Farmville, Va. - The Gardner-Webb women's basketball team picked up its third straight win and handed head coach Rick Reeves his 100th career win as the head coach of the Runnin' Bulldogs program on Sunday afternoon, as GWU held off Longwood for the 68-58 non-conference road win in Farmville, Va.
The Runnin' Bulldogs, who struggled shooting the ball from the floor in its last game on Thursday night, started off strong in Sunday afternoon's bout, shooting 48 percent from the field as a team in the first 20 minutes of play. However, turnovers and untimely fouls allowed the Longwood Lady Lancers to stay in the game, which saw nine lead changes in the first half.
Gardner-Webb senior guard Monique Hudson had the hot hand, pouring in 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first half, to help lead the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 29-26 halftime lead.
After Longwood went on a 9-2 run, which included three made free throws, over the next three minutes, the Runnin' Bulldogs weathered the storm to answer with four straight points to cut the Lady Lancer lead to one at 9-8.
The two teams then traded the lead back-and-forth four times over the next six minutes of play with Longwood finding themselves up 26-25 on a layup by Chelsea Coward with 2:15 to go before the half.
However, Monique Hudson and the Runnin' Bulldogs finished the first half out strong, as Monique Hudson scored four unanswered points, while the Runnin' Bulldogs defense held the Lady Lancers scoreless for the rest of the half, giving Gardner-Webb a 29-26 lead heading into the halftime break.
Like in the first half, GWU scored first, this time by way of two made free throws to push its lead out to five at 31-26 only a minute into the second half.
The five point lead would be the largest that the Runnin' Bulldogs would have for most of the second half, as Longwood continued to battle back into the game. Yet Gardner-Webb always had an answer to a Longwood basket, as the Runnin' Bulldogs held off the Lady Lancers and held onto the lead ever so slightly until a three-pointer by Dale put GWU up by four at 45-41 with 8:48 to go in regulation.
A jumper by Monique Hudson with 7:57 to play gave the Runnin' Bulldogs its largest lead of the game at six, only to have Longwood answer on its next offensive possession with a three-pointer by Mina Jovanovic to cut the GWU lead to three at 47-44.
This time Gardner-Webb answered in a huge way, using a 10-4 run to pull out to a 57-48 lead with 4:05 to play, again on another Dale three-pointer from way downtown.
The two teams combined for 18 made free throws in the final 2:18 of the contest, as Gardner-Webb went 9-of-12 from the charity stripe to secure the 68-58 road win at Willett Hall in Farmville, Va.
Gardner-Webb was 21-of-47 from the floor, 45 percent, while the Runnin' Bulldogs defense picked up eight steals and five blocks while holding the Lady Lancers to 30 percent shooting for the game.
Monique Hudson had a team-high 19 points for GWU, while fellow seniors Sandra Vaitkute and Dominique Hudson, as well as Dale, all added 12 points apiece. Senior forward LaTroya Pope hauled in 11 rebounds for the game, giving her 499 in her career, one shy of the 500 mark.
For Longwood, Brittani Billups had 17 points, while Coward and Jovanovic had 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Lady Lancers in the loss.
The win is the third straight victory for GWU, its longest winning streak of the season.
Gardner-Webb (5-3) will finally return home for its next contest, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will open up a six-game home stand with the Lady Eagles of North Carolina Central at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7th, in Paul Porter Arena. The game will be video streamed by the Big South Network and can be viewed by going to www.bigsouthsports.com. Links to the Big South Network and live stats are available on the women's basketball schedule page at www.gwusports.com.
Longwood (1-6) will stay at home to host Wright State at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 11th.