Women's Basketball Wins Two National Statistical Titles
BABSON PARK, Mass. -- The NCAA announced its 2011-12 statistical champions this week, and the Babson College women's basketball team became the first women's squad in school history to win a national statistical crown when the Green and White led the country in a pair of categories. The Beavers led all of Division III with a .298 field goal percentage against and a +15.2 rebound advantage per game. In addition, Babson ranked second in the country with a +24.5 scoring margin (behind only Amherst's +28.1) and a .461 field goal percentage (second to Carthage's .462).
Anchoring Babson's defense this winter was one of the finest front courts in the country, as WBCA and D3hoops.com All-American forward Nicki Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass.), All-New England forward Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.), and D3hoops.com All-American center Sarah Collins (Weymouth, Mass.) combined for 882 rebounds, 155 blocked shots, and 172 steals this season. Wurdeman pulled down 277 boards (9.6 rebounds per game) to go with 55 blocks and 67 thefts, Collins recorded 320 rebounds (11.4 rpg), 86 blocks, and 56 steals, and King added 285 boards (9.8 rpg), 13 blocks, and 69 steals. In addition, the Beavers featured junior point guard and defensive stalwart Allanah Wynn (Quincy, Mass.), who contributed 36 steals this year.
Babson's defensive prowess helped the team finish the year with a record of 26-3, win its fourth straight NEWMAC Championship, and earn its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers eventually lost a tenacious back-and-forth battle with 2011 National Champion Amherst in the Second Round of this year's tourney.
These were the first official statistical crowns ever won by a Babson women's team, and they represented the eighth and ninth overall in the known history of Babson Athletics. Men's Basketball captain Dick O'Meara led the nation with a .640 field goal percentage in 1958-59, another men's basketball star Mark Giovino paced the country with a .945 free throw percentage in 1996-97, and field hockey legend Elise Conley led the nation in both goals (36) and points (83) in 2005-06. The only other officially recognized team statistical title came in 2001-02, when men's basketball led the country in scoring defense by allowing just 56.4 points per game. Although not officially listed in the NCAA record books, the national championship-winning men's soccer team of 1975-76 is also believed to have led the country with a .972 win percentage (17-0-1), while the 2004-05 men's ice hockey team led the nation with a 31.1 percent powerplay play success rate.