Flannery Passes Tom Groth '84 as the Program's All-Time Leading Scorer as the Beavers Advance to Saturday's Second Round
SELINSGROVE, Pa.—Junior Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) led six players in double figures with a career-high 22 points to help 16th-ranked Babson College defeat Hartwick College, 80-69, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament on Friday night at Orlando W. Houts Gymnasium.
With its 12th straight victory, Babson (22-5) will now face either 19th-ranked Susquehanna University or SUNY Old Westbury in a second round contest on Saturday at 7 p.m. Hartwick, which was making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years, sees its season come to a close at 19-9.
Sophomore Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) scored 14 points to go along with a career-high five steals and three assists, while junior Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) became the Beavers' all-time leading scorer and finished with 12 points, a career-high eight assists and seven boards in the win. Classmate Isaiah Nelsen (North Andover, Mass.) had 12 points and even boards, fellow junior Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds, and sophomore Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) contributed 10 points and three assists.
Justin Pratt (North Kingstown, R.I.) paced four players in double figures with 15 points, while senior Matt Wilson (Shelton, Conn.) recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards in his final game for the Hawks.
The Green and White got points from four different players to open a 12-7 lead just over four minutes into the contest, only to see Hartwick counter with an 8-0 run to take a 15-12 edge on a three-pointer by junior Joey Lufkin (Argyle, N.Y.) at the 14:09 mark. The first half featured six ties and seven lead changes before the Beavers seized control of the game with a 13-6 spurt over the final 2:31 of the stanza.
Rice made it 35-32 with a pair of free throws, and Bohmiller and Comenale followed with back-to-back triples to push the Babson lead to 41-34. Jacks and Lufkin traded hoops, but the Hawks' point guard was unable to convert his three-point play opportunity with four seconds left in the half. Flannery grabbed the rebound and took three dribbles before pulling up for a half-court heave that beat the buzzer and pushed the Beavers' advantage to 46-38 going into the locker room.
Bohmiller gave the Green and White its first double-digit lead of the game at 53-41 with his fifth trey of the night just over two minutes into the second half. A three-pointer by Pratt got Hartwick back within 59-52 at the 10:49 mark, but Comenale responded with back-to-back triples of his own to give Babson its biggest lead of the game at 65-52 with 9:23 to play.
Baskets by Nelsen and Jacks kept the Beavers in front 69-57 with under seven minutes to go, but the Hawks scored eight straight points to get as close as 69-65 on a three-pointer by first-year Brandon LaForest (Cohoes, N.Y.) with 2:48 left. Bohmiller took over from there though, feeding Nelsen for a layup on a baseline out of bounds play and then connecting on his sixth three-pointer of the night following a steal by Comenale to push the advantage back to 74-65 with 1:57 remaining. He also knocked down four late free throws to ice Babson's second consecutive first-round victory.
The Beavers shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the field and knocked down 11 three-pointers on the night. Babson also scored 22 points off turnovers and finished with 19 assists.
Hartwick shot 45.9 percent (28-of-61) and also connected on 11 triples, in addition to finishing with a 35-34 edge on the glass.
• Babson's win was the first away from home in the NCAA Tournament since 2004.
• Flannery, who now has 1,856 points, passed Tom Groth '84 to become the program's all-time leader
• Bohmiller, who set an NCAA Tournament program record with six three-pointers, now has 100 for his career and moved into ninth place on the school's all-time list.
• Babson is 21-4 in road and neutral-court games over the last two seasons.
• The Beavers are now 3-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament First Round games.