UTICA, N.Y. -- The Babson College men's basketball team opened its second semester schedule with a hard-fought 74-63 victory at Utica College on Saturday. With the win, the Beavers are now 7-4 on the year, while the Pioneers fell to 3-6.
Four different players scored in double figures for the Beavers, led by junior Matt Palazini, who finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and a 3-of-4 mark from the free throw line. Senior Russell Braithwaite added 17 points and five rebounds while shooting 6-for-8 from the floor, and junior Kenny Ross netted 14 points to go with game-highs of 10 assists and three steals. Sophomore John Wickey chipped in with his fifth double-double of the season in the victory, recording 14 points and a game-best 15 rebounds.
Marion Lewis and Chris Jeffers each scored 17 points to pace Utica, while Connor Maisch netted 15 points while joining Jeffers with eight boards apiece.
After taking a 30-24 lead into halftime, Babson opened up a 13-point cushion with an 11-0 run that made it 45-32 early in the second stanza. Wickey scored six points during the burst, while Palazini netted the other five.
Utica clawed back to within four at 64-60 with just over two minutes left in regulation, but Ross hit a jumper and then recorded a steal that led to a Palazini lay-up to push the lead back to eight with 1:11 left. Utica would get no closer than six the rest of the way, as Ross hit four clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the 74-63 win.