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  • Steven Grandy / WCU

Catamounts Fall to Gardner-Webb Wednesday

Redshirt junior Tre Jackson led three players in double figures with 14 points, but Gardner-Webb used a strong first half to earn a 71-55 win over Western Carolina in nonconference action on Wednesday night on Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center.

Gardner-Webb improves to 2-5 while WCU drops to 4-4.

In addition to Jackson, Tyzhaun Claude and Vonterius Woolbright both scored 11 points. Jackson grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. Russell Jones Jr added eight points along with a game-best three steals.

Kareem Reid led four Gardner-Webb players in double figures with 15 points, followed by DQ Nicholas and Anthony Selden with 14 points each. Julien Soumaoro added 11 points. Lucas Stieber grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.

Tied at four with just under 17 minutes remaining in the opening half, the Runnin’ Bulldogs pushed their lead to 8-4 at the under-16 media timeout. After a Woolbright layup brought the Catamounts within two. 12-10, at the 12:08 mark, the Runnin’ Bulldogs went on a 7-0 spurt capped by three Soumaoro free throws for a 19-10 lead just shy of the midpoint of the half. Jackson’s 3-pointer with 8:43 remaining brought WCU within six, 21-15, before Gardner-Webb used a 9-2 run for a 30-17 advantage at the 5:17 mark. A Stieber three-point play in the waning seconds sent the Runnin’ Bulldogs into halftime with a 36-21 lead.

A pair of Seldon free throws gave the visitors a 47-28 lead with 15:31 to play in the second half. Jackson sank a 3-pointer with 11:20 to go to bring the Catamounts with 13, 53-40, but WCU got no closer the rest of the way.

Gardner-Webb held a 36-29 advantage in rebounds and outscored the Catamounts 44-16 in the paint. For the game, the Runnin’ Bulldogs finished 27-for-56 (48.2 percent) from the field, 4-for-16 (25 percent) behind the 3-point line, and 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) at the free throw line. WCU was 15-for-44 (34.1 percent) from the field, 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) on 3-point attempts, and 18-for-24 (75 percent) at the free throw line.

WCU remains at home Saturday, hosting USC Upstate at 5:30 p.m. in the second half of a basketball doubleheader with the Catamount women’s team who faces UAB at 2 p.m.

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