Boiling Springs, N.C. - The
Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs' season was one of rebuilding, as the women's
basketball team had eight freshmen and nine newcomers on the roster, which
included only six returners from last year's 2011 Big South Championship
lost their top-five scorers and over 84 percent of their scoring from a year
ago, averaged only 50.8 points per game and finished the season at 4-25 overall
and 3-15 in conference play. While
their 3-15 conference record placed them in a tie with UNC Asheville for the
eighth and final spot in the 2012 Advance Auto Parts Big South Women's
Basketball Championship Tournament, the Asheville Bulldogs held the tiebreaker
which forced the Runnin' Bulldogs out of the tournament.
time that the Runnin' Bulldogs did not make the postseason conference
tournament was back in 2004-05, head coach Rick Reeves' first season at GWU,
while this season also marked the first time that Gardner-Webb did not play in
the Big South Championship game since joining the Big South in 2008.
the season the Runnin' Bulldogs showed glimpses of what is to come, as GWU's
young squad posted a number of game-high marks on the year. Twice GWU posted a team-high 62.5
percent three-point percentage in a game, which ranks fifth overall in their
Division I history, while their 32 made free throws against Coastal Carolina on
January 9th ranks as the second most made free throws by a GWU team in a single
game in the program's 12-year DI history.
the Runnin' Bulldogs' season average of 9.1 steals per game ranks fifth
all-time in their single-season Division I history, while four different
players posted top-five marks in GWU's Division I game-highs record book during
the season in areas such as most three-pointers made in a game, most free
throws made in a game, highest free throw percentage in a game, most offensive
rebounds in a game, most defensive rebounds in a game and most blocked shots in
center Catrina Green, who was named to the College Sports Madness Big South
All-Conference Second-Team, led the Runnin' Bulldogs in both scoring and
rebounding at 11.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The sophomore from Greensboro, N.C. posted a team-high
48 blocks, which placed her in a tie with Brittany Harmon (2003-04) for the
most blocks in a single-season in GWU's Division I history, while her 128
offensive rebounds ranks as the second most offensive boards by a GWU player in
a single season in the Runnin' Bulldogs' Division I history. The starting
center for the Runnin' Bulldogs all season long led GWU in scoring in 16
different contests and rebounding in 18 different games, posting 10
double-doubles on the season. Green poured in a career-high 22 points in
the loss at Asheville and hauled in a career-high 16 rebounds twice on the
Brianna Dillard, who was named the Big South Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year and
earned a spot on the Big South All-Academic Team for the second straight
season, led the team with 61 steals on the year, which ranks fourth for the
most steals by a single player in a single season in GWU's Division I
history. Dillard, who also led the team in assists with 59 on the season,
was third on the team with 5.6 rebounds per game and fourth in scoring with 5.9
points per game. Dillard posted a season-high 17 points in the Runnin'
Bulldogs' overtime win at Radford and hauled in a career-high 13 rebounds in
the loss at Longwood.
the tough losses, the Runnin' Bulldogs will look to grow from this year's
experiences, which included four games against top-25 preseason teams in North
Carolina, Duke, Southern California and Louisville, as well as road games at
Davidson, Lipscomb and Longwood on top of a very challenging Big South
opened up their very tough 2011-12 schedule with a loss at #19 North Carolina
on November 12th. The loss
spearheaded a series of losses for GWU, as the Runnin' Bulldogs suffered
back-to-back home losses to Kennesaw State and Appalachian State, before
falling on the road at Davidson to fall to 0-4 before the Thanksgiving break.
the Thanksgiving break, GWU traveled to the Bahamas where the Runnin' Bulldogs
competed at the 2011 Junkanoo Jam.
There, head coach Rick Reeves' squad fell to #6 Duke and the Pac-12's
Southern California, dropping to 0-6 to start the season.
a tough home loss to Wofford and back-to-back road losses at #13 Louisville and
former Atlantic Sun foe Lipscomb, the Runnin' Bulldogs returned after Christmas
break to post a 56-45 road win over North Carolina Central on December 28th,
their first win of the season.
their very next contest, the Runnin' Bulldogs opened up conference play at
Campbell University, which was a battle from start to finish. Despite their effort, the Runnin'
Bulldogs fell to the Fighting Camels, 62-52, and thus started their conference
slate with a loss.
conference struggles continued, as the Runnin' Bulldogs dropped back-to-back
Big South contests at High Point and at home versus Charleston Southern to fall
to 0-3 in conference play.
to throw in the white towel, Gardner-Webb bounced back to defeat Coastal
Carolina at home, 73-63, on January 9th, to record their first Big South
Conference win of the season.
the Runnin' Bulldogs would drop their next nine games, all of which came in Big
South play, including a 59-57 overtime loss at home to Presbyterian, to fall to
2-21 overall and 1-11 in conference play.
Runnin' Bulldogs snapped the losing streak with a home win over UNC Asheville,
69-52, on February 18th, yet suffered losses to both Longwood and Liberty the
GWU's final road game of the season, the Runnin' Bulldogs held off the Radford
Highlanders for a 59-55 overtime win in Radford, Va., on February 27th to place
them in a tie with the Asheville Bulldogs.
need of a win to help secure themselves a place in the 2012 Big South Women's
Basketball Championship Tournament, the Runnin' Bulldogs came up just short,
suffering a 66-46 home loss to High Point and a 64-51 home loss to Campbell to
end their season.
Dillard and fellow senior Breynna Winkler will be gone next season due to
graduation, the future looks bright for a young Runnin' Bulldog squad that is
set to return four starters and 13 total players that all saw important playing
time this season, gaining valuable experience which head coach Rick Reeves and
his squad hopes will carry over into next year.