BOSTON—Despite a career-high 24 points from junior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) visiting Babson College suffered an 86-83 loss at Emerson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Wednesday night inside Brown-Plofker Gymnasium.
Babson, which has dropped two straight games, slips to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in league play, while Emerson improves to 10-8 overall and 5-2 in the NEWMAC with its second consecutive win.
Oftring went 9-of-13 from the floor, while sophomore Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Beavers. Senior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) contributed 13 points, nine boards and four assists, and junior Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Pa.) chipped in with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the loss.
Senior Geoffrey Gray (Newton, Mass.) scored a game-high 26 points, while first-year Zach Waterhouse (Hampton, N.H.) knocked down four three-pointers and finished with 20 points for the Lions. Classmate Jarred Houston (Norwood, Mass.) went 6-of-6 from the floor and added 18 points, while junior Jack O'Connor (Newport, R.I.) posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Green and White trailed by as many as nine in the first half before closing the stanza with a 17-6 run to take a two-point lead into the locker room. Johnson and junior Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) each scored eight straight points as part of an 11-0 run that gave the Beavers a 33-32 lead at the 3:48 mark, and junior Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) beat the buzzer with a layup to make it 40-38 at the break.
Emerson took a 56-51 lead thanks to four straight points by Houston seven minutes into the second half, but four points by Oftring and buckets by Jaworski and Ulrickson put Babson in front 59-56 at the 10:22 mark. The lead changed hands four times over the next four-plus minutes before Waterhouse put the Lions in front for good on a layup with 5:34 to go.
Gray followed with four straight points, Houston scored in the paint and O'Connor drained a three-pointer from the top of the key after shaking a defender with a shot fake to give Emerson an 80-69 advantage, its biggest of the night, with 1:49 to go. The Beavers didn't go quietly, scoring on five of their next six possessions, which included a pair of triples by Coolahan to get within 86-83 with 34 seconds to go. Johnson grabbed a miss by O'Connor with 10 ticks left, but Jaworski's potential game-tying three-pointer from the right wing didn't go down.
The Beavers shot a season-high 53.3 percent in the loss and outscored the Lions 40-22 in the paint. Emerson shot 47.4 percent and outscored the Green and White 25-10 at the free throw line.
Both teams return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. as Babson hosts Coast Guard, while Emerson travels to MIT.
• The Beavers are now 24-3 all-time against Emerson and Wednesday's loss snapped a 12-game winning streak in the series that dated back to 2010.
• Babson had also won each of its last seven trips to Brown-Plofker Gym going back to 2009 prior to Wednesday's loss.
• Wednesday's setback snapped the Beavers' 47-game winning streak when shooting at least 50 percent, a run that dated back to 2013.
• The Green and White is 3-3 this season in games decided by five points or less.