Gardner Webb head coach Tim Craft works with his team as they play against Pittsburgh during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
- Gardner-Webb is a 3.5-point road favorite over Hampton on Thursday in the finale of a two-game Big South conference series at the Hampton Convocation Center in Hampton, Va.
- The two teams met Wednesday afternoon with Hampton pulling an 80-69 upset as a 5.5-point underdog
- Hampton guard Davion Warren has scored 60 points combined in the last two games
Hampton will try to keep its perfect start going in Big South Conference play and go for the sweep when it hosts Gardner-Webb at 12 p.m. ET Thursday in the finale of a two-game series at the Hampton Convocation Center in Hampton, Va.
Hampton is 3-0 in the Big South after knocking off Gardner-Webb 80-69 on Wednesday afternoon as a 5.5-point underdog.
The Pirates also swept a two-game road set from Charleston Southern on Dec. 21-22 in their previous outings. They are 4-4 both straight up and against the spread.
Wednesday was the conference opener for Gardner-Webb, which is 1-5 SU and 3-3 ATS.
Gardner Webb vs Hampton Odds
|Gardner-Webb||-178||-3.5 (-114)||Ove 146.5 (-105)|
|Hampton||+150||+3.5 (-106)||Under 146.5 (-115)|
Odds taken Dec. 31 from FanDuel
Hampton’s Warren Red Hot
Senior guard Davion Warren has emerged as Hampton’s best player following the loss of two all-Big South selections from last year’s team.
Davion Warren come fly with me! @__1Dreamchaser
We 👀 you! pic.twitter.com/tnOwENYe1d
— Mike Burris (@occ11) February 12, 2020
Warren had a career-high 31 points on Wednesday after scoring 29 when the Pirates slipped past Charleston Southern 70-68 as 3.5-point underdogs.
Warren also had a fine game in Hampton’s 67-55 victory over Charleston Southern a day earlier as a 4.5-point underdog. Warren finished with 15 points, six rebounds and five steals.
Through eight games, Warren is stuffing the stat sheet with averages of 19.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals.
Three other Pirates also have double-figure scoring averages: sophomore guard Chris Shelton (13.6), sophomore guard Russell “Deuce” Dean (10.4) and senior forward Edward Oliver-Hampton (10.0).
Shelton also had a career-high in points Wednesday with 22.
Dean is also averaging 7.5, including a career-best 14 on Wednesday. Dean also made 1he game-winning field goal at the buzzer in the two-point win at Charleston Southern.
@Hampton_MBB is still adjusting to their new pieces, a period Joyner said in preseason could last until the conference tournament, writes @Ray_Nimmo .
But a potential 4-0 conference start is a good omen.https://t.co/0VR7qGUPzU
— Greg Giesen (@FGGiesen) December 29, 2020
Oliver-Hampton has a team-high 7.7 rebounding average. He recorded a double-double in the first game with Charleston Southern, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds Tracker
Gardner-Webb Loves The 3
Gardner-Webb’s season did not start until Dec. 10 because of COVID-19 issues and the Runnin’ Bulldogs have yet to get completely in sync.
Gardner-Webb did hang tough on the road against ACC power Florida State in its last game before losing 72-59 as a 20.5-point underdog on Dec. 21, its last game prior to Wednesday. The Bulldogs’ upset bid hopes ended when they failed to score in the final 2:42.
Anthony Polite had a career-high 15 pts and Balsa Koprivica added 14 in a W over Gardner-Webb 🍢@FSUHoops | #ACCMBBpic.twitter.com/ZmFaTPP7IP
— ACC Men’s Basketball (@accmbb) December 22, 2020
Somewhat surprisingly, Gardner-Webb shot just 27% from 3-point range, knocking down nine of 33 shots. Shooting the three has been the Bulldogs’ strength as they have made 36.9% of their tries from behind the line.
Sophomore guard Jason Terry is shooting 48.1% from long range and leads the team in scoring with 13.4 points a game. Terry had 23 points against Florida State, but no other Gardner-Webb player finished with more than seven.
Terry then had 26 points against Hampton, the most of his career.
Terry has come back strong after missing the second half of last season with a broken foot.
Lance Terry has come into his own as a sophomore at Gardner-Webb. He’s the Bulldogs leading scorer with an average of 13.6 PPG, connecting on 48.1% of his attempts from 3-point land. Most recently put up 23 points against 21st ranked Florida State.@CoachRome4 @THS_HawksMBB pic.twitter.com/qSxiX7Jmkx
— Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14) December 27, 2020
Florida State also dominated the boards with a 53-30 rebounding edge.
Senior guard Jaheam Cornwell combines with Terry to give Gardner-Webb a formidable backcourt tandem. Cornwell is averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 5.6 assists but was 3 for 15 from the field Wednesday.
Another of Gardner-Webb’s losses has also been to an ACC team as it lost 67-50 at Pittsburgh.
The teams split their two games last season with each winning on its home floor.
Gardner-Webb covered the 7.5-point spread in an 81-67 victory and Hampton pulled an 87-77 upset as a five-point underdog.
Warren had a combined 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Pirates in the two games while Cornwall scored 26 points for the Bulldogs.
While Gardner-Webb is struggling, the Bulldogs have too much talent not to start turning the tide. The last day of 2020 would be as good as any to change the direction of their season
Pick: Gardner-Webb -3.5 (-114)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.