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In the wild, tigers tend to thrive in open spaces, where they can run and harness their freedom by utilizing their legs and God-given speed.

Bulldogs, on the other hand, not so much.The Tigers of Northwestern maintained the theory of thriving through running, using their up-tempo pace to outscore Northern Lehigh in a Colonial League battle to earn a 75-54 victory.Out of the gates, the winners looked to push the ball up court, and most often beat their opponent down the floor for layups. The Tigers built a 41-21 halftime lead that spelled certain doom for the 'Dawgs.Playing without Parker Jones, a starter and one of their top scorers, Northwestern head coach Billy Hallman realized the importance of playing to his team's strengths and taking advantage of his team's quickness."This win was important for us," Hallman said. "Every win is good, but after that Palmerton loss, we've been playing pretty well. We practice better and tonight we came out and we made some shots."I'm really happy with our transition game, the way we get up and down the floor."Brady Mengel and Rob Seyfried got the Tigers started early on as they hit for nine points apiece in the opening quarter."This was a big win for us, in terms of our league," Mengel said. "We really wanted to get this win tonight because each game is important."In the second quarter, Dustin Snyder's five points help the Tigers stretch their lead to 20 points at intermission."Tonight was just a good team win for us," Hallman said. "Obviously, we didn't have Parker (Jones, out with a hip injury), so everyone needed to step up their own games and they did. Sam Yadush stepped in and did a nice job for us, too."In the second half, the Tigers used a 9-0 run to make it 57-31 with just under three minutes to play in the third. However, Northern Lehigh reeled off 12 straight points to close out the third and open the fourth that closed the deficit to 57-43 with 6:51 remaining."We knew they could shoot the ball," Northern Lehigh head coach Jeff Miller said. "It was just a matter of getting stops and we couldn't get stops. We need to work on the defensive end and just keep trying to improve."The Tigers are now 3-3 (1-2 league) while Northern Lehigh drops to 1-6 (0-4 CL)."We have been playing some better basketball lately and we need to continue to work on rebounding if we want to keep it going," Hallman added. "Rebounding is key for us, because if we can get a stop, we get the rebound and go."TIGER BEATS ... Seyfried was a workhorse down low as his hustle and desire allowed him to score a game-high 18 points. Mengel dropped five triples on his way to 17 points. Dustin Snyder added 12 while Yadush had nine.KIBBLES AND BITS ... The Bulldogs were led by the tandem of Taz McNair and Hasan Mujovic in the point category. Mujovic tallied 16 with McNair hitting for 14. Senior David Shupp got off to a nice start, but early foul trouble limited his court time. Joe Egan added eight.NORTHWESTERNKemmerer 0-0-0-0, Hippensteel 0-0-0-0, Yadush 2-4-4-9, Mengel 6-0-1-17, Snyder 5-0-0-12, Fatzinger 2-0-1-3, Fager 1-0-0-2, McCann 4-0-2-8, Seyfried 8-2-3-18, Fenstermaker 0-0-0-0, Lobach 1-0-0-2, Hess 1-0-2-2. TOTALS: 30-6-13-75.NORTHERN LEHIGHMeixsell 1-0-4-3, Egan 4-0-2-8, Kemery 0-0-0-0, Shupp 2-0-0-5, McNair 3-8-12-14, Long 0-0-0-0, Hess 1-0-3-3, P. Kemery 0-1-2-1, Mujovic 6-1-2-16, Sullivan 0-0-0-0, Shoff 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-10-31-54.N'western 23 18 16 18 - 75No. Lehigh 11 10 17 16 - 54Three pointers: NW - Mengel 5, Snyder 2, Fatzinger 1, Yadush 1; NL - Mujovic 3, Meixsell 1, Shupp 1, Hess 1.

Northwestern's Rob Seyfried (32) lays up a shot over Northern Lehigh's David Shupp. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS