INDIANAPOLIS – David Efianayi scored a career-high 31 points to lead Gardner-Webb to a 94-78 win over Howard in the consolation round of the 2016 2K Classic sub-regional.
Efianayi (Orlando, Fla. / Ocoee HS) connected on 10-of-13 shots, including three triples, and finished 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. It was his second game of the week with at least 20 points.
The 6-foot-2 guard earned All-Tournament Team honors for the sub-regional for his performance. He averaged 18.3 points in three games for the Runnin' Bulldogs this past week.
Gardner-Webb (1-3) jumped out to an early lead in the game on Saturday and never looked back.
The Runnin' Bulldogs went up 4-0 on a pair of Laquincy Rideau buckets and used an 8-2 run to take a 25-14 lead with 10:00 left in the first half. Howard (0-4) tightened the score later in the half, but an Efianayi layup with 19 seconds before intermission put the 'Dogs up 46-36.
Rideau nailed a triple coming out of the break, stripping the ball away and getting his deep shot off just 15 seconds into the half. The Bison trimmed the lead to 51-48 with 15:47 left in the game, but Gardner-Webb responded with Efianayi and Rideau powering a run to grow the lead to 69-58 with 9:27 left.
The 'Dogs pushed their lead as high as 19 points down the stretch before winning by 16.
Rideau added 19 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals in another fine overall performance. Tyrell Nelson and Liam O'Reilly each scored 11. Brandon Miller and D.J. Laster scored nine apiece off the bench, joining Efianayi to give Gardner-Webb a 50-5 edge in bench scoring.
The 'Dogs shot a sizzling 58.1 percent for the game (36-of-62), held a slight rebounding edge (32-29) and had 21 assists to only 10 turnovers. GWU shot 62.1 percent in the second half.
GWU shot a red-hot 10-of-19 from long range (52.1 percent), with Efianayi and Rideau each going 3-for-4 from deep.
Howard got 25 points from Miller in the loss.
Gardner-Webb will return to action on Tuesday, November 22, as they host Toccoa Falls at 11:00 am. The game will serve as Education Day in Paul Porter Arena, with nearly 2,000 area school children scheduled to attend.