Worcester, Mass. – Babson College - the nation's No. 1 team – made six three-pointers in the game's first eight minutes in building an early 20 point lead on their way to a convincing 77-50 win over Clark University in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
The win for the Beavers extends their winning streak to 13 straight and gives them at least a share of their third consecutive regular season NEWMAC title.
Score: Babson College 77, Clark University 50
Records: Babson College 22-1 (12-0 NEWMAC); Clark University 13-10 (5-7 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Beavers' offensive onslaught started early as Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) connected on five first half triples but it was his pinpoint pass to Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) that ignited a 19-3 burst that made the score 34-14 with a little more than ten minutes into the game. Included in that high-powered run were three-pointers from Comenale, Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) and a monster two-handed dunk from Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) as well as a three-pointer from Flannery.
The Cougars got the lead down to 17 on a few occasions as the first half wore on when Josh St. Fort (Milton, Mass.) knocked down a three-pointer and when David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) muscled his way inside for a layup.
Each time it looked as if the Scarlet and White might make a run, Babson had an answer. First it was Flannery finding Isaiah Nelsen (North Andover, Mass.) underneath for an easy basket then it was Comenale draining a deep triple with 20 seconds left in the frame, making the score, 48-28. Clark was actually lucky the lead wasn't greater as Jacks threw in a 55-foot shot as the half expired but it was ruled he released it after the horn ending the period had sounded.
The second half for the Cougars started off with Mercier scoring inside less than a minute into the period, but more than nine minutes would pass before another Clark made basket. Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine, Fla.) connected on three free throws during that time but the Beavers extended their lead to as many as 34 at 65-31 on a Comenale conventional three-point play with 13 minutes left to play.
Clark did go on a run – an 11-2 spurt – as Berk, Evan Lerner (Hopedale, Mass.) and Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) all made baskets over a four minute span, but Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) canned a triple for the Beavers bumping their advantage to 70-42 with 3:49 left.
Inside The Box Score:
The Beavers shot a sizzling 58 percent in building their first half lead and even though they cooled off somewhat in the second half (48 percent), they still connected on 53 percent of their attempts – making 50 percent of their shots for the ninth game this season.
The Cougars, meanwhile, never truly found an offensive flow, making just 29 percent of their shots and 33 percent of their three-point attempts (7-for-21).
Babson had 22 assists attached to their 30 baskets and controlled the glass, holding a 41-29 advantage.
For The Foes:
Comenale finished with a game-best 20 points while adding eight rebounds. Jacks, meanwhile ended with 13 points and seven boards in just 13 minutes and Flannery flirted with a triple double, racking up 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Berk was the lone Cougar in double figures, finishing with 12 points, while Mercier recorded nine points and four boards.
Prior to the game, the program honored seven members of the Class of 2017. Those individuals included: Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.), Berk, Mercier, Lerner, St. Fort, Matt Woods (Arlington, Mass.) and four-year student manager, Evan Hanson.
The Beavers will play their final two regular season games at home against Coast Guard (Wednesday) and MIT (Saturday). Clark, meanwhile, visits Springfield (Wednesday) and WPI (Saturday) to close out the regular campaign.