Women’s Basketball Set To Open 2021-22 Season At Vanderbilt Tuesday Night – Gardner Webb University Bulldogs - Techy Hunters

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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Women’s Basketball Set To Open 2021-22 Season At Vanderbilt Tuesday Night – Gardner Webb University Bulldogs

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Gardner-Webb Women’s Basketball team is set to open its 2021-22 season on the road on Tuesday night, as they take on SEC foe Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  The opening tip is set for 7 pm (CST) / 8 pm (EST) inside Memorial Gymnasium. 
 
Vanderbilt holds a 1-0 series edge over Gardner-Webb, as the Commodores defeated the Runnin’ Bulldogs by a score of 97-58 on December 20, 2020. 
 
Entering this season Gardner-Webb was voted fifth in the Big South Conference Preseason Poll (93 points, five third-place votes). Defending Big South Conference regular-season and tournament champion High point was named first in the preseason poll. 
 
Gardner-Webb concluded the 2020-21 season nationally ranked 12th or better in four different NCAA statistical categories and led the Big South in steals (12th, 283), steals per game (7th, 11.8), turnover margin (11th, 6.42), turnovers forced (6th, 22.17).
 
Gardner-Webb finished the 2020-21 season with a fourth-place finish in the Big South, wrapping up their season with a 75-58 loss to High Point in the semifinals of the Big South Conference Championship. 
 
Top Returners:
Sophomore Alasia Smith was named to the Big South Preseason Second-Team All-Conference team. The Johnson City, Tennessee native led the league in scoring with 11.3 points per game and led in offensive rebounds with four per game. Smith had three double-doubles and two games with 20+ points during the 2020-21 season. At the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, Smith had racked up five Big South Freshman of the Week honors and was the first Runnin’ Bulldog to be named Big South Freshman of the Year. Smith also wrapped up the year nationally ranked in five different NCAA categories, which include offensive rebounds per game (19th, 4.0), rebounds (93rd, 199), rebounds per game (107th, 8.3), steals (22nd, 65), and steals per game 24th, 2.71).
 
Senior  Jhessyka Williams finished the 2020-21 season ranked 17th or better in the NCAA and led the Big South in two statistical categories. Williams ranked in steals (15th, 68) and steals per game (17th,  2.83). At the conclusion of Big South’s play last season, Williams earned an All-Big South Honorable Mention. On the court, she averaged 12.3 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. Williams has also scored 20 plus points three times and had five or more steals four times this past season. 
 
Sharpshooter Junior Lauren Bevis led the team in scoring last season (13.0 ppg, 311 total) and from the 3-point range (36.4 %, 60-for-165). At the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, Bevis earned a spot on the All-Big South Second Team. Bevis also wrapped up the 2020-21 season ranked nationally in four different NCAA categories, which include 3-point field goals attempted (41st, 165), 3-point field goals made (33rd, 60), 3-point field goals per game (46th, 2.50), and 3-point field goal percentage (79th, 36.4). Bevis is also a third-generation student-athlete at Gardner-Webb. Her grandfather, Maurice Bevis, and father Shep Bevis were both members of the GWU football team during their time in Boiling Springs.
 
Junior Guard Ki’Ari Cain averaged 9.0 ppg last season for the Runnin’ Bulldogs during the 2020-21 season. Cain finished the 2020-21 season ranked nationally in two NCAA statistical categories, assist-turnover ratio (47th, 2.14), and assists per game (145th, 3.9).
 
Newcomers: 
This year’s roster features four newcomers, split between transfers and freshmen: L’Mia Littlejohn (Western Carolina), Sarah Matthews (Gulf Coast State College, NJCAA), Sharkara Anderson, and Layken Cox
 
On The Call: 
Tuesday night’s season opener will air live on SECN+ with Andrew Allegretta and Samantha Kincaid on the call.
 
For the latest on Gardner-Webb Women’s Basketball, follow @GWU_WBK on social media or visit GWUSports.com.
 
 
 

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