Nevin Zink scored on a dunk for South Carolina Upstate to tie the game at 48 with 6:27 remaining. Efianayi scored eight points during a 15-8 surge and the Bulldogs led 63-56 with 1:20 to play. The Spartans had a turnover then missed three of their last four shots in the final minute.
Gardner-Webb (11-6, 1-1 Big South Conference) rebounded from a 72-61 loss at Campbell on Jan. 5 that broke an eight-game win streak. South Carolina Upstate (5-13, 0-3) has lost five of its last six.
Efianayi was 6 of 10 from the floor and Nate Johnson added 12 points. The duo made five of the Bulldogs' seven 3-pointers. DJ Laster chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Zink had 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead the Spartans.
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