BABSON PARK, Mass.—Men's basketball's 79-78 win over Augustana (Ill.) in the NCAA Division III National Championship game and softball's 1-0 victory over Williams in the NCAA Super Regionals took home BESBY awards for the most dramatic wins of the 2016-17 season.
Men's hoops, which received 72 percent of the vote, got 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds from senior Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.), while classmate Isaiah Nelsen (North Andover, Mass.) added 18 points and junior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) chipped in with 16 as Babson claimed its first national title since 1984 with a one-point victory over the Vikings. In a contest that saw both teams hold leads of at least 10 points, Flannery sealed the program's first Division III championship by blocking Bryce Ebel's floater from the baseline with 2.9 seconds remaining.
Softball, which collected 51 percent of the vote, bounced back from a 6-2 loss in the opening game of its best-of-three super regional series at Williams with a 1-0 win behind a three-hit shutout from junior Ali Reilly (New Canaan, Conn.). First-year Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) doubled home junior Samantha Smith (Hillsborough, N.J.) with two outs in the bottom of the second, and the Beavers threw out the potential game-tying run at third base in the top of the seventh to even the series and force a decisive game three.
Other men's nominees
• 12 percent: Sophomore Noah Parker (Hampden, Maine) converted a penalty kick in the 108th minute as men's soccer outlasted then-No. 2/9 Brandeis, 1-0, in double overtime on September 10.
• 8 percent: Sophomore Tommy Munichiello (Weymouth, Mass.) scored twice and junior Rob Devaney (Reading, Mass.) recorded a pair of assists as men's ice hockey erased a two-goal deficit with four third-period goals to defeat Southern Maine on November 18.
• 8 percent: Junior Austin Fabel (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) and sophomore Niall Dillon (Duxbury, Mass.) each scored twice in the fourth quarter as men's lacrosse rallied from a five-goal halftime deficit to edge Coast Guard, 16-15, for the final spot in the NEWMAC Tournament on April 29.
Other women's nominees
• 30 percent: First-year Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) scored with 5.9 seconds left in overtime to give women's basketball a 62-61 win over then-25th-ranked FDU-Florham in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 4.
• 12 percent: Junior Julie Mortimer (Spencer, Mass.) tied the game on a penalty stroke early in the second half and sophomore Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) scored 2:31 into the second overtime to help field hockey defeat regionally-ranked University of New England, 2-1, on October 25.
• 7 percent: Senior Olivia Kerester (Chappaqua, N.Y.) scored 1:46 into the second overtime to help women's soccer defeat WPI, 1-0, on September 27.