BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb returns home Saturday at high noon to host Longwood in Paul Porter Arena. The game will be televised live on the American Sports Network (ASN).
Mike Hogewood and Ralph Patterson will provide the call on Saturday. The game will air locally on WCCB (Charlotte) and via satellite on MASN (DirecTV channel 640 and Dish Network channel 432). A full list of availability nationwide is available here.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (13-11, 6-5 Big South) have won two in a row – both on the road – behind an efficient offense that has produced 82.5 points per game during that streak.
In its last five halves of basketball – dating back to the second half of a 72-70 loss to first-place Winthrop on January 26 – Gardner-Webb is shooting 61.1 percent overall (74-of-121), 53.1 percent from three-point range (17-of-32) and 79 percent from the free throw line (49-of-62). The Runnin' Bulldogs are +35 in scoring during those halves as well.
Laquincy Rideau (13.7 ppg) has maintained an elevated level of play at point guard, averaging 4.9 assists and 3.0 steals per game in addition to his scoring surge. All-Big South Conference forward Tyrell Nelson (13.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and guard David Efianayi (12.0 ppg) have been consistent as well.
Forward D.J. Laster – who went for a career-high 20 points on January 26 – gives Gardner-Webb a versatile lift off the bench. The 6-foot-6 hybrid forward is capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter, running the floor in transition or mixing it up with success in the paint.
As its shooting percentages have risen, Gardner-Webb's efficiency has also improved. The Runnin' Bulldogs are averaging better than 1.2 points per possession over the past two games combined.
Gardner-Webb topped Longwood, 85-79, on January 14 in Farmville, Va., after withstanding a furious second-half rally by the Lancers (6-16, 3-8 Big South). GWU led by as many as 16 points early in the second half before holding on in the final three minutes.
The Lancers – plagued by injuries all season at multiple spots – have dropped eight in a row. Despite that streak, Longwood remains a threat due to the play of All-Conference forward Kris Lane – who is pouring in 20.2 points per game against Big South foes.
Longwood also gets plenty of offensive production from guards Darrion Allen and Isaiah Walton. The duo combined for 41 points in the Gardner-Webb contest in January – with Allen scorching the nets for 22 points in that game.
Saturday's action is a Salute to Service/Military Appreciation Game, with free admission to all active and retired military and all JROTC programs.
In addition, Gardner-Webb athletics is hosting a "Bring your A+ Game" event ,with all elementary and middle school students who bring their report card with at least one "A" grade listed receiving free admission – in addition to more perks throughout the game.