Late Drought Dooms Beavers as they Drop Regular Season Finale to Pride
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) scored a game-high 26 points and visiting Springfield College closed the game with an 11-0 run to defeat Babson College, 57-54, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon inside Staake Gymnasium.
Despite the loss, Babson (15-10, 8-6 NEWMAC) clinched a spot in next week's NEWMAC Tournament and will play a quarterfinal contest on Tuesday night. Springfield, which has won four straight games, closes the regular season at 11-14 overall and 8-6 in league play, and will be seeded third in next week's championship.
Junior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) and sophomore Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) both scored 12 points to lead the Beavers. Junior Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) added 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks in the loss.
Ross, who scored 19 points in the second half, also grabbed nine boards to go along with two steals. Junior Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Pride.
The Green and White trailed by as many as eight in the early going but rebounded from missing its first eight shots by making nine of the next 10 to take a 22-17 lead behind two straight three-pointers by Alexis and another by senior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) at the 7:39 mark. Oftring answered a triple by Ross with a put back, while Alexis connected on his third trifecta of stanza as the Beavers held Springfield scoreless over the final five minutes to take a 31-22 advantage into the break.
Ross got the Pride within four just over three minutes into the second half, but Ofring converted a three-point play, junior Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) knocked down a three-pointer, and classmate Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Conn.) hit two free throws to give Babson its biggest lead of the game at 43-31 with 14:47 remaining. The advantage was still 11 after an Oftring hoop at the 9:25 mark, and he scored again to make it 54-46 with 6:01 to play.
Ross began the Springfield closing run with a three-pointer, and first-years Daryl Costa (Providence, R.I.) and Collin Lindsay (East Longmeadow, Mass.) followed with back-to-back hoops to get within 54-53 with 4:18 to go. The Beavers missed a layup and committed two straight turnovers on their next three possessions before Post put the Pride in front 55-54 with a layup at the 2:53 mark.
Down three after a Ross jumper with 1:21 remaining, Babson committed another turnover and missed a pair of desperation three-pointers in the closing seconds.
The Beavers shot 39.3 percent for the game, while Springfield shot just 38.1 percent. The Pride also finished with a 38-34 edge on the glass.
Babson will take on WPI in a conference tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday night. The time and location of the game will be announced later on Saturday.
• The Beavers are now 25-40 all-time against Springfield although Saturday's loss was just the third in the last 14 meetings between the programs.
• The 57 points allowed by Babson are the fewest in a loss since suffering a 54-51 setback to Bates on November 16, 2014.
• The Beavers matched a season low with just three made free throws in the loss.