Tyrell Nelson scored 15 points as South division No. 3 seed Gardner-Webb handled North division No. 6 seed Longwood 81-65 in the first round of the Big South Conference tournament on Wednesday night.

Gardner-Webb (18-14) had six players score in double figures, shot 56.9 percent from the field and hit 6 of 13 from 3-point range. The Runnin' Bulldogs built a 39-26 halftime advantage over Longwood (8-24) and led by as many as 23 in the second half.

Onzie Branch added 13 points for Gardner-Webb while Jerome Hill and Tyler Strange each finished with 12 apiece, Jarvis Davis had 11 and Donta Harper scored 10. Strange hit 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. The Runnin' Bulldogs held a 42-22 rebounding advantage, led by Hill with 16.

Tristan Carey led Longwood with 18 points.

Gardner-Webb advances to play North No. 2 seed VMI in the quarterfinals on Friday night.