|by Brent Harris • November 19, 2010|
Wabash watched its 19-point second half half lead dwindle to seven against Earlham before a 16-5 run in the closing minutes of the game secured a 73-58 win for the Little Giants Friday night.
Wabash and the Quakers met in the second game of the 2010 Little Giant Tipoff Tournament, the first game between the two schools since Earlham departed the North Coast Athletic Conference this season. The Quakers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and led by as many as five points midway through the first half before Wabash tied the game at 171-7 with eight minutes remaining in the opening period. The Little Giants opened up a nine-point lead thanks to six points from senior Wes Smith. The lead stretched to 15 points with Smith and Aaron Zinnerman (left) accounting for six points in the closing minutes. A three-pointer from sophomore Evan Johnson helped Wabash to the huge halftime advantage.
The Little Giants maintained the double-digit lead until a three-pointer by Dustin Rusk, a steal by Ryan Taylor, and two free throws by Josh Green capped a 14-2 run for the Quakers, trimming the Wabash lead to seven. Smith, Zinnerman, and Ben Burkett rallied the Little Giants on offense, boosting the lead back to 21 with their own 16-2.
Smith led all scorers with a season-high 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting. He also grabbed five rebounds, made three steals and had one assist. Zinnerman tossed in a career-high 13 points along with six rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a blocked shot. Brian Shelbourne also had four assists, five rebounds, four points, and three steals. Derek Bailey came off the bench to grab eight boards, while Burkett also finished with eight rebounds and six points. AJ Suthlerlin scored in double figures, tallying 10 points against his former team in 14 minutes on the court.
Green led the Quakers with 18 points.
Wabash (2-0) will play Franklin College Saturday afternoon in the finale of the Classic. The Grizzlies lost 64-58 to DePauw University in the first game Friday night.