BOILING SPRINGS – David Efianayi scored 20 points to pace five players in double figures as Gardner-Webb ran to a 90-64 win over Longwood Saturday afternoon in Paul Porter Arena.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (14-11, 7-5 Big South) won their third in a row behind another dominant offensive performance. GWU shot 54.0 percent for the game (34-of-63), scored 52 points in the paint and converted 15 Longwood turnovers into 26 points.
Gardner-Webb did not trail in the game and ran when opportunities were available – owning a 24-4 edge in fast break points. The GWU bench also scored 37 points in the game. More than half (19) of Gardner-Webb's 34 made baskets were layups or dunks.
Tyrell Nelson posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Laquincy Rideau added 15 points and eight steals, Liam O'Reilly scored 14 points and D.J. Laster had 10 points to go with eight rebounds. Forward Brandon Miller netted five points and had a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench.
The Runnin' Bulldogs never trailed in the game and topped Longwood for the ninth time in a row.
Leading 22-17 with 8:12 left before halftime, Gardner-Webb flexed its muscle – turning Longwood over to power a 16-3 run that put the game out of reach. Rideau had four steals during the spurt, including back-to-back plays that led to a dunk of his own and a layup for Nelson to put the 'Dogs up 39-20 with 3:06 left before the break.
Nelson followed with a steal of his own and fed Efianayi for a layup with 1:52 left for a 41-20 advantage.
Gardner-Webb led 45-28 at halftime and extended the lead quickly in the second half. A 14-2 run – which saw GWU make six-straight shots from the floor – gave GWU a 68-37 lead with 12:48 to play and the Lancers never got closer than 23 the rest of the way. The Runnin' Bulldogs pulled their starters after the 3:59 media timeout.
Longwood (6-17, 3-9 Big South) played the game with only seven healthy scholarship players and lost its its ninth in a row. The Lancers shot 37.1 percent for the game (23-of-62) and were hampered by 15 turnovers – most leading directly to Gardner-Webb run outs and fast break buckets.
Guard Isaiah Walton netted 20 points and Khris Lane added 16 points and six boards to lead the Lancers. Jashaun Smith added nine points and eight boards and Isaac Belton scored seven.
Longwood was able to get to the offensive glass, converting 12 offensive boards into 11 second-chance points.
Gardner-Webb will play again on its home court Thursday night (Feb. 9), hosting first-place Liberty at 7:00 pm in Paul Porter Arena. The game will stream live on The Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com).
NOTES: Over its last 140 minutes of basketball, dating back to the second half on January 26, Gardner-Webb is shooting a combined 108-of-184 (58.6 percent) from the floor and 64-of-83 from the free throw line (77.1 percent).