The Runnin’ Bulldogs (5-5) missed 22 of their first 30 shots and fell behind by as many as 14 points before rallying to tie the game in the second half. Wofford scored nine points from the free throw line in the final 4:32 to spark a 12-0 run that proved to be the final margin.
Gardner-Webb was able to slow down the Terriers (4-5) for much of the night, but was held 13 points below its previous season low of 55 points in a win against Howard on November 20.
The Terriers made 6-of-7 shots to start the game, jumping out to a 17-6 lead with 13:17 left in the half on a pair of C.J. Neumann free throws.
Wofford cooled off considerably over the next eight minutes, making just one of its next 11 shots, but Gardner-Webb could not make much of a dent in the lead. Another Neumann free throw with 3:49 left in the opening period put the Terriers up 23-13 and the lead would sit at 25-18 when halftime arrived.
GWU made just 1-of-10 shots from three-point range in the half, with Max Landis finally connecting from long range with seven seconds on the first half clock
Wofford came out of the locker room with a quick burst to go up 29-18 and extended the lead to 34-20 with 15:13 left before Gardner-Webb was able to counter attack.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs outscored Wofford 22-8 over the next 12 minutes, tying the game on a Kevin Hartley follow shot with 4:32 remaining. Jarvis Davis had four consecutive points prior to Hartley’s bucket, hitting a nice floater in the lane and picking of a pass for a break-away layup to make the score 42-40. Gardner-Webb connected on 50 percent of its shots during the rally, but went cold from there – going 0-for-5 down the stretch.
Two Spencer Collins free throws with 3:13 on the clock pushed Wofford back in front and Lee Skinner banged in a line drive three with 2:32 left to make the score 47-42. Gardner-Webb missed on its next two possessions in an attempt to get closer, and had a costly offensive foul on Branch with 1:22 left that gave Wofford back with a two possession advantage.
Another Collins free throw pushed the lead to 48-42 with 1:07 left and Wofford would salt the game away at the free throw line in the final minute.
Gardner-Webb shot 40.7 percent in the second half (11-of-27), but finished at just 33.3 percent for the game (17-of-51). GWU made only 2-of-18 chances from long range over 40 minutes (11.1 percent). The Runnin’ Bulldogs held a solid 32-23 edge on the backboards, including 10 offensive caroms – leading to a 10-0 advantage in second-chance points. GWU also held a 28-6 edge in the paint, but were unable to get to the free throw line enough to overcome its cool shooting touch from the floor.
Newsome led Gardner-Webb with 10 points and Hartley finished with nine. Onzie Branch had six points, all during the 22-8 run in the second half.
Wofford got 19 points from Skinner and 10 points from Karl Cochran to pace its scoring. The Terriers shot 40.5 percent for the game (15-of-37) and were very effective at the free throw line – knocking home 18-of-22 from the line (81.8 percent). Wofford made a sizzling 13-of-14 in the second half, with Skinner draining six in a row in the final 56 seconds.
Gardner-Webb will have little time to recover, returning to Boiling Springs to host Tennessee Tech at 7:00 pm on Saturday in Paul Porter Arena. The game will air live on WGWG-FM (88.3 / wgwg.org), with Fabian Fuentes calling the action.