BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Laron Buggs scored 17 points and Gardner-Webb took command early in a 64-60 win over High Point on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (11-20, 6-12 Big South Conference), who took a 24-0 lead, didn't allow a point until Earnest Bridges made two free throws for the Panthers (11-18, 7-11) with 9:52 left in the first half. It was Gardner-Webb's best start since jumping out to a 14-0 advantage at No. 20 Kentucky on Nov. 7, 2007.
Jon Moore added 12 for Gardner-Webb, which will face top-seeded Coastal Carolina on Tuesday in the first round of the conference tournament.
Gardner-Webb held High Point to 3-of-22 shooting and forced 21 Panthers' turnovers, 13 in the first half.
High Point responded with a 12-0 run to start the second half but never threatened.
Nick Barbour led High Point with 17 points and Shay Shine added 10.