Coolahan’s Triple Caps Late Comeback as Men’s Basketball Sinks Springfield in NEWMAC Opener, 67-64

Coolahan’s Triple Caps Late Comeback as Men’s Basketball Sinks Springfield in NEWMAC Opener, 67-64

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Visiting Babson College rallied from a 10-point deficit over the final eight minutes and junior Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Pa.) drained a three-pointer from the right corner with 1.0 second remaining to help the Beavers defeat Springfield College, 67-64, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Wednesday night at Blake Arena.

Babson, which has won three of its last four games, improves to 8-4 overall and starts 1-0 in league play for the sixth year in a row. Springfield, which reached the Division III Final Four last season, slips to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in the NEWMAC.

Coolahan, who went 8-of-12 from the field, scored 13 of his career-high 21 points in the second half and junior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) added 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Beavers. Sophomore Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) scored 12 points and senior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) led all players with four blocked shots and tied for game-high honors with eight boards.

Junior Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.), who was saddled with early foul trouble, finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, classmate Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) scored 13 points and fellow junior Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) added 10, all in the second half to lead the Pride.

Trailing 54-44 with 8:43 remaining, Coolahan keyed a 12-2 run with seven points, including a three-pointer to pull even at 56-apiece with 5:14 to go. Ross and Witter answered another triple by Oftring with four straight free throws to put Springfield back in front 62-59, but Oftring scored inside and Jaworski canned a trifecta from the left wing two possessions later to make it 64-64 with 1:02 to go.

The Green and White turned the ball over out of timeout with 13 seconds left, but Ross was unable to convert in transition, setting up Coolahan's game-winning three-pointer off a feed from Oftring.

Neither team led by more than five in a first half that featured three ties and five lead changes. Jaworski hit a jumper late in the stanza to make it 31-31 at the break, and Babson rattled off a 10-4 run over the first 4:34 of the second half to take its biggest lead of the game at 41-35 on a pull up jumper by junior Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.).

Post responded with eight straight points and Ross added six to spark a 19-3 run that helped Springfield build a 10-point bulge with less than nine minutes to play.

The Beavers shot 45 percent from the floor and despite struggling from the beyond the arc (10-of-30), made their final four three-pointers. The Pride shot just 38.1 percent on the night and scored just four second-chance points despite grabbing 12 offensive rebounds.

Both teams return to action on Saturday as Babson hosts WPI at 2 p.m., while Springfield travels to Wheaton at 1 p.m.

GAME NOTES
• The Beavers are now 25-39 all-time against Springfield and have won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the teams.
• Babson has won 31 of its last 33 NEWMAC road games going back to January of 2014.
• Since 2009, 18 of the last 25 games between Babson and Springfield have been decided by six points or less or in OT.
• The Beavers are now 6-0 this season when holding their opponents below 40 percent shooting.