BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as visiting Babson College pulled away to defeat Wellesley College, 62-40, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday night at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
With the win, regionally-ranked Babson (20-4, 13-2 NEWMAC) clinched a share of its fourth consecutive NEWMAC regular season title and reached the 20-win mark for the ninth time in 11 seasons. Wellesley, which has dropped four straight games, closes out its regular season at 8-14 overall and 5-11 in league play. The Blue remains in the hunt for the league's seventh and final playoff spot.
Senior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) posted her 15th double-double of the year with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while junior Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) added 11 points, three assists and two steals for the Beavers.
Sophomore Aylssa Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.) scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with nine boards for Wellesley, which was held to just 22 points over the final three quarters.
Trailing 28-27 two minutes into the third quarter, the Green and White used a 10-0 run to go in front for the first time since the early moments of the game. Senior Elizabeth Lane (Skaneateles, N.Y.) hit a three-pointer, classmates Téa Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) and Bianca Tomassini (North Branford, Conn.) knocked down back-to-back jumpers, and Tamulionis followed up a pair of free throws by Ouimette with a transition layup to make it 38-28 at the 4:35 mark.
Ouimette extended the Babson lead to 44-32 with four more free throws late in the stanza, and Tamulionis followed up a bucket by Bonifacic with six straight points to give the Beavers a commanding 52-34 lead with 7:47 to go in the fourth.
The Blue led by as many as nine in the opening quarter before the Green and White rattled off eight straight points to pull back within 16-15 in the closing seconds of the frame. Despite its struggles offensively, Babson held the hosts to just one field goal over the final six minutes of the second and pulled even at 26-26 on a three-pointer by sophomore Nicole Hiller (Rocky Hill, Conn.) 53 seconds before halftime.
The Beavers shot 45.8 percent for the game and 56.5 percent in the second half, and finished with a 41-29 edge on the glass. Wellesley shot just 30 percent overall and was 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from behind the arc.
Babson wraps up its regular season on Saturday when it travels to WPI at 3 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 52-15 all-time against Wellesley and have won 22 of the last 23 meetings between the programs.
• Babson, which also finished atop the league in four straight seasons between 2009-10 and 2012-13, has now captured at least a share of eight of the last 10 NEWMAC regular season titles.
• The Green and White has won 31 consecutive games when holding its opponents below 50 points.
• The Beavers are 11-0 this season when forcing at least 18 turnovers.