Babson Park, Mass. – January 28, 2012 -- Babson College netted the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer to end regulation and then completed its rally in overtime to defeat visiting Springfield College, 64-59, in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup at Staake Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
With their third win in four games, the Beavers improved to 11-9 overall and 4-3 in the conference. The Pride, meanwhile, fell out of a first-place tie with MIT as they dropped to 13-6 overall and 5-2 in NEWMAC play.
Alex Rudolph finished with a game-high 15 points for the Beavers while also adding five rebounds and five steals. Junior Marcus McDermott (Milton, Mass.) chipped in with 14 points and five caroms, and first-year John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) added 12 points and a team-best eight rebounds. Babson overcame a 48-38 rebounding deficit by forcing 24 Springfield turnovers that led to 21 points.
Junior captain Alex Berthiaume (Springfield, Mass.) and senior Jordan Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) each finished with 15 points to pace Springfield, while sophomore Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass.) added a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Senior captain Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) chipped in with four blocked shots and three assists for the Pride.
Springfield led for the final 16 minutes of the first half, going up by as many as nine after back-to-back three-pointers by Berthiaume made it 19-10 with 7:39 left in the period. Babson would cut its deficit back to one several times, including a 26-25 margin following a Matt Palazini (Franklin, Mass.) free throw with 31 seconds left, but Burke hit two freebies and Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) drained a three at the buzzer to give the Pride a 31-25 cushion heading into halftime.
The Beavers finally pulled even when a Wickey trifecta made it 34-34 with 15:47 left in the second half – the first of seven ties in the period. Babson would take its only lead of the stanza on a jumper by McDermott that made it 45-43 in favor of the hosts with 12:19 to go, but Springfield quickly moved back in front with a 7-0 burst over the next two minutes.
The Pride held a 56-52 lead following two free throws from Coburn with 2:22 to go in regulation, but those would be the final points by either team until the final six seconds of the period. Following a Springfield foul, Babson junior Russell Braithwaite (Brooklyn, N.Y.) took an inbounds pass from senior captain Matt Florio (Skillman, N.J.) underneath the basket and converted a quick lay-up to cut the Beavers deficit to two, 56-54, with 5.1 on the clock. Braithwaite then fouled Springfield sophomore Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H.), who hit his first free throw but missed the second with 4.1 remaining.
With his team now facing a 57-54 deficit, Rudolph collected the defensive rebound on Martin’s miss and raced up the center of the court. The junior swingman then drained a contested three-pointer from well beyond the top of the arc as the buzzer sounded, electrifying the crowd and sending the contest into overtime knotted at 57-57.
Springfield struck first in OT, as Burke converted a tough lay-up in traffic off a nice dish from Coburn with 3:37 to go. Florio then tied the game with a pair of free throws with 3:20 on the clock, and Wickey moved Babson in front to stay when he put back a Rudolph miss to make it 61-59 with 2:36 remaining.
Both teams traded empty possessions over the next two minutes before McDermott drew a foul and hit the front end of a one-and-one to make it a three-point affair, 62-59, with 30.1 seconds left. The Beavers then took the ball back thanks to an athletic defensive play by Rudolph, who intercepted a Pride pass as he was sailing out of bounds and redirected it to a teammate. That led to a Springfield foul with 10.1 to go, and McDermott sank both free throws to clinch the 64-59 overtime victory.