The Presbyterian College men’s basketball used a 22-6 run late in the second half to cut a 20-point Runnin’ Bulldog lead to nine, but fell just short in an 87-76 loss to Gardner-Webb Wednesday evening at the Templeton Center in Clinton, S.C. DeSean Murray recorded a career-high 28 points in the loss.
The Blue Hose drop to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big South, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs move to 3-5, 1-0. PC heads to Rock Hill Dec. 5, to take on Winthrop in a 4 p.m., game.
Gardner-Webb led by 24, 78-54, with just under six to play in the game, when the Blue Hose began to chip away at the lead. A 22-6 run over the next five minutes made things interesting as PC cut the margin to nine, 82-73, off eight free throws and an impressive three-pointer by Jaron Withers at 2:41.
The Blue Hose would cut the deficit to eight off an Ed Drew lay-up 30 seconds to go, but it proved too late as clutch free throws at the end gave Gardner-Webb the 11-point, 87-76 win.
Murray scored PC’s first six points of the game as the home team took a 6-2 lead a minute and a half in the first. Gardner-Webb responded with the next seven to take a 9-6 lead just three minutes later.
After Will Adams hit his first three of the game at the 12-minute mark to give the Blue Hose the lead back, 15-14, the Runnin’ Bulldogs went on an 18-4 run, which included three treys, to jump out to a 13-point, 32-19 lead.
GWU extended its margin to 15 off a Harold McBride lay-up before two free throws by Davon Bell just before intermission cut the halftime lead to 13 for the visitors, 40-27.
PC opened the second half with a 6-2 run to cut the margin to nine with 18:15 left on the clock, but McBride answered with a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs the double-digit lead again, 45-33, 17:53 left.
Markus Terry’s trey at the 15-minute mark made it a 10-point contest, but back-to back threes by GWU made it a 16-point game. Gardner-Webb extended its lead to the 20s mid-way through the second half, with PC unable to mount a rally early.
Murray paced the Blue Hose in scoring for the third straight contest with his career-high 28 points, and held the rebound margin with nine as well. Terry added 13 points, with Withers and John Majors, II, close behind with nine apiece.
Tyrell Nelson led Gardner-Webb with 17 points, followed by McBride with 15, helped in part to his team-leading three three-pointers.
Gardner-Webb hit 12 three-pointers, compared to four for PC, and shot 57.4% from the field, with PC hitting 46.2%, which included a 51.7% in the second. GWU led the rebounding margin, 33-27 and had one more turnover, 16-15, with PC committing just four in the second. The Blue Hose won the free-throw contest, hitting 24-of-33, compared to 13-of-21for GWU.