CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Junior Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) made a career-high 14 free throws and paced five players in double figures with 27 points to help 20th-ranked Babson College defeat MIT, 94-80, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Rockwell Cage.
With its ninth consecutive win, Babson ends the regular season at 19-5 overall and 13-1 in conference play, while MIT, which is ninth in the most recent NCAA regional rankings, slips to 19-6 and 10-4 in the NEWMAC.
Flannery added five assists and four rebounds, sophomore Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) contributed 16 points and nine boards, and junior Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) chipped in with 16 points and two steals. Classmate Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) scored 13 points and sophomore Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) added 10 as Babson surpassed 90 points for the eighth time this season.
First-year Adam Jurko (Weston, Fla.) scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Engineers. Senior Lampros Tsontzos (Amarousion, Greece) added 15 on 7-of-7 shooting and classmate Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) scored 15 but was just 4-of-16 from the floor.
The Green and White scored on eight of its first 11 possessions and opened a 17-8 lead a little over five minutes into the contest. MIT twice got within a point, but the Beavers ripped off a 9-0 run to push their advantage to 30-20 on a hoop by Jacks at the 8:40 mark. Babson extended its lead to as many as 12 in the first half and took a 47-39 lead into the locker room after shooting 59.4 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
Back-to-back hoops by junior David Stauffer (York, Pa.) helped the Beavers regain a 12-point lead just over two minutes into the second half. Flannery drained a triple from the left wing to make it 63-50 and then found Rice for a run-out layup on possession later as the Green and White were in control up 65-50 with 12:41 to go in the game.
Jurko, who scored 14 of the Engineers' first 20 second-half points, buried a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 71-60 with 9:54 left, but Babson responded with an 8-0 burst. Flannery made four straight at the line and then followed Rice's layup with a dunk to give the Beavers their biggest lead of the game at 79-60 with 6:17 remaining. MIT got as close as seven in the final three minutes, but Comenale connected on a key three-pointer and the Green and White went 10-of-10 at the charity stripe over the final 1:21 to seal the win.
The Beavers shot 50.8 percent (33-of-65) from the floor and were 24-of-29 at the free throw line. They also finished with a 36-33 edge on the glass and scored 19 points off of 12 MIT turnovers.
The Engineers shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53), but were held to just 5-of-21 from beyond the arc.
Babson, which earned the top seed in the NEWMAC Tournament for the second year in a row will host either fourth-seeded Springfield or fifth-seeded Emerson in the first of two semifinal contests next Saturday at 12 p.m. Third-seeded MIT will take on second-seeded WPI in the second semifinal at 2:30 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 50-20 all-time against MIT and have won six of the last seven in the series.
• Babson has won 18 straight NEWMAC road games and 23 consecutive Saturday games.
• The Beavers, who have won 26 of their last 28 against league foes, are the first team NEWMAC squad since 2009 to go through conference play with just one loss in back-to-back seasons.
• Babson is 11-0 this season and has won 18 games in a row when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.