Beavers Clinch First Back-To-Back NEWMAC Regular-Season Titles Since 1996
NEW LONDON, Conn.—Junior Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) scored a game-high 22 points, while sophomore Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) recorded his first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds as 20th-ranked Babson College defeated the Coast Guard Academy, 80-73, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Wednesday night at Roland Hall.
With its eighth straight win, Babson (18-5, 12-1 NEWMAC) clinched its second consecutive regular-season conference title and locked up the top seed in next week's conference tournament. Coast Guard slips to 10-13 overall and 4-9 in the NEWMAC.
Flannery went 9-of-9 at the free throw line and Comenale drained a career-high five three-pointers to lead the Beavers, who also got 14 points and four assists from junior Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.). Sophomore Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) added 12 points and five rebounds, while junior Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) chipped in with a career-best 12 boards in the win.
Senior Kevin Alvarez (Key Biscayne, Fla.) paced four Bears in double figures with 17 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Darius Adams (Nassau, Bahamas) added 15 points and eight boards.
The Green and White led wire-to-wire, scoring the game's first eight points and leading by as many as 19 in the opening 10 minutes. Bohmiller knocked down a triple to make it 11-2 just over three minutes in, and Comenale followed with back-to-back three-pointers to push the lead to 21-5 at the 13:54 mark. Alvarez answered with a trey for Coast Guard, but the Beavers ripped off six consecutive points to take its biggest lead of the night at 27-8 with 10:49 to go in the first half.
The Bears trailed 38-26 at halftime and got within eight on a bucket by Devon Zych (Oswego, Ill.) just over a minute into the second half. Babson responded though, as Flannery pushed the lead back to double figures with a three-point play at the 14:48 mark, and Comenale finished off a 13-4 run with back-to-back treys to make it 59-41 with 11:44 to go in the game.
The Beavers made just two field goals over the final 11 minutes, but went 16-of-24 from the charity stripe down the stretch as Coast Guard never got closer than six.
Babson shot 40.7 percent (24-of-59) overall from the field and finished 8-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Beavers also went 24-of-34 at the free throw line.
The Bears shot just 38.2 percent (26-of-68) and were held to 7-of-24 from three-point range. They also finished with a 46-38 edge on the glass.
Both teams wrap up the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. as Babson visits regionally-ranked MIT, while Coast Guard travels to Springfield.
• The Beavers are 50-26 all-time against Coast Guard and have won 11 straight in the series going back to 2011.
• Babson has won 17 straight road games against NEWMAC foes going back to February 2014.
• The Green and White is 10-1 this season when making at least seven three-point field goals.
• During the Beavers' eight-game winning streak, Comenale has averaged 13.0 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from three-point range.