Babson Park, Mass.— Playing the nation's No. 1 team, Clark University led midway through the second half and was still within two points with four minutes to play, but host Babson College went on an 11-1 run and held off the hard-charging Cougars, 90-81 on Wednesday evening in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action.
Nick Comenale led five Babson players in double figures with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists as top-ranked Beavers won their eighth straight game overall, their 18th straight conference game and their 16th home game in a row.
Score: Babson College 90, Clark University 81
Records: Babson College (17-1, 7-0 NEWMAC); Clark University (11-7, 3-4 NEWMAC)
Location: Staake Gymnasium, Babson Park, Mass.
How It Happened:
Clark knocked down four early three-pointers, including two by Luca McCormack (Bradenton, Fla.), and led by as many as eight twice in the opening six minutes. Trailing by seven with just over eight minutes left in the first half, the Green and White ripped off a 25-12 spurt to build a six-point lead at the break. Bradley Jacks and Isaiah Nelsen combined for nine points during the run and Joey Flannery knocked down a pair of triples in the closing minute to make it 44-38 going to the locker room.
The Beavers extended their lead to nine twice early in the second half, but the Cougars, behind a combined 15 points from John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) and Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) used a 21-10 burst to take a 65-63 lead on a jumper by senior Matt Woods (Arlington, Mass.) with 9:01 left.
Babson responded with three straight hoops to go back in front, and Sam Bohmiller and Comenale drained back-to-back three-pointers to push its lead up to 77-69 with just 3:07 remaining.
Bohmiller buried another triple to give the Green and White its biggest lead of the night at 82-70 1:31 to go, and Jacks went 4-of-4 at the charity stripe over the final 29 seconds to close out the win.
Inside The Numbers:
The Beavers shot 57.4 percent overall and 48 percent from beyond the arc while finishing with a 42-28 edge in paint scoring.
Clark shot 46.2 percent from the floor and went 11-of-20 (55 percent) from deep. The Cougars also finished with a 36-28 edge on the glass.
For The Foes:
Jacks scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, senior Nelsen added 15 point on 6-of-8 from the floor and Flannery contributed 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Bohmiller went 4-of-4 from deep and finished with 12 points, while Matthew Droney (Canton, Mass.) dished out a season-high eight assists for the Beavers.
Pisacreta scored 21 points to lead four Cougars in double figures. Converse recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points, eight boards and four assists and McCormick added ten.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as Babson hosts Emerson at 3 p.m., while Clark visits MIT at 2 p.m.