CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Tierra Huntsman scored 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting to lead Gardner-Webb to a 68-60 victory at Western Carolina on Monday evening.
Gardner-Webb (4-5) shot 51 percent from the floor and was led in scoring by Huntsman with 24 points and Evelyn Adebayo with 14 points. Adebayo also led the team with nine rebounds. Western Carolina (3-9) was held to a 39 percent shooting performance and was led by Kyia Hough with 12 points.
Western Carolina started the game with an early 5-2 advantage, yet Huntsman would knock down an open three pointer to tie the game with 8:19 on the clock. Gardner-Webb would take its first lead of the contest with 7:18 remaining in the period after Kiera Currie grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the put back to give GWU a 9-7 lead. The Catamounts would tie the game at 11-11 with 5:46 remaining, yet the Runnin' Bulldogs would score five consecutive points on a jumper from Charlisa Jenkins and a three pointer from Huntsman to take a 16-11 lead with 3:26 to go and would lead by a 21-15 margin at the end of the first period.
Gardner-Webb would open the second period with a 6-0 run to build a 27-15 lead following a trey from Huntsman with 6:39 to go. That 12 point lead would be the largest of the contest for the Runnin' Bulldogs, as Western Carolina would chip away at the deficit to tie the game at 30-30 with 51 seconds remaining in the half. Adebayo would grab an offensive rebound and score on the following layup with 10 seconds on the clock to give GWU a 32-30 advantage at the half.
GWU would push its lead back to 11 points, opening the third period on a 9-0 run, capped by a jumper by Celia Tibbs with 6:04 on the clock. The Runnin' Bulldogs would maintain an eight point lead at the end of the period, leading 53-45 headed to the final 10 minutes of play.
Western Carolina would gain momentum at the onset of the fourth period, eventually tying the game at 57-57 with 6:17 to go. Gardner-Webb would respond with a jumper from Jenkins with 5:58 remaining to reclaim the lead and would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the period to earn the 68-60 win.
Gardner-Webb will take a break for the Christmas holiday before returning to action on Wednesday, December 28th at Furman at 7:00 pm.