BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to help visiting Babson College rally for a 68-64 win at Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Kneller Gymnasium.
Babson, which extended its winning streak to four, improves to 9-6 overall and 4-0 in league play. Clark dropped its ninth straight conference game and is now 3-12 overall and 0-4 in the NEWMAC.
Oftring, who made his first career start in place of senior Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) went 7-of-9 from the floor, grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and dished out three assists for the Beavers. First-year Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) and sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) each scored 12 points, classmate Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Pa.) added eight on 3-of-4 shooting and senior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) led all players with five assists in the win.
First-year Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) scored 20 points, junior Luca McCormack (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) added 12 and classmate Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) added eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Cougars.
The first half featured four ties and nine lead changes with neither team leading by more than five. A three-point play by Ulrickson and a jumper from sophomore Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) gave the Green and White a 31-26 advantage at the 2:54 mark before Clark closed the half with a 7-2 run behind a pair of buckets from Converse to pull even at 33-33 going to the locker room.
Babson scored seven consecutive points to open the second half, but Clark answered with a 16-0 run to take a 49-40 lead, its biggest of the game, on a three-pointer by McCormick with 13:20 left. The Beavers came right back though as Oftring, Comenale and Coolahan hit triples as part of an 11-2 burst that tied the game at 51-all with 9:07 to play.
Oftring scored five straight points to put the Beavers in front for good at 60-55, Coolahan converted a three-point play and Oftring followed with another trifecta to make it 66-58 with 3:58 left. The Cougars pulled within two on a four-point play by first-year Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) with 1:57 remaining, but the Green and White got three straight stops and Jaworski got a run-out layup following an errant three-pointer by Grzembski with four seconds to go for the final margin.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as Babson visits Wheaton, while Clark travels to Coast Guard.
• The Beavers are now 32-38 all-time against Clark and have won 11 of the last 13 games between the teams.
• The win is the 42nd straight on Saturday and 27th in a row on the road in NEWMAC play for Babson. The Beavers also extended the second longest conference winning streak in Division III to 27 games.
• The Green and White, which shot 48.4 percent on Saturday, has finished with a shooting percentage better than 40 percent in 19 consecutive games going back to last year.
• Babson is 8-0 on the season when holding opponents below 72 points and 2-3 in games decided by five points or less.