CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a battle for first-place in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball standings, No. 20 Babson College took advantage of a slow start by MIT to come away with a 61-48 victory. Sophomore Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) led the Beavers with 17 points, while junior Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) led all scorers with 18 points for the Engineers. With the win Babson moves into a three-way tie for first place in the NEWAC standings with MIT and WPI.
MIT (11-4, 4-1 NEWMAC) picked up the first point of the game on a free throw by Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) but the Engineers missed on their first seven shots of the game and committed five turnovers in the first seven minutes. That gave Babson (14-2, 4-1 NEWMAC) an opening that it took advantage of, as the Beavers eased out to an 8-1 lead after a jumper from freshman Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.). MIT did not hit on a field goal until the 13:24 mark when Frankel canned a jump shot.
A three from junior Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) had MIT within six two minutes later, but Babson took control with an 11-0 run, pulling out to a 23-6 advantage on a layup from senior John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.). MIT answered with six straight points, pulling back to within 11 at 23-12 with 5:29 left in the half on a layup by Acker.
Babson pushed their lead back to 16 when senior Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) converted on a three-point play, but MIT picked up seven points from Frankel over the final two minutes to make it a 31-19 game at the half.
MIT came out in the second half and slowly worked the Babson lead below double-digits, coming within eight on an Acker free throw five and a half minutes in, and then within seven at 36-29 when Pedley connected on a three-point play at the 13:08 mark. Babson, which held MIT to 34 percent shooting, then held the Engineers to 1-for-6 over the next six minutes. Over the same span Babson hit on 6-of-8 attempts from the floor, with Flannery dropping in six points of a 16-3 run, as the Beavers took their largest lead of the night at 52-32 with 7:41 left.
It was a lead that proved to be too much for MIT to overcome as Babson went on to take the win and move into a first-place tie in the conference standings. The Beavers shot 45.3 percent for the game and outrebounded MIT by a 34-32 margin. Dean chipped in 12 points for Babson, with Wickey and sophomore Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) adding 10 apiece for the Beavers. Wickey also led Babson with eight rebounds.
In addition to Frankel, senior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) reached double figures for MIT with 10 points. Acker finished with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Engineers.
MIT will be on the road for its next game, traveling across the Charles River for a contest at Emerson College on Saturday at 1 p.m. Babson will remain on the road in its next outing, traveling to Coast Guard on Saturday for a 3 p.m. matchup.