WORCESTER, Mass.—Senior Jack Coolahan (Newtown, Pa.) scored a career-high 35 points and 14th-ranked Babson College built a 26-point lead early in the second half on the way to defeating WPI, 93-81, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon inside Harrington Auditorium.
With the win, Babson improves to 11-2 overall and 1-1 in league play, while WPI drops to 10-3 overall and 1-1 in the NEWMAC.
Coolahan went 13-of-13 from the floor, which included five three-pointers, and 4-of-4 at the free throw line to go along with five rebounds to pace four Beavers in double figures. Junior Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) scored 17 points, senior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) added 13 points, seven boards and four assists, and junior Crew Ainge (Wellesley, Mass.) contributed 12 points, five assists and four steals in the victory.
Junior Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, Mass.) scored 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting, while classmate Kahleb Downing (Middletown, Conn.) added 16 points, six assists and four rebounds to lead the Engineers, who shot 63.5 percent on the afternoon.
All five starters contributed points as the Green and White built a 17-7 lead on a layup by first-year Andrew Kirkpatrick (Winnetka, Ill.) less than six minutes into the contest. WPI pulled even at 26 on back-to-back three-pointers by junior Jake Needleman (Morganville, N.J.) just past the midway point of the half before the Beavers rattled off a 29-6 run to close out the period.
Coolahan hit three triples and Babson scored on six consecutive possessions to open a 40-28 advantage at the 7:12 mark. Ainge buried another three-pointer and sophomore Colin Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) made it 45-28 with a transition dunk just under four minutes from halftime. Coolahan and Oftring then took turns scoring on consecutive trips to give the Beavers a 55-32 edge going to the locker room.
Babson's lead was still 18 with 6:34 to in the contest before WPI made a late run to get as close as six with less than a minute to go. Junior Ethan Harrell (Wexford, Pa.) started the 21-9 spurt with a three-pointer, first-year John Lowther (Hingham, Mass.) and Stephenson combined for 12 points, and Harrell converted again in transition to make it 87-81 with 51 seconds remaining.
The Engineers would get no closer though, as Jaworski, Coolahan and junior Matt Pattyson (Doylestown, Pa.) combined to go 6-of-6 at the free throw line over the final 33 seconds.
The Beavers shot 52.5 percent on the afternoon and committed just eight turnovers while outscoring WPI 17-6 at the free throw line and 26-4 off of turnovers. The Engineers shot 75 percent (21-of-28) in the second half and finished with a 27-25 edge on the glass.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as Babson hosts Coast Guard, while WPI travels to Wheaton.
• The Beavers are 50-32 all-time against WPI and have won nine of the last 12 meetings between the squads.
• Babson has shot at least 50 percent in six of its last seven games going back to a December 4 win over Amherst.
• The Beavers are 7-0 this season when four or more players score in double figures.
• Babson is 35-5 over its last 40 road games in NEWMAC play.