CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Alex Rudolph led the way with 22 points and Babson connected on nearly 52% of its shots to hand the nationally-ranked No. 19 MIT men's basketball team a 73-56 loss in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play Saturday afternoon at Rockwell Cage. Four Engineers finished in double-figures but it was not enough to avoid a third loss in four games for Tech (10-4 overall, 0-1 NEWMAC). The Beavers improve to 6-7 overall and even their conference ledger at 1-1.
A Will Tashman layup to open the second half scoring cut the MIT deficit to just five but Babson responded with five straight points to build a 38-28 lead less than a minute into the second stanza. Back-to-back buckets by Nick Davis later in the frame brought the Cardinal and Gray within four. From there the Engineers would see their visitors reel off 13 of the next 16 points over a 6:27 stretch to open up a 14-point advantage.
A traditional three-point play by Kris Noonan started the spurt and Matt Zoia capped it with consecutive trifectas, the second of which put Babson on top 53-39 with 8:03 to go. Tech would get as close as eight on a few occasions down the stretch but could not chip away at the Babson lead any more than that, dropping its conference opener for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Nick Davis and Jamie Karraker topped the scoring column for the Cardinal and Gray with 12 apiece. Mitchell Kates scored 11 points while adding seven boards and six assists. Will Tashman also finished with 11 for Tech.
Rudolph made four-of-seven from behind the arc on the way to his 22 points. Noonan had six rebounds to go along with 17 points. Peter Foley led the Beavers on the glass with nine caroms.
The Engineers will look for their first league win on Wednesday, January 12 when they travel to WPI for a 7:00 p.m. game. Babson hosts Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.