BABSON PARK, Mass. – It was a two-point game at halftime in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference men's basketball contest between MIT and Babson College, but a 12-0 run midway through the second half carried the Beavers past the Engineers by a final of 65-47. Junior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) led MIT (11-4, 3-2 NEWMAC) with 15 points while Joey Flannery hit for a game-high 24 points for Babson (12-4, 3-2 NEWMAC).
With the game tied at 2-2 in the opening minutes, MIT made the first move of the contest. Redfield broke the tie with a layup four minutes in before junior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) completed the 7-1 run with back-to-back layups that put the Engineers up 9-3 at the 13:25 mark.
Flannery hit the first of his three treys on the night to halt the MIT run and a three from Matt Palazini had Babson back within two at 11-9. With 9:13 left in the half sophomore Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) hit a three-pointer of his own that pushed the Engineer's lead back to five points at 17-12. MIT held on to its advantage for the next seven minutes and still held a five-point edge after Redfield hit a pair of free throws to make it 23-18.
Babson came back quickly to tied the game, getting a layup from Flannery and a three from John Wickey that knotted things up at 23-all with 1:17 left in the half. David Mack then completed a 7-0 run to end the half for Babson, laying one in as time expired to give the Beavers their first lead since the opening minute of the contest.
MIT and Babson traded baskets to start the second half, with a jumper from sophomore Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) tying the game at 27-27 a minute in. Back-to-back threes from Flannery and Wickey quickly gave Babson its largest lead of the game at 35-29, however, and the Engineers were never able to regain the advantage.
MIT stayed within striking distance early in the half, and when Frankel hit a layup with 14:58 left the Engineers trailed by just five at 40-35. Palazini answered with a three, one of seven in the half for the Beavers, starting an 8-0 run over the next five minutes that lifted Babson to a double-digit advantage at 48-35.
Pedley hit a three for MIT with 9:41 left that brought the Engineers within eight, but Babson answered with a 12-0 run to put the game away. A pair of threes from Kenny Ross highlighted the streak, and when Flannery scored with 5:47 left the Beavers had pulled out to a 60-40 advantage.
Pedley hit another three with 3:18 left to cut the lead down to 15 points, but it was the last field goal of the game for MIT as Babson went on to take the victory. Acker finished with a double-double for MIT, his eighth of the season, with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Pedley also finished in double figures for the Engineers with 10 points. Ross and Palazini both finished with 12 points for Babson, with Wickey adding 11. David Mack led the Beavers with nine rebounds. Babson hit on 11-of-26 three-point attempts, while MIT connected on just three long-range shots. The Beavers held a slight 43.6 to 40.4 percent advantage in overall shooting percentage, with the Engineers winning the battle on the boards, 36-29.
MIT will be back in action on Saturday, January 25 when it hosts NEWMAC newcomer Emerson College at 3:00 p.m. Babson will also play on Saturday, hosting Coast Guard at 1:00 p.m.