NASHVILLE—Senior Kristen Ferola (Amherst, Mass.) scored a game-high 20 points and classmate Marissa Cicchetti (Mansfield, Mass.) added a career-high 19 as Babson College defeated Whitworth University, 70-62, in the opening game of the Music City Classic at Trojan Fieldhouse on the campus of Travecca Nazarene University on Tuesday afternoon.
With its fifth straight win, Babson is now 7-2 overall, while Whitworth (6-4) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.
Ferola went 6-of-12 from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds, while Cicchetti was 8-of-11 from the field to go along with four boards and two assists. Junior Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists, and classmate Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) chipped in with eight points and a game-high 12 boards for the Beavers.
Seniors KC McConnell (Clarkston, Wash.) and Faith Emerson (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and sophomore Grace Douglas (Lynnwood, Wash.) each scored 14 points to lead the Pirates.
The Green and White connected on just five of its first 19 shots, but opened the second quarter with an 18-8 run to build a six-point lead. Consecutive hoops by Cicchetti and Ferola put the Beavers in front 21-17, and Pickering followed four straight free throws by senior Megan Otto (Scituate, Mass.) and Ferola with a layup to make it 29-23 with 2:53 remaining in the stanza. Whitworth responded with a 9-2 spurt to take a 32-31 lead into the locker room.
Babson trailed by as many as six twice in the third quarter, but a pair of buckets by Cicchetti around a layup by sophomore Brenna LeGacy (Attleboro, Mass.) knotted the game at 42 with 5:25 remaining. Pickering again tied the game at 49 with six seconds left in the frame and Cicchetti's steal and conversion gave the Beavers a 51-49 lead going to the fourth quarter.
The Pirates used an 8-0 run to take a 57-53 edge with 5:50 left in the contest, but Cicchetti ripped off seven consecutive points to put the Green and White back in front for good at 60-57 with 4:21 to go. LeGacy followed with a free throw before Otto and Ferola scored back-to-back hoops to give Babson its biggest lead of the afternoon at 65-57 with 2:18 remaining. Whitworth closed to within 65-62 on a pair of free throws by Harwood with 36 seconds left, but Ferola went 5-of-6 at the charity stripe to close out the victory.
The Beavers shot 39.4 percent (26-of-66) from the floor and held a 44-26 edge in paint scoring. They also outrebounded the Pirates 51-37.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday as Babson takes on Mount Union at 5 p.m., while Whitworth will face Eureka at 9 p.m.
• Babson is now 1-0 all-time against Whitworth and 3-0 against Northwest Conference opponents.
• The Beavers are 7-1 this season when holding the lead entering the fourth quarter.
• Ferola and Cicchetti combined for 16 of Babson's 19 fourth-quarter points.
• The Beavers have held 11 straight opponents below 40 percent shooting after Whitworth went just 23-of-62 (37.1 percent) from the floor on Tuesday.
• The Green and White is now 6-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points.