Gardner-Webb uses big run to defeat Wake Forest 73-69

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - David Efianayi scored 15 points, Jose Perez added 14, and Gardner-Webb beat Wake Forest 73-69 on Saturday.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (10-5) took control of what had been a close game with a 19-2 run in the middle of the second half. D.J. Laster scored eight of his 12 points during that span of 7:42, which saw the visitors turn a 5-point deficit into a 54-42 lead.

A late flurry from the Demon Deacons, who struggled offensively all day, was not enough. A trio of free throws from Brandon Childress got the hosts back within 72-69 with 7.6 seconds left.

But Gardner-Webb's sterling performance at the foul line, where they made 35 of 40 attempts (88 percent), derailed any hopes the Deacons held for a late comeback.

For Wake Forest (6-5), Childress scored 18 and Chaundee Brown, Torry Johnson and Jaylen Hoard each added 12 points. Hoard, the team's freshman star, fouled out as Gardner-Webb's decisive run was nearing its end with 4:49 to play.

There were 55 fouls, 77 free throw attempts, 74 rebounds and 35 turnovers in the game.

BIG PICTURE

Gardner-Webb: The visitors extended their winning streak to eight. That includes a pair of road wins against Atlantic Coast Conference foes, as the Runnin' Bulldogs knocked off Georgia Tech 79-69 on Dec. 17. They should be a contender in the Big South Conference.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons hardly entered the season with lofty expectations, as they were picked to finish 14th in the 15-team ACC. But even that might be tough to manage. They dropped their second home game to an opponent from outside the power conferences, having previously lost 93-91 in overtime to Houston Baptist on Nov. 23.

UP NEXT

Gardner-Webb: Opens Big South play at Campbell next Saturday.

Wake Forest: Concludes its non-conference schedule when it hosts Cornell on Wednesday.