The Hatters returned home but the result stayed the same as Gardner-Webb bulled over Stetson 77-64 Saturday night at the Edmunds Center. Garfield Blair battled foul trouble to score 11 points and nab seven rebounds for Stetson.
Stetson opened up with a 6-3 lead that soon evaporated into a 21-4 Gardner-Webb run. That gave the Bulldogs a 24-10 advantage midway through the first half. That was not the knockout blow, however, as the Hatters clawed back with a 16-5 run over the final 7:43 in the first half to pull within 31-28 at the break.
Despite two free throws by Gabe McMillen to start the second half and make it a one-point game, the Hatters were never able to turn the corner and take the lead. Stetson played the Bulldogs nearly toe-to-toe through the 13:28 mark, when the Hatters trailed 41-37.
A Jake Sims three-pointer spurred a 16-3 run from Gardner-Webb that essentially put the game away. With both teams in foul trouble, the game was decided at the line and Gardner-Webb nailed 21 of 24 free throws, including 11 of 12 from high scorer Chris Gash, who finished with 19 points.
McMillen topped Stetson with 12 points and three steals. Kris Thomas and Sheldon Oliver each added nine. Tim Lang added eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Gardner-Webb became the ninth team this year to shoot 50% or better from the field against Stetson. The Bulldogs also hit 10 of 21 three-pointers. Stetson was just four of 15 beyond the arc and committed 19 turnovers.
The Hatters remain home to face Campbell Monday night with a 7:00 pm tip-off at the Edmunds Center