BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – A layup and free throw by Cortney Storey with 5.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as Gardner-Webb fell to visiting Presbyterian, 56-55, on Saturday afternoon.
Gardner-Webb (5-8, 0-2 Big South) was led in scoring by Tierra Huntsman, who scored 25 points on a 9-of-13 shooting performance, including four made three-pointers. Kiera Currie and Evelyn Adebayo each grabbed 10 rebounds for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Presbyterian (4-9, 2-0 Big South) was led offensively by Storey with 20 points and Janie Miles with 19 points. Salina Virola led the Blue Hose with six rebounds.
GWU shot at a 38.5 percent clip from the floor, and held Presbyterian to 36.7 percent for the contest.
Gardner-Webb came out of the gates hot, going on an 11-1 run to start the game, capped by a shot from Huntsman from behind the three-point arc with 6:31 on the clock. The Runnin' Bulldogs would maintain control throughout the remainder of the first period, leading as high as 11 points with 2:54 to go, and would have an eight-point advantage at the end of the frame, 20-12.
Neither team would score for nearly the first three minutes of action in the second period until Carley Plentovich converted a successful layup with 7:03 on the clock. GWU would lead by 10 points with 4:52 remaining, but Presbyterian would score eight unanswered points to pull within two points with 10 seconds remaining in the period. The Runnin' Bulldogs would lead by five at the half, 27-22 after Currie knocked down a three-pointer as time expired.
The Runnin' Bulldogs would once again push their lead to double-digits in the opening minutes of the third period, with a layup from Ky'Asia Stanford with 6:00 to go giving the team a 10 point advantage. Presbyterian would respond with a 10-3 run to trim GWU's lead to three points with 22 seconds remaining in the quarter, but Huntsman would connect from downtown with 3 seconds on the clock to give Gardner-Webb a 40-34 lead after three periods.
Presbyterian would open the final period of play with a 12-6 run to tie the game at 46-46 with 5:17 to go, but the Runnin' Bulldogs would respond with a quick 5-0 spurt, leading 51-46 with 4:08 to go after a three-pointer from Huntsman. The Blue Hose would follow that with a 7-1 run to take a one-point lead with 34 seconds to go after a three pointer from Miles. Gardner-Webb would respond on its next possession, as Huntsman would draw contact while driving towards the basket with 9.2 seconds remaining, drawing a foul while making the layup. After knocking down the free-throw, GWU would lead by two, 55-53, yet PC's Storey would draw contact in the lane with 5.6 seconds to go, scoring with a layup and would make the subsequent free-throw to give PC a one-point lead. GWU would be unable to get a shot off as time expired, falling by a score of 56-55.
The Runnin' Bulldogs hit the road for their next contest, facing Longwood on Tuesday morning at 11:15 am in Farmville, Va. Live video of the game can be found on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).