BABSON PARK, Mass. – Top-seeded Babson College used a 16-0 run midway through the second half that propelled them to a 57-47 win over fourth-seeded MIT on Saturday afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball tournament semifinal at Staake Gymnasium. With the win, the Beavers advance to Sunday's championship and will face the winner of second-seed WPI and third-seed Springfield College.
Sophomore Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.), who finished with a game-high 18 points, jumpstarted the Green and White's run with a layup at 13:13 that was followed by another made layup by senior John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.), which provided the hosts with a 41-37 advantage.
Babson's run continued following a 30 second timeout as Flannery added five points – two layups and a free throw – while freshman Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) added a pair of layups that made it 51-37 with 9:40 remaining. Senior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) halted the run with a triple at 7:55, which was followed by a layup and free throw from freshman Spencer Rust (Alamo, Calif.) that trimmed the deficit to 53-43.
MIT senior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) added a pair of layups at 3:37 and 1:41, but that would be the closest the Engineers would get. Flannery helped Babson secure the win with a pair of free throws, while sophomore Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) sealed the victory with a layup with 1:04 remaining.
Babson and MIT traded baskets throughout the opening minutes of the first half. Senior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) helped the Cardinal and Gray keep pace with the Beavers with a trio of layups and one free throw that made it 9-8 at 13:10.
Flannery, Wickey and senior David Mack (Holden, Mass.) helped the Beavers push ahead by combining for a pair of layups and converting three free throws, but junior Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) responded for the Engineers, knocking down back-to-back trifectas that brought MIT within one point (23-22) with 5:53 remaining in the opening stanza. Acker pushed the Engineers ahead with two layups, while Redfield's dunk made it 28-28 at 2:43.
Pedley sank his final three-pointer of the contest at 2:08, which provided MIT with a 31-30 lead at 2:08. Babson responded by ending the half on a 5-0 run, including a half-court shot by senior Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) that provided the Beavers with a 35-31 lead at the break.
Babson concluded the afternoon by connecting on 23 of 60 shots from the field, including two three-pointers. MIT sank 19 of 52 shots, while adding five points at the charity stripe. Both teams recorded 36 rebounds.
Redfield paced the Engineers with a double-double of 12 points and 17 caroms, while Acker finished with 11 points. Both Levene and Pedley registered nine points apiece.