Coolahan Set a New Career High with 28 Points as Beavers Record 16th Striaght Win Over Bears
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Pa.) poured in a career-high 28 points to lead four players in double figures as visiting Babson College defeated the Coast Guard Academy, 85-76, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Wednesday night at Roland Hall.
With its fourth straight victory, Babson improves to 10-4 overall and 3-0 in conference play, while Coast Guard slips to 9-4 overall and 0-3 in the NEWMAC.
Coolahan made his first five three-pointers and finished 10-of-14 from the field to go along with four rebounds for the Beavers. Senior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) finished with 13 points, five boards and three assists, while junior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) scored 12 points to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds and four assists. Classmate Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) also had 12 points and led all players with three steals in the win.
Junior Noah Baldez (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) scored 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds to lead the Beavers. Classmate Packy Witkowski (Melrose, Mass.) recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards despite shooting just 5-of-15, while senior Nolan Benson (Lexington, N.C.) chipped in with 10 points and grabbed seven caroms in the loss.
Coolahan buried a pair of triples to help the Green and White open a 17-8 lead just over six minutes into the contest. Benson and Baldez combined for six straight points and junior Jason Frazer (West Haven, Conn.) came off the bench to contribute nine points as Coast Guard used responded with a 17-6 run to go in front 25-23 at the 8:15 mark.
The final eight minutes of the half featured five ties and five lead changes before senior Luke Daniels (Paintsville, Ky.) and Baldez scored on back-to-back possessions to send the Bears into the locker room with a 42-39 advantage. The Beavers scored on six of their first eight possessions to being the second half, and got a layup from Oftring and a three-pointer from Johnson to forge a 60-52 lead less than six minutes into the stanza.
Coast Guard answered with a 9-2 burst that cut the deficit to 62-61 on a jumper by Witkowski two minutes later, but Jaworski converted a three-point play and then followed two free throws by Alexis with another hoop in the paint to push Babson's margin back to 69-61 at the 9:32 mark. Coast Guard got as close as four three times over the final eight minutes, only to see the Green and White answer on each occasion.
Coolahan's three-point play made it 76-69 with 4:44 to go, and both he and Jaworski scored in the paint with less than two minutes remaining to put the game away.
The Green and White shot 41.8 percent on a season-high 79 field goal attempts and committed just five turnovers on the night. The Beavers also held the Bears to just 4-of-17 shooting (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Both teams return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. as Babson hosts Clark, while Coast Guard visits WPI.
• The Beavers, who won 16 straight against Coast Guard, are now 55-26 in the all-time series.
• Babson has gone 32-2 against NEWMAC opponents on the road since February 2014.
• Prior to committing just six fouls in Wednesday's victory, the Beavers had not been whistled for less than nine fouls since a 72-45 win over Coast Guard on February 16, 2013, when they were called for eight.
• Babson is now 9-2 on the year when shooting at least 40 percent from the floor.