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Gardner-Webb Preview

School: Gardner-Webb
Location: Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Nickname: Runnin’ Bulldogs
Confrence: Atlantic Sun
Last Season: 6-21

GARDNER-WEBB: The Bulldogs were woeful at the offensive end of the floor last season, and that was a big reason why the team lost 21 games a year ago. Unfortunately the leading scorer from the 2006-07 squad is gone, so it leaves the pressures of leading this unit solely on the shoulders of Thomas Sanders. Sanders averaged 11 ppg and also pulled down a team-best 7.0 rpg, but he can not be the lone scorer for the Bulldogs. The only other returning starter is Takayo Siddle, but he must improve drastically on offense, as the guard scored just 8.6 ppg, while shooting a pathetic 38.6 percent from the floor. Unfortunately, there is not much depth on the bench either, as the only players returning with much experience are Grayson Flittner and Matt French. Coach Rick Scruggs is hoping for newcomer Nate Blank to instantly step in and become a staple of this young squad.

Here is a recap by the AP from last nights win over Alabama A&M:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -Aaron Linn had 24 points and Gardner-Webb cruised to a 69-55 victory over Alabama A&M Tuesday in the first round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.

Gardner-Webb (1-0) advances to play No. 20 Kentucky on Wednesday night. The Wildcats beat Central Arkansas 67-40 in the other opening round game. Alabama A&M (0-1) will play Central Arkansas in the consolation matchup.

Linn was 3-of-6 from 3-point range, compared to 2-for-11 for the rest of the team.

Trailing 18-17 late in the first half, the Bulldogs scored the next six points, including two free throws by Linn that gave them the lead for good.

The sloppy game, played in front of just a scattering of fans at Rupp Arena awaiting the nightcap featuring Kentucky, included a combined 48 turnovers resulting in 33 points.

Alabama A&M hit just 35 percent of its shots from the field, compared with 36 percent for Gardner-Webb.

Gardner-Webb’s Thomas Sanders had a game-high 14 rebounds but was only 3-of-18 from the field.

No Alabama A&M player scored in double digits. Evan Hilton led the team with nine points, and Mickell Gladness had 10 rebounds.

The winner of the Lexington regional of the tournament benefiting Coaches Vs. Cancer will advance to the semifinals Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Oklahoma, Memphis and Connecticut are hosting the other regionals.

Article written by Shawn Bridwell