The 7-foot sophomore used his large frame to his advantage as Northwestern (4-2) won its third straight game.
The Wildcats made 11 of their first 15 shots in the second half to break the game open.
Junior JerShon Cobb, who hit the game-winner with 2.3 seconds left Friday against IUPUI, penetrated Gardner-Webb's defense consistently to open things up for the Wildcats. He finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Drew Crawford had 15 points and eight boards for Northwestern. The senior played the entire second half with three fouls. He was limited in the first half after committing two fouls in the first three minutes.
Both teams were cold from the floor out of the gate.
Northwestern hit just one of its first 10 3-point attempts in the first half until Tre Demps drained one from the corner with :07 left to give the Wildcats a 28-25 halftime advantage.
Gardner-Webb (2-4) used an 11-2 run late in the first half to stay in the game, despite shooting just 29.2 percent from the floor and 58.8 from the free throw line in the first ever meeting between the two schools.
The Runnin' Bulldogs found a rhythm from the floor to keep the deficit around 10 points throughout the second half, but couldn't make the extra push.
Tyrell Nelson led Gardner-Webb with 14 points, 10 of which were scored in the second half.
Senior Naji Hibbert, a Texas A&M transfer, had 13 points for Gardner-Webb. He has scored in double-digits his last four games.