Men's Basketball

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Men’s Basketball Hands No. 19 Amherst First Loss, 68-55

Men’s Basketball Hands No. 19 Amherst First Loss, 68-55

Beavers Use Suffocating Defense, Balanced Attack to Win for Third Time in Last Four Trips to LeFrak Gymnasium

AMHERST, Mass.—Junior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) scored 12 points and visiting Babson College held No. 19 Amherst College to just 33.8 percent shooting on its way to a 68-55 victory over the Mammoths in non-college men's basketball action on Thursday night inside LeFrak Gymnasium.

Babson, which has won in three of its last four trips to LeFrak, improves to 6-3 overall, while Amherst, which was held nearly 40 points below its early-season scoring average, drops to 5-1 on the year.

Senior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) finished with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds, junior Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Pa.) added eight points and seven boards in his first career start, and first-year Colin Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) contributed eight points, six caroms, three steals and two blocks for the Beavers. Sophomore Matt Pattyson (Doylestown, Pa.) also had eight points and junior Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) scored six of his seven points in the first half.

Sophomore Grant Robinson (McLean, Va.) finished with 17 points on 8-of-19 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two steals to lead the Mammoths, who went just 2-of-20 (10 percent) from beyond the arc. Junior Josh Chery (West Orange, N.J.) added eight points and three assists in the loss.

There were three ties and four lead changes over the first eight minutes before the Green and White gained separation with a 14-0 run. Amherst was held scoreless for 8:42 and six different players scored for the Beavers as they took their biggest lead of the half on a bucket by junior Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) that made it 27-16 at the 5:01 mark.

Babson led 32-24 at the break but Robinson, Chery and senior Dylan Groff (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored four points apiece as the Mammoths pulled event at 43-43 with 12:28 to go in the second half. Chery and junior Eric Sellew (Carlisle, Mass.) scored on back-to-back possessions to give Amherst a 50-47 advantage with 9:22 to go, but the Beavers responded with an 18-2 run over the next seven-plus minutes to regain control of the game.

Bradanese scored four straight points to make it 51-50, Pattyson drilled a three-pointer from the right wing, and first-year James Welch (Needham, Mass.) followed a free throw by Oftring with another triple to extend the margin to 58-50 with 4:38 left. Oftring and Bradanese converted layups and Coolahan and Pattyson combined to go 3-of-4 at the free throw line as Babson pushed its lead to 65-52 with 2:04 to play.

The Beavers shot 41.4 percent on the night, finished with a 16-12 edge in second-chance points and got 27 points from their bench.

Babson returns to action on December 29 when it faces North Carolina Wesleyan at 7 p.m. in Washington, D.C., while Amherst will host Lasell on Saturday at 2 p.m.

• The Beavers are now 15-24 all-time against Amherst with the programs having split their last six meetings.
• The Green and White is now 4-0 this season with four double-digit wins over NESCAC opponents.
• Babson held the Mammoths to their lowest number of three-point field goals since February 23, 2013, when they also made two in a win over Tufts.
• The Beavers have won their last 32 games when holding an opponent below 60 points, a streak that extends back to November 2014.