Winthrop's Erica Williams in the closing seconds would set the score at 66-30 after three periods. 

The Runnin' Bulldogs would open the final period with a 6-0 run to increase their lead to a game-high 42 points and would go on to win by a margin of 39 points at 39 points.

Gardner-Webb will move on to face top-seeded Radford tomorrow at noon in the quarterfinals.  The game can be viewed live on ESPN3 (WatchESPN.com).

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