BABSON PARK, Mass. – Host Babson College held the visiting United States Coast Guard Academy to just 14 first-half points on Saturday, as the Beavers closed out the regular season with an impressive 72-45 win over the Bears in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball contest at Staake Gymnasium.
With their second straight win, the Beavers (13-12, 5-7 NEWMAC) will enter next week's conference tournament as the fifth seed and will travel to fourth-seeded Clark for a quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Coast Guard, which finishes the season 2-21 overall and 1-11 in conference play, received 12 points and three assists from junior Devonte Weems and 10 points and two blocked shots from freshman Joe Whitman. Senior Jimmy Knudsen had a team-high six rebounds in the final game of his career.
Junior guard Kenny Ross turned in a dominating performance in the win for Babson, just missing his first career triple-double with game-highs of 19 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists in 38 minutes of action. Sophomore David Mack added another fine effort in his second game back from injury, netting 13 points to go with six caroms, and sophomore Ryan Stowe tossed in 11. Playing in their final collegiate home game, seniors Peter Foley and Russell Braithwaite also played well for the Beavers, with Foley tallying six points and three assists and Braithwaite contributing six points and five boards.
Foley got Babson going early, recording a steal and fast-break layup to spark a game-opening 9-0 run. Ross also hit back-to-back jumpers during the spurt, including one of his four three-pointers on the day, while Mack capped it with a bucket at 14:08.
Coast Guard finally scored its first points on a Weems jumper that made it 9-2 nearly six-and-a-half minutes into the game, and the Bears would hang around for the next eight minutes. Babson then got three consecutive three-pointers from Ross, Stowe, and sophomore John Wickey to turn a 17-9 lead into a commanding 26-9 cushion with under three minutes left in the half.
The Bears continued to battle, bridging halftime with a 7-0 run and later getting back to within single digits after a conventional three-point play by Weems made it 33-25 with 14:11 remaining in the game. However, Ross converted an and-one of his own and Mack followed with back-to-back buckets to increase the Babson advantage to 40-25, and Coast Guard never got closer than 14 the rest of the way as the hosts coasted to the eventual 72-45 victory.
Senior Greg Marshall had eight points to finish his career with 1,066 points, which ranks him 11th all-time at the Coast Guard Academy.