BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Elizabeth Lane (Skaneateles, N.Y.) scored 13 points and Babson College clinched at least a share of its third consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season title with a 56-53 win over visiting MIT in women's basketball action on Wednesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which closes the regular season at 17-8 overall and 13-3 in league play, will be no worse than the third seed when the conference tournament pairings are announced on Saturday. MIT drops to 14-9 overall and 9-6 in the NEWMAC with the loss.
Junior Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while classmate Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) recorded her 17th double-double of the year with 10 points and a game-high 13 boards for the Beavers. Ouimette and senior Brenna LeGacy (Attleboro, Mass.), who had nine points, both had four steals.
Junior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) led all players with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting for the Engineers. Classmate Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) had 14 points and four assists, while fellow junior Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) added 10 points.
Lane and LeGacy combined for nine points as the Green and White used a 14-0 run to build a 10-point lead less than five minutes into the contest. Sophomore Vanessa Onwe (Tarrytown, N.Y.) extended the margin to 20-9 with 1:08 to go in the first quarter, but MIT followed with an 8-0 spurt to pull within three on a jumper by V'Dovec just over a minute into the second.
The Beavers led 26-21 at the break and pushed the advantage to 33-25, their biggest of the second half, midway through the third quarter. Yuan, who scored seven points in the frame, and V'Dovec hit back-to-back three-pointers to close a 17-6 run that put the Engineers in front 42-39 for the first time since the opening minutes of the game with 7:41 to go in the fourth.
Babson scored on three of its next four possessions to regain the lead at 45-43 with 5:31 left, and sophomore Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to stretch the margin to 50-44 with 2:38 remaining. V'Dovec connected on a three-pointer and Yuan followed with a driving layup to cut the MIT deficit to 52-51 with 17 seconds to go.
Despite going just 4-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 10 seconds, the Green and White forced a pair of late turnovers to secure the win.
• The Beavers are 52-11 all-time against MIT and swept the season series between the teams for the first time since 2015.
• By virtue of its victory on Wednesday, Babson has now clinched at least a share of its seventh NEWMAC regular season title in nine years going back to 2010.
• The Beavers are now 15-2 this season when holding their opponents below 60 points.
• Babson is 6-3 on the year in games decided by seven points or less.