- By David Jablonski Staff Writer
The No. 10 Wittenberg Tigers beat their biggest rival, Wooster, on the road at Timken Gymnasium for the first time since 2011, pulling away in the final minutes for an 86-75 victory Saturday.
Jake Bertemes led the Tigers with 22 points. Jordan Pumroy scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Chad Roy had 18 points. Landon Martin scored 13 points off the bench.
Wittenberg had lost three straight games to Wooster and 11 of its last 12. The Tigers had lost seven straight games at Wooster. This was the first victory against Wooster for second-year Wittenberg coach Matt Croci.
The Tigers improved to 15-0 and 8-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference with 10 regular-season games remaining. They own a two-game lead over Ohio Wesleyan (11-4, 6-2) and Hiram (10-5, 6-2) and a three-game lead over Wooster (11-4, 5-3).
Wittenberg shot 53.8 percent from the field (28 of 52) and 50 percent from 3-point range (6 of 12). It made 24 of 32 free throws (75 percent).
Wittenberg seized control with a 12-2 run in the final six minutes, turning a 63-62 lead into a 75-64 advantage with 2:47 to play. Pumroy scored eight points in that run and capped the run with a 4-point play. He was fouled on a 3-point attempt, made the first two free throws, missed the third and then rebounded his own missed free throw and scored on a layup.
The Tigers trailed by as many as nine points in the first half. They got back in the game with a 9-2 run to end the half and faced a 38-36 halftime deficit.
Wittenberg plays Ohio Wesleyan at home at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.