The Blue Hose outscored the Runnin’ Bulldogs 24-13 during a 10-minute stretch in the second half to cut a double-digit deficit to just two with a couple of minutes to play, but Gardner-Webb used an 8-0 run to stop the rally and take the 78-70 win over the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team in Big South action Wednesday evening in Boiling Springs, N.C. Three Blue Hose scored in double-figures with Adam Flagler leading the way with 16.
Scoring the Game
A couple of three-pointers helped keep the Blue Hose in the game early, with the score knotted at 8-8, 17:29 to go. PC would score just three more times over the next 10 minutes as Gardner-Webb outscored the visitors 25-7, to jump out to a 33-15 lead, 8:09 to play in the first. A 7-2 run by PC, highlighted by a Cody Shubert three-pointer, made it a 13-point game, 35-22, 6:20 left. GWU responded with seven straight to take its largest lead of the game at 42-22, just under three on the clock. The Blue Hose rallied back to within 14 at the break, outscoring the home team, 9-3 in the final three minutes to go into the locker room trailing 45-31.
Behind by 18 early in the second half, PC used an 11-2 run, which included six points from Adam Flagler, to cut the margin to only nine, 53-44, 15:05 to play. A Cornwall three at 11:08 put the Bulldogs ahead by 11, but PC came back with a Chris Martin layup and a Younger three-pointer to cut the lead to six, 60-54, 10:28 left. Lewis’ tip-in at 8:13 turned the GWU lead to just five, before a DJ Laster three made it an eight-point game again, 65-57, 7:58 to go.
Gardner-Webb used a 4-0 run to take a nine-point lead, 70-61, 5:25 to go, but PC answered with a 7-0 run, capped by a Flagler three, to suddenly make it a two-point game, 70-68, 2:10 left. Two quick baskets by David Efianayi put GWU ahead by six, with four free throws to follow giving the home team a 10-point lead, 78-68. Flagler’s tip-in with three seconds to go made it an eight-point game at the end, 78-70
Players of the Game
Gardner-Webb’s DJ Laster led all scorers in the first half with 18 points, finishing with 23 on the night. Adam Flagler scored 11 points in the second half to finish with a team-leading 16 points. JC Younger, who hit four three-pointers, record 14 points, followed by Francois Lewis with 12. Lewis led the Blue Hose in rebounding with eight, with Jose Perez pacing GWU with 12.
Stats of the Game
The Blue Hose struggled offensively in the first half, shooting 38.7%. They held their own in the second, increasing it to 41.5% for the game. Gardner-Webb, after shooting 56.3% in the first, shot 37.5% in the second to finish the night with 46.9%. PC hit nine three-pointers, compared to seven for the home team. Rebounds were close with GWU holding the 39-38 edge, while PC posted two more turnovers, 10-8.
- The 32 three-pointers attempted is tied for 12th in the PC DI record book.
- The five blocked shots tied for 17th in the PC DI record book.
- Ben Drake scored a career-high six points off a career-best three-of-six effort from the field.
For the Record
PC moves to 17-13 overall and 9-6 in the Big South, while Gardner-Webb improves to 19-11, 9-6
The Blue Hose return home for the final time Saturday, March 2, when they host Charleston Southern in the final regular season finale. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m., and will be shown live on ESPN+.
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