Jon Moore scored 32 points and Gardner-Webb defeated Mercer 78-65 on Sunday.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (5-3) trailed 15-8 early in the subregional round of the Legends Classic. They then went on a 17-2 run to make it 25-17 on two Mike Byron free throws with 7:41 left until halftime.
Gardner-Webb wouldn't trail the rest of the way, pushing its lead to as many as 17 three times in the second half.
Moore was 11 of 13 from the free-throw line as the Runnin' Bulldogs shot 73 percent from the line for the game (27 of 37).
Luke Davis chipped in nine points and six assists for the Runnin' Bulldogs, who had 13 players get at least one minute of playing time.
Langston Hall led the Bears (2-5) with 15 points. Brandon Moore had 13 and Jeff Smith added 10 for Mercer.