SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—Sophomore Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) sent the game to overtime with a layup at the buzzer and senior John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) scored the go-ahead bucket with 16 seconds left in the extra period, as 23rd-ranked Babson College defeated Skidmore College, 75-74, in non-conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Williamson Center.
With its second straight win, Babson is now 3-1 overall, while Skidmore drops to 2-1 on the year.
Flannery led all scorers with 31 points and tied for game-high honors with 12 rebounds. Despite enduring a 4-for-13 afternoon from the floor, Wickey added 15 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Matthew Droney (Canton, Mass.) chipped in with 14 points for the Beavers.
Senior Connor Merrill (Panton, Vt.) had 17 points and 12 boards, while junior Aldin Medunjanin (New York, N.Y.) finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thoroughbreds. Classmate Erik Sanders (New York, N.Y.) added 16 points and senior Perun Kovacevic (Forest Hills, N.Y.) chipped in with 10 points and nine caroms.
The Green and White missed 12 of its first 14 field goal attempts and fell behind 17-5 following a Merrill layup with 12:05 left in the opening half. They responded however, ripping off an 11-0 spurt to grab their first lead of the day on a layup by Wickey with 8:07 remaining in the stanza. Droney scored the last six points of the half, as the Beavers closed with a 6-2 run to take a 31-26 lead at the break.
Babson took its biggest lead of the game at 33-26 on a Flannery layup 51 seconds into the second half and matched it two possessions later on a three-pointer by Flannery. The Thoroughbreds countered with a 16-8 run though, getting six points from Merrill and four each from Medunjanin and Sanders to go back in front 45-44 with 13:00 remaining. Skidmore followed with a quick 8-2 burst after the Green and White tied the game at 46-46 to take a 54-48 lead on two free throws by senior Nanribet Yiljep (Samaru-Zaria, Nigeria) with 8:41 to go in the game.
Five quick points got Babson back within a point, but back-to-back layups by Kovacevic and a three-pointer by junior Isaac Carp (Wenham, Mass.) gave the Thoroughbreds a 62-54 advantage with 4:46 left. Flannery and senior David Mack (Holden, Mass.) scored consecutive hoops for the Beavers, and after both teams drained a pair of free throws, a layup by Flannery got the visitors within 64-52 at the 2:34 mark.
Wickey tied the game with 1:50 to go before Merrill answered with a layup of his own as the Thoroughbreds regained a 66-64 edge with 1:23 remaining. Droney was unable to get his layup to go down at the one-minute mark, but the Green and White rebounded a Medunjanin three-point attempt with 23 seconds remaining, giving it a chance to tie the game. Wickey missed a trifecta in the closing seconds, but Mack grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with one second remaining. Mack was forced to miss the second free throw intentionally after missing the first, and Flannery grabbed the rebound and lofted a shot over the corner of the backboard as time expired to force overtime.
The teams combined for just three field goals with no one leading by more than two in the extra period. Sanders gave Skidmore a 72-70 lead with two free throws with 1:08 to play, but a three-point play by Flannery put the Green and White back in front 73-72 with 60 seconds to play. Medunjanin knocked down a pair at the line as the Thoroughbreds regained a one-point edge before Wickey rebounded his own miss and scored the go-ahead hoop to make it 75-74 with 16 seconds to go. Sanders then missed a potential game-winning three-pointer as time expired.
The Beavers, who shot 40 percent (24-for-60) from the floor, outscored Skidmore 40-36 in the paint and 13-6 in second-chance points. Both teams finished with 43 rebounds.
Babson returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Becker College at 4 p.m., while the Thoroughbreds will wrap up its four-game homestand when it takes on Plattsburgh State on Monday at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Babson is now 2-0 all-time against Skidmore…the OT victory was the Beavers first since beating Colorado College, 93-90, on December 30, 2013…Babson has won four of its last five games that have been decided by five points or less…the Beavers have won 13 of their last 17 road games going back to January 16, 2013.