No. 8 Gardner-Webb Falls to No. 1 Radford, 54-51, in the Big South Quarterfinals

Tierra Huntsman (Tim Drexler Photo -
Tierra Huntsman (Tim Drexler Photo -
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LYNCHBURG, Va. – Top-seeded Radford knocked down four late free throws to top No. 8 seed Gardner-Webb, 54-41, Friday afternoon in the Big South Women's Basketball Championship quarterfinals.

Gardner-Webb (12-19) held a one-point lead with 2:32 left in the game, but a layup by Jayda Worthy and four made three throws in the final minute propelled Radford (23-7) to the win.

The Runnin' Bulldogs shot just under 30 percent for the game, while the Highlanders shot at a 33 percent clip.

Tierra Huntsman led Gardner-Webb with 24 points, going 8-of-19 from the floor.  Alexus Hill also reached double digits in scoring, adding 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. 

Radford had three scorers reach double figures, lead by Janayla White with 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting.

The opening period got off to a slow start offensively for both teams, as neither team made a field goal until White scored a layup with 6:26 on the clock to give Radford an early 3-1 lead. 

The Runnin' Bulldogs made their first basket of the afternoon with 3:38 remaining as Huntsman knocked down a deep three pointer to give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 6-5 lead.

Huntsman would go on to score 10 points in the opening quarter to give Gardner-Webb a 12-11 lead at the end of the period.

Radford would reclaim the lead early in the second period at 14-12 after a three-point basket by Destinee Walker with 9:22 on the clock, sparking a 10-0 run for the Highlanders over the next three minutes.

Gardner-Webb would stop the run with two consecutive three pointers to pull within three points at 21-18 with 5:01 remaining, but Radford would push its advantage back up to eight points with 3:43 left in the half.

GWU would respond with a quick 5-0 run to pull within three points at 26-23 with 45 seconds on the clock, capped by a three-point basket by Kiera Currie

The two teams would trade baskets over the final seconds of the period, with a last second basket by Huntsman setting the score at 28-25 in Radford's favor at the half.

Radford opened the third period with a 9-0 run to swell it lead to 12 points at 37-25 with 4:54 remaining.  Gardner-Webb would score its first points on the half with 3:49 on the clock as Ky'Asia Stanford would knock down a pair of free throws to set the score at 37-27. 

The Highlanders would push their lead to 13 points at 42-29 with 2:56 left in the period, yet the Gardner-Webb offensive would come alive, going on a 11-0 run to close out the frame to pull within two points, 42-40.

Huntsman would score the first points on the final period, driving to the basket to tie the contest at 42-42 with 9:25 on the clock.

Radford would end their scoring drought with 6:26 remaining as White would convert a pair of free throws to give the Highlanders a two point advantage, but Hill would down a mid-range jumper to tie the game once again at 44-44 with 5:45 on the clock.

Gardner-Webb would take its first lead since the end of the first period with 3:55 remaining after a layup by Carley Plentovich.  Radford would tie the game on its following possession, but Currie would knock down a corner three on the next trip down the court to give GWU a three-point lead with 2:59 to go.

Radford would then score six unanswered points to take a three-point lead with 1:06 remaining after a pair of free throws by Khiana Johnson. 

A layup with 44 seconds to go by Celia Tibbs trimmed GWU's deficit to one point, but Claudia Quevedo would covert a pair of free throws to give Radford a 54-51 lead with five seconds left. 

Gardner-Webb attempted to tie the game in the last seconds, but a deep three pointer by Huntsman was off the mark.

Radford advances to play the winner of the No. 4 Liberty/No. 5 Charleston Southern matchup in the semifinals at 2:00 pm on Saturday.