NEW LONDON, Conn.—Junior Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) scored 10 of his 12 points in the second overtime, leading visiting Babson College to a come-from-behind 72-63 double overtime victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball on Wednesday night.
Babson, which is currently ranked third in the region, won its sixth straight to improve to 19-5 overall and 10-3 in the NEWMAC, while also clinching a top-three seed and a spot in next weekend's conference tournament semifinals. Coast Guard dropped its fifth straight and are now 5-19 overall and 2-11 in conference play. The loss was the Bears 10th this season by ten points or less and second in double overtime.
Senior Matt Palazini (Franklin, Mass.) and junior John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) each had a team-high 15 points for the Beavers, while classmate David Mack (Holden, Mass.) finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Dean grabbed nine rebounds and went 6-of-7 at the free throw line, and first-year Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) chipped in with eight points and a career-high 14 rebounds in the win.
Coast Guard scored the first bucket in the second overtime by sophomore Kevin Alvarez for a 60-58 lead with 4:41 left, but that was Bears only field goal in the period.
Trailing 60-58, Babson would score nine of the next ten points for a 67-61 lead with 1:41 left. The Beavers took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Dean with 3:16 left.
Alvarez capped an 8-0 run in the first overtime as the Bears turned a 50-50 tie into a 58-50 lead with 2:27 left. Senior John Benedict started the run with an old fashion 3-point play before a trey by sophomore Ricky Rodriguez with 3:09 left in the first overtime made the score 56-50.
Mack and Wickey each made two free throws on back-to-back possessions, trimming the deficit to 58-54, and Dean followed with a layup to make it 58-56 with 1:09 to go. Flannery missed a pair of free throws with 16.1 seconds left in the first overtime, but got his own rebound and his floater capped an 8-0 run tying the game 58-58 with 13.6 seconds left.
Alavarez's shot in the lane was blocked by Flannery as time expired to send the game to a second overtime period.
The Beavers shot 34.8 percent from the floor (24-69) while making 4 of 18 from 3-point range while Coast Guard was 25 of 67 from the field (37.3 percent) and the Bears were 3 of 19 from behind the arc.
Coast Guard jumped out to an early 10-6 lead with 15:45 left in the opening half and maintained the lead until Flannery hit a pair of free throws with 8:02 left to give the Beavers an 18-16 edge.
Babson would outscore the Bears 8-3 over the final 7:46 of the low scoring first half to take a 26-21 lead to halftime.
The Bears were 9 of 26 from the floor in the first half (34.6 percent) while making just one of nine from behind the arc while Babson shot 33.3 percent in the opening half (11-33) while making 2 of 8 from 3-point range. Benedict, who scored the Bears first eight points, had 11 of the Bears 21 points in the first half.
Babson would score the first six points of the second half, four Mack to push the lead to 32-21 with 16:34 left in the game.
Coast Guard, trailing 34-25 with 14:52 left, went on a 9-3 run to cut the deficit to 37-34 following an old fashion 3-point play by senior Devonte Weems with 10:35 left.
The Beavers quickly pushed the lead back to eight, 42-34, following a basket by Dean with 9:20 left before Coast Guard scored seven of the next eight points to cut the deficit to 43-41 following a 3-pointer by Alvarez with 6:40 left.
Coast Guard took the lead 46-45 as Alvarez had a 3-point play before Weems had a steal and Benedict converted a layup with 2:30 left.
Palazini hit a trey with 1:20 left as Babson regained the lead 48-46 before Coast Guard junior David Anderson knocked down a pair of free throws with 48.2 seconds left to tie the score 48-48.
Wickey missed the front end of a one-and-one with 32.8 seconds left and Alvarez's jumper and Weems follow as the time expired would not drop to send the game to overtime.
Benedict led Coast Guard with a game-high 18 points while Alvarez (16), Weems (10) and Anderson (10) also finished in double figures for the Bears. Weems, who had a game-high five assists, and Anderson each had eight rebounds to lead Coast Guard.
The Beavers held a 53-37 edge in rebounding the win.
Both teams will wrap up the regular season on Saturday as Babson travels to MIT for a 1 p.m. tipoff, while the Beavers are at Springfield in a 3 p.m. start.
GAME NOTES: Babson has won six straight games over Coast Guard and is 46-26 all-time against the Bears…the Beavers are now 3-1 on the year in overtime games…Babson has won nine of its last 13 road games going back to last season…the Green and White have won 24 consecutive games when holding its opponent below 40 percent from the field…Babson's 10 league-victories are its most since the 2001-02 season…the Beavers are 14-1 on the year when outrebounding their opponents.
Note: Portions of this release courtesy of the Coast Guard Academy.