Babson Outlasts MIT in Marathon Win, 85-80

Jan. 15, 2005

By Chris Buck, Babson Sports Information 

Box Score

BABSON PARK, Mass. - Senior tri-captain Phil Riffe scored five of his 18 points in the third overtime session to lead Babson College to a hard-fought 85-80 victory over the visiting Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball contest on Saturday afternoon. It was the longest game for the Beavers since they posted a five-overtime win over Wheaton back on February 18, 1999.


Babson (6-7 overall, 1-1 NEWMAC) finished the first half with a 14-3 run to take a 36-26 lead at the break. MIT (6-7 overall, 1-3 NEWMAC) then used a 6-0 spurt early in the second half to cut its deficit to four, and neither team led by more than six the rest of the way.

Riffe drained a huge three-pointer with four minutes left in regulation to give the Beavers a 57-52 advantage, but the Engineers responded with seven straight points - the last five by junior Mike D'Auria, to pull ahead, 59-57, with just over a minute remaining. Senior
CJ Enere then sent the game into overtime when he knocked down a pair of free throws with 49.7 seconds on the clock.


The two teams battled back and forth in the first overtime, with Enere giving Babson a 67-65 edge with two free throws with 1:11 left. D'Auria came right back with two foul shots at the other end to tie the contest again, and both squads came up empty on their final possessions as the contest went to a second extra session.


In a thrilling second OT period, Riffe hit a jumper with 1:28 left to put the Beavers in front, 72-70, before MIT senior Adam Gibbons recorded a huge steal and fast break lay-up to knot the score at 72-72. Riffe then appeared to put the game away with a clutch three-pointer from the left corner with 16.4 seconds remaining in the period, but D'Auria answered again with a gigantic three over two defenders with 10.0 seconds left, forcing a third overtime.


Babson was finally able to pull away in the third OT, as Riffe drained his fourth three pointer of the contest with four minutes left and senior Geoff Ponitz added a jumper with 2:40 remaining, giving the Beavers an 80-75 cushion. Senior Mike Huhs then scored three straight points, including two on an offensive rebound and put-back with 2:13 on the clock, to pull MIT back to within two, 80-78.


After drawing a foul on a three-point attempt, Riffe hit 2-of-3 from the line to push Babson's advantage back to four with 1:56 left. D'Auria then hit a lay-up and drew a foul, but was unable to convert the free throw as the Engineers cut their deficit to 82-80 with 1:05 on the clock. The two teams traded three-point misses on their next two possessions before Enere drew a foul and hit two free throws, giving the Beavers an 84-80 lead with just 12.4 seconds remaining. Babson first-year David Votta then drew a foul on the rebound of Gibbons' desperation three-point attempt with 2.3 seconds left, and hit one of two at the other end to seal the 85-80 victory.


Enere led Babson with 23 points, while Riffe finished with 18. Senior tri-captain Dan Elliman just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, while first-year Greg Bush added 12 points.


MIT was paced by Huhs, who led all players with 24 points and 13 rebounds while hitting 10-of-11 from the field. D'Auria finished a magnificent performance with 19 points, 14 of which came after picking up his fourth foul just over one minute into the second half. Gibbons chipped in with 10 points and five steals for the Engineers, and junior Gary Atkins grabbed eight rebounds.