By: CSU Media
Gardner-Webb held off a surging Charleston Southern offense in the second half as the visiting Buccaneers were unable to complete the comeback on Wednesday night in Paul Porter Arena, 77-74.
Christian Keeling (11-13, 5-6) had an opportunity with 3.3 seconds remaining as the junior guard pulled up for a deep three-pointer, but his effort hit off the side of the rim and the Bucs were unable to get another shot off in the scramble.
Keeling (20) led the Bucs with his 10th 20-point game of the season as the Augusta, Ga. native hit 6-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the three-point line. Travis McConico (14), Ty Jones (11), and Phlandrous Fleming (11) also scored double-digits for the Bucs in the loss.
Gardner-Webb (16-10, 6-5) built a 47-33 halftime lead on the back of a strong first half performance from David Efianayi. The senior guard led all scorers with 19 of his game-high 33 points coming in the first 20 minutes. Jose Perez (12), Eric Jamison 911), and Nate Johnson (10) also reached double-digits for GWU.
Wednesday’s loss split the season series between the Buccaneers and the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
“It takes a lot of energy to come back like we did. It was a tremendous effort in the second half and we played really well, shared the ball, and just continued to grow. It’s a tough place to play against a really good team – but I’m still excited about how we played in the second half. These were two evenly matched teams out there. We certainly wanted to win tonight for sure and thought we had a chance if we had executed better in the first half.” – Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh.
Charleston Southern is back at home in the Buccaneer Field House for a Saturday afternoon matchup on ESPN3. The Bucs host Radford in Big South play with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m.
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