SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- A 17-4 run over the final eight minutes of the first half staked Wittenberg to a 12-point halftime lead, and the Tigers kept the defensive pressure on from there en route to a 61-43 victory against visiting Wabash.

TOP 25 SCORES
No. 5 UW-Whitewater 62, UW-Oshkosh 45
No. 10 Cabrini 78, Gwynedd-Mercy
No. 11 UW-Stevens Point 71, UW-Platteville 57
No. 13 Franklin & Marshall 65, Dickinson 62
No. 18 William Paterson 72, New Jersey City 58
No. 21 Wittenberg 61, No. 16 Wabash 43
No. 24 Wooster 73, Allegheny 51

Wittenberg held Wabash 23 points below its season average in moving two games clear of the Little Giants in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regular season standings. The 43 points allowed were a season-best for the Tigers, who improved to 13-3 overall and 7-0 in the conference as they neared the midway point of the regular season title chase.

The Little Giants started out well enough, taking an 11-8 lead in the early going. After a layup by Aaron Zinnerman at the 9:06 mark of the first half, Wabash was shooting 67 percent from the field and leading the Tigers by one point.

It was all Wittenberg from that point on, however, starting with a jumper by senior Jacob Weide two minutes later. That jumpstarted the 17-4 burst as six different Tigers scored at least one point.

Wabash then went nearly six minutes without a point to start the second half -- by then the lead had stretched to 20 points. The Tigers pushed the advantage out to as many as 25 points before both teams emptied the bench. As Wittenberg missed six consecutive free throws in the final two minutes, Wabash closed with two fast break baskets to account for the final margin.

Wittenberg won the rebounding battle 33-25 and committed three less turnovers. Offensively, the Tigers shot 48 percent from the field, including an efficient 5-of-13 from 3-point range, and they outscored Wabash by 15 from the free throw line. The Little Giants finished with a 38 percent shooting, including just 4-of-22 from long distance.

Senior Clayton Black led both teams with 16 points, pushing his career total to 983. Sophomore Zack Leahy added 13 points off the bench.