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Gardner-Webb knocks off Hampton, moves to 2-0 in Big South play

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

Anthony Selden (23) scored a career-high 20 in Saturday's win. (Photo: Brian Wilmer/College Hoops Digest)

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – 2-0 is a nice number. The last time Gardner-Webb started by winning both of their first two league games was during the 2017-18 campaign.

Gardner-Webb battled a tough Hampton team Saturday, but in the end, a career-high from Anthony Selden and efficient offensive effort produced that 2-0 number. The Runnin’ Bulldogs knocked off the Pirates, 78-69, at Paul Porter Arena.

“From the offensive standpoint, I thought we played really well,” Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said after the game. “We had a real purpose to getting into the paint and trying to finish around the rim. We only took 17 threes. We usually shoot more threes than that – probably eight to 10 more than that.”

Hampton (4-8, 0-1 Big South) broke the seal with back-to-back Najee Garvin triples that gave the visitors the largest lead they would enjoy on the day. Gardner-Webb (8-7, 2-0) got consecutive treys from Julien Soumaoro and Leon Williams to seize the lead at 15-13 with 11:55 remaining in the first half. D’Maurian Williams then dropped a try from distance to extend the lead to five. The Pirates worked it back within a bucket on a Deuce Dean jumper but fell behind by a 40-35 spread at the interval. Gardner-Webb knocked down 68.2 percent (15-for-23) of its tries in the opening stanza, including 7-of-9 from distance.

The Pirates again jumped ahead on a Dean free throw with 18:23 to play, only for the Runnin’ Bulldogs to recapture it on a Selden bucket off the window that provided his career-high. Reserve center Christian Alexander then knocked home two free throws to extend the advantage to two possessions. Selden later banked one home in traffic with 13:25 to play that put the Runnin’ Bulldogs ahead by 10 and compelled a Buck Joyner timeout.

Kareem Reid put back a Selden miss in the paint to give the ‘Dogs their biggest advantage of the day to that point at the 9:44 mark, putting Gardner-Webb ahead, 62-51. Dean drained a triple that knifed the home side’s lead to six with 8:59 to play, setting the stage for what appeared to be a close finish.

Gardner-Webb had other ideas, though.

The Pirates got within six on a couple additional occasions, but never drew closer. The Runnin’ Bulldogs got three Soumaoro free throws to push the lead back to nine, followed by a Lance Terry trey at the 4:40 mark that extended the lead to 12 and served as an essential dagger. Terry made a layup to extend the lead to 14 on the ensuing possession. Hampton never again drew closer than nine before the final horn.

“9-for-17 from the three-point line is probably the best we’ve shot it this year, in terms of our efficiency,” Craft said. “Lance Terry made a big one late. Anthony Selden was pretty good all night. We were pretty efficient – that means we probably took pretty good shots.”

The Runnin’ Bulldogs shot 27-of-50 from the floor (54 percent) to go along with the offensive efficiency Craft mentioned. Gardner-Webb added 15-of-21 free throws (71.4 percent). Selden finished with 20 to lead all Runnin’ Bulldog scorers. Terry added 16, with D’Maurian Williams contributing 11.

“The basket was looking like the ocean for all of us,” Selden said. “Every time I shot or my teammates shot, I felt like it was going in. I get in trouble for not crashing the glass, but sometimes I just feel it. I know when it’s going for my teammates.”

Dean’s 27 led Hampton and all scorers. The sophomore from Columbia, South Carolina, hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor (3-of-6 from three) and all 12 of his free throw tries.

Garvin added 20, with DeAngelo Epps tallying 13. The Pirates finished 17-of-47 from the floor (36.2 percent) but hit 27-of-35 attempts from the charity stripe (77.1 percent) to bolster their scoring.

The teams return to the floor Wednesday. Hampton travels to former MEAC and now Big South rival North Carolina A&T. Tip time in the Corbett Center is slated for 7:00. Gardner-Webb hosts Presbyterian, also in a conference game. That contest is set to start at 7:00.


HAMPTON (4-8, 0-1 BIG SOUTH): Garvin 5-15 9-13 20, Epps 4-7 3-4 13, Dean 6-11 12-12 27, Bethea 0-2 2-3 2, Nesbitt 2-9 0-0 6, Godwin 0-1 0-0 0, Wiley 0-2 1-3 1, Therrien 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-47 27-35 69.

GARDNER-WEBB (8-7, 2-0): Reid 3-6 0-1 6, Dufeal 2-3 2-2 6, Terry 6-12 2-2 16, D. Williams 3-8 3-4 11, Z. Williams 2-3 0-0 4, Selden 8-10 1-2 20, Sears 1-2 0-0 2, Soumaoro 1-4 4-6 7, L. Williams 1-2 0-0 3, Alexander 0-0 3-4 3. Totals 27-50 15-21 78.

Halftime — Gardner-Webb 40-35. 3-Point Goals—Gardner-Webb 9-17 (Dufeal 0-1, Terry 2-3, D. Williams 2-3, Z. Williams 0-1, Selden 3-4, Soumaoro 1-4, L. Williams 1-1), Hampton 8-22 (Garvin 1-4, Epps 2-3, Dean 3-5, Nesbitt 2-6, Godwin 0-1, Wiley 0-2). Fouled Out — Dean (HU), Z. Williams (GWU). Rebounds — Gardner-Webb 36 (Reid 9), Hampton 24 (Epps 6). Assists —Gardner-Webb 13 (D. Williams/Selden 3), Hampton 10 (Garvin 5). Total Fouls — Gardner-Webb 24, Hampton 18. Technical — Dean (HU), Sears (GWU), Z. Williams (GWU). A —238.


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