BOILING SPRINGS, N.C – David Efianayi scored a game-high 28 and D.J. Laster added 14 points and 11 rebounds as Gardner-Webb posted a 93-70 victory over Brevard on Tuesday afternoon at Paul Porter Arena.
The Tornados (0-1) were led in the exhibition game by the duo of Divese Carson (17 points, seven rebounds) and JaMarquis Johnson (10 points). Brevard also got its offense in sync, rebounding from a difficult shooting performance in its season opener, as it knocked down 27-of-61 (44.3%) from the floor and 10-of-2 (35.7%) from beyond the arc against the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Gardner-Webb (2-3), which hit better than 55 percent from the floor in each half, finished the game 35-for-60 (58.3%) from the field and 10-of-20 (50%) from 3-point range. Efianayi was the leader among individuals, knocking down 10-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-11 at the free throw line. Laster finished 6-of-13 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, and climbed the glass for eight offensive rebounds.
Trailing by 14 points at the intermission, Brevard used sound defense and 3-pointers by Carson and Johnson in the opening minute of the contest to pull within nine. Senior Stevie Williams stepped up with a clutch layup, following a steal, to make for a 48-41 contest and force Gardner-Webb to burn a timeout.
The Runnin' Bulldogs used the services of Efianayi, who scored five of the team's next 14 points, as they assumed a 62-45 lead with 11:42 remaining.
Levi Lamb drove home a pair of 3-pointers and Markese Lynch added a long distance shot as Brevard made for a 76-58 contest with just under eight minutes remaining. Gardner-Webb eventually stretched the margin to 21, following a pair of layups by Efianayi, but Brevard retaliated with 3-pointers by Carson and Cannon Lamb to make for an 85-68 game.
The Runnin' Bulldogs closed out the game on an 8-2 run as Ke'Vel Kingsberry scored the final Brevard points in the setback.
The Runnin' Bulldogs established themselves early in the contest, streaking out to a 14-5 lead behind 11 points from Efianayi. A jumper by Demari Hopper coupled with a 3-pointer by Johnson allowed Brevard to trim the lead to six, 16-10.
A bucket by Gardner-Webb's Nate Johnson was not enough to derail the Tornado offense, which used a 3-pointer by Johnson and scores by Hopper and Williams to pull within three with 11:18 left on the clock.
An 18-6 run, highlighted by six points each by Efianayi and Patrick Zeck, allowed Gardner-Webb to stretch its lead to 33-21 with just over six minutes left in the frame. Carson knocked down a 3-pointer to get the Tornado offense back on track, but it was not enough as the Runnin' Bulldogs closed out the half by scoring 10 of the final 17 points.
Brevard returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 29 with it heads to Warren Wilson for a 7:30 p.m. contest.