Tashan Newsome scored 13 points and Donta Haper made a team-high five free throws in Gardner-Webb's 57-56 win over Delaware State on Saturday night.
Stefon Johnson had 12 and Mike Byron added 10 and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs (12-17) who shot 42.9 percent (21 of 49) in the Bracket Busters matchup.
Delaware State led 56-49 with just 2:50 left to play after Marques Oliver converted a layup. But Gardner-Webb scored six unanswered to cut the deficit to 56-55.
Harper knocked down two free throws with 10 seconds showing to seal the win.
Delaware State (12-12) was held scoreless over the final 3 minutes.
Gardner-Webb dominated the battle of the boards 39-21 and held the Hornets to just 1 of 12 beyond the arc.
Oliver paced Delaware State with 18 but the Hornets only made six free throws, compared to 14 for the Bulldogs.