Runnin' Bulldogs Get Past Radford, 70-59, Wednesday Night In Big South Basketball Action

Tim Cowie Photo  |  GWUPhotos.com
Tim Cowie Photo | GWUPhotos.com
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BOILING SPRINGS – Laquincy Rideau narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead Gardner-Webb to a 70-59 win over Radford Wednesday night.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (15-13, 8-7 Big South) put five men in double figures in the game, and overcame a cold second half to beat the Highlanders (11-16, 6-9 Big South) for the second time this season.

David Efianayi had 14 points, Liam O'Reilly had 10 and Jamaal Robateau joined Rideau and D.J. Laster with 10 points to lead Gardner-Webb. The Runnin' Bulldogs shot 58.1 percent in the first half to build a 44-31 lead, but made just 5-of-16 field goals in the final 20 minutes (31.3 percent).

Gardner-Webb defended well in the second half to hold its lead, limiting Radford to 32.3 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes.

Turnovers doomed the Highlanders in the first half, with 12 miscues leading to 15 transition points for Gardner-Webb. After a Christian Lutete three-pointer trimmed Radford's deficit to 27-25 with 6:50 remaining before the break, Gardner-Webb closed the half on a 17-6 run to take its 13-point lead at the half.

Radford turned the basketball over seven times during Gardner-Webb's run. O'Reilly's triple just before the buzzer sounded provided the margin at intermission.

The Highlanders were able to get as close as eight points in the second half, doing so with 3:49 to play, but could not get over the hump.

Ed Polite, Jr., finished with a double-double, going for 24 points and 11 rebounds (six offensive). No other Highlanders' player was in double figures Wednesday night. Lutete added eight points off the bench.

Radford shot 41.8 percent for the game (23-of-55), turned the ball over 19 times and shot just 5-of-19 from long range (26.3 percent).

Gardner-Webb owned an edge in every specialty stat except for second-chance points – which Radford owned by a slim 14-13 margin. GWU scored 27 bench points, led by O'Reilly and Laster.

The Runnin' Bulldogs finished at 48.9 percent for the game (23-of-47) despite the frigid second half and made more free throws (19) than Radford attempted (17). In addition to his near triple-double, Rideau added four of his team's 11 steals on the night.

There were 10 lead changes and five ties, with most coming in the game's first 10 minutes. The Runnin' Bulldogs held the lead for 33:40 on Wednesday.

Gardner-Webb will hit the road this weekend, traveling to face Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. The opening tip is set for 7:00 pm and will stream live on The Big South Network.

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