BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb will begin a three-game home stand Wednesday night, returning to Paul Porter Arena to host Hampton. Opening tip is set for 7:00 pm.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (4-4) have won two in a row and four of five heading into Wednesday's date with the Pirates (2-6). Hampton is coming off a convincing, 79-69, win over William & Mary on Saturday.
The Pirates are led by Jermaine Marrow, a 6-0 freshman guard from Newport News, Va., who is averaging 15.1 points per game. He also leads the team with 20 assists, nine steals and is second with 28.9 minutes per game.
Lawrence Cooks, a 6-foot-1 graduate student from Charlotte (Northside Christian Academy), who is pumping in a solid 10.8 points per game. Cooks is one of two players, along with 6-foot-9 forward Trevond Barnes, to start all eight games for the Pirates.
Gardner-Webb is coming off an impressive road win at VMI, running past the Keydets 86-68 Saturday night.
The Runnin' Bulldogs have been led all season by sixth man David Efianayi, who leads the team with an average of 14.3 points per game. The Orlando, Fla., sophomore is knocking down shots at a 61.2 percent clip (41-of-67) and has been effective from long range – shooting an efficient 6-of-11 (54.5 percent).
Point guard Laquincy Rideau has settled into his new role as a starter, averaging 13.6 points, 4.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. The West Palm Beach, Fla., sophomore is also pilfering 2.5 steals per game.
All-Big South forward Tyrell Nelson (11.4 ppg) and swing man Jamaal Robateau (10.1 ppg) are also scoring in double figures. Guard Liam O'Reilly (7.5 ppg) has provided scoring punch on the perimeter as well.
The 'Dogs have started the same quintet in eight consecutive games, with Rideau, O'Reilly, Robateau, Nelson and 6-foot-10 center L'Hassane Niangane taking the court together.
Wednesday night marks the first meeting between Hampton and Gardner-Webb in men's basketball.
The game will air live on The Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com), with Fabian Fuentes calling the action.