Runnin' Bulldogs Showcase Efficient Offense In 85-76 Win At Charleston Southern Saturday

Photo courtesy Charleston Southern Athletics
Photo courtesy Charleston Southern Athletics

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Laquincy Rideau scored 17 points and dished off a game-high seven assists to lead Gardner-Webb to an 85-76 win over Charleston Southern Saturday at Buccaneer Fieldhouse.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (12-11, 5-5 Big South) led by 14 at halftime and by as many as 19 in the second half to complete the regular season sweep of the Buccaneers (7-14, 3-7 Big South).

The Big South's top field goal shooting squad finished the game at a sizzling 60.9 percent (28-of-46) – and shot a sparkling 79.3 percent at the free throw line (23-of-29) in a very efficient offensive effort. The 'Dogs produced 1.2 points per possession and 15 made layups in the win.

Gardner-Webb trailed for only 26 seconds early on, as Charleston Southern took a 2-0 lead on Antwan Maxwell's jumper with 19:26 on the first half clock. With the game tied, 10-10, Gardner-Webb went on a 19-4 run to take a 31-14 lead – and would maintain a double figures lead for much of the contest.

When Charleston Southern used a 10-2 run midway through the second half to cut the lead to single digits – 53-45 – on an Armel Potter triple with 12:33 remaining, Gardner-Webb responded with an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to regain control and a comfortable margin. The 'Dogs drained a trio of three-pointers during that spurt – including back-to-back triples from Liam O'Reilly to go up 64-45 with 8:29 to play.

Charleston Southern made another push into single digits with two minutes remaining and knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the final 30 seconds to bring the final deficit under 10 points.

Rideau made 4-of-6 shots from the floor (1-of-2 from three-point range) and connected on 8-of-10 free throws. He added to his league-best steal total (2) as well in 32 minutes.

O'Reilly came off the bench to knock down three triples and finish with 15 points, Tyrell Nelson scored 13 points to go with eight boards and D.J. Laster had his second double figures output in a row with 10 points off the bench in just 16 minutes due to foul trouble.

David Efianayi and Jamaal Robateau each added nine points in a balanced offensive performance by the Runnin' Bulldogs – who improved to 15-5 all-time against Charleston Southern.

Gardner-Webb continued to attack the paint, scoring 42 points inside for the game – and scored on 39 of its 70 possessions.

The Buccaneers – coming off an overtime loss at High Point on Thursday night – shot 44.8 percent from the floor (51.7 percent in the second half) and got 27 points and 10 boards from Freshman of the Year frontrunner Christian Keeling. The rookie guard made 10-of-18 shots and all seven free throws.

Potter (11 points) and Mitchell (11 points) were the only other Bucs in double figures scoring.

Gardner-Webb will continue its two-game road swing on Wednesday, February 1 as it travels to Buies Creek, N.C., to battle Campbell. Opening tip is set for 7 pm and will stream live on The Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com).

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