Women's Basketball

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Tournament Preview: Women's Basketball at the Naismith Classic

Tournament Preview: Women's Basketball at the Naismith Classic

Women's Basketball at the Naismith Classic
Saturday, December 30 vs. Colby | 3 p.m.
Sunday, December 31 vs. MCLA | 12 p.m.
Blake Arena—Springfield, Mass.

Babson will visit the Birthplace of Basketball to take part in the West Springfield Hampton Inn Naismith Classic this weekend. The Beavers will face Colby on Saturday at 3 p.m. and MCLA on Sunday at 12 p.m. in the classic format.

vs. Colby: The Beavers and Mules will meet for the fourth time in a series that dates back to 2006. Babson is 3-0 all-time against Colby, which includes a 2010 NCAA Tournament victory, and a 65-59 win back in 2012.

vs. MCLA: The Green and White will face the Trailblazers for the first time on Sunday.

Colby (4-3) enters the weekend following a 72-36 rout of Becker for its second consecutive win back on December 7. Senior Haley Driscoll went 10-of-13 from the floor and led all players with 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Mules, who pulled down a season-high 18 offensive boards. Driscoll (12.3 pts, 5.3 reb) is shooting 62.1 percent, good for sixth in Division III, while junior Katie McCrum (10.3 pts, 3.6 reb, 2.6 ast) has reached double figures four times on 47.2 percent shooting over the last five games. Sophomore Ainsley Burns is averaging 9.3 points and 3.3 rebounds for Colby, which is holding opponents to just 34.4 percent from the floor this season.

MCLA (4-4) returns from the break having won three of its last four games following a 54-50 victory over Simmons on December 7. Senior Emily Moulton finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds and junior L'Rae Brundige added 12 points for the Trailblazers, who outscored the Sharks 20-10 in fourth quarter. Classmate Courtney Pingelski (11.5 pts, 5.6 reb) is shooting 42.9 percent, Brundige (8.1 pts, 4.3 reb) has reached double figures in back-to-back games, and fellow junior Samantha Gawron (8.1 pts, 5.0 reb) has hit double figures five times but was held without a point against Simmons. MCLA is holding foes to 55.1 points and just 32.9 percent shooting this winter.

Babson (6-3) had its two-game winning streak snapped in a 69-63 loss to Bates back on December 20. Junior Payton Ouimette scored 22 points on 10-of-13 and pulled down nine rebounds for the Beavers, who matched their season high with 24 turnovers against the Bobcats. Ouimette (14.3 pts, 11.4 reb) has produced five double-doubles, junior Tea Spellacy (9.4 pts, 3.2 reb, 2.9 ast) is shooting 95.7 percent from the free throw line, and senior Brenna LeGacy is contributing 9.0 points while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor. The Green and White is averaging 17.0 offensive boards, good for 39th in Division III, and ranks 20th nationally with a rebounding margin of 11.7.

Ouimette, who ranks 12th in Division III in field goal percentage (60.2), is averaging 16.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 64.4 percent over Babson's last six games. Included in this stretch are four double-doubles and a 21-rebound performance against Roanoke on December 18.

Babson is shooting 74.5 percent (73-of-98) at the free throw line over the last four games, where it is outscoring its opponents by 7.5 points per game. The Beavers' opponents have attempted just 60 free throws during this stretch, which includes just 29 over the last three contests.

Over its first four games, the Green and White averaged 12.8 turnovers and committed a miscue on just 18 percent of its possessions. In the last five contests however, the Beavers have struggled with ball security, committing turnover on 29.3 percent of its possessions.

Starting on Saturday, Babson will hit the road for four of its next five games. In addition to facing Colby and MCLA in Springfield, the Green and White travels to fellow NEWMAC unbeaten MIT on January 3 and Smith on January 9.

Over the last calendar year, the Beavers are 11-2 away from home.