Runnin’ Bulldogs top UNC Asheville, 70-56, Thursday night in key Big South road win

Runnin’ Bulldogs top UNC Asheville, 70-56, Thursday night in key Big South road win
Gardner-Webb Basketball (Source: Wimberly, Nate)

Press release provided by Gardner-Webb

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Gardner-Webb’s New York City trio of Jose Perez, Jaheam Cornwall and Kareem Reid combined for 42 points Thursday night to lead the Runnin’ Bulldogs to a 70-56 win at UNC Asheville.

Gardner-Webb (8-12, 4-4 Big South) used a 14-3 run midway through the second half to pull away for their fourth-straight win in the series.

Perez led the ‘Dogs with 17 points, Cornwall netted 14 points and Reid made all five of his shot attempts for 11 points in a comfortable road win. Eric Jamison, Jr., also scored 14 for Gardner-Webb, which shot 50.9 percent from the floor (28-of-55) and 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from long range.

The 6-foot-9 Reid scored eight of his 11 points in the decisive second half run, which saw Gardner-Webb open up a 57-40 lead with 9:17 to play. GWU made 7-of-9 shots during the five-minute stretch.

Gardner-Webb continued to press forward, stretching its lead to 62-42 with 7:30 to play in the game.

Reid’s old-fashioned three-point play with 4:55 to play in the first half gave Gardner-Webb the lead for good, and the ‘Dogs stretched the margin to 29-23 on a Jamison layup with 1:37 left in the opening half. A late dunk by Asheville’s Taijon Jones cut Gardner-Webb’s lead to 29-25 at the break.

A 6-0 run by Gardner-Webb out of the locker room pushed the lead quickly to double figures, with Cornwall’s three-pointer at the 18:45 mark giving the ‘Dogs a 35-25 advantage.

Asheville was able to work the margin back down to five on a Coty Jute jumper with 17:17 left, but Gardner-Webb responded with a pair of three-pointers from Perez and Christian Turner to extend the lead – which was followed soon after by the decisive 14-3 spurt that effectively put the game away.

In addition to his 17 points, Perez had another strong floor game with seven rebounds and six assists in 34 minutes. The Bronx, N.Y., sophomore was 3-of-3 from long range. Cornwall, the junior from Brooklyn, N.Y., was 5-of-9 from the floor and made 4-of-7 from deep. He added three assists. Reid, a freshman from Queens, N.Y., converted each of his five field goal chances from inside the paint and knocked down his only free throw. He added four rebounds and a pair of steals in just 15 minutes of action.

UNC Asheville’s Bulldogs shot 42.9 percent for the game (24-of-56), but made just 3-of-16 shots from long distance (18.8 percent) and 5-of-10 free throws. L.J. Thorpe led all scorers with 18 points, DeVon Baker added 15 and Lavar Batts scored nine.

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