Jeffs Fall to Babson, 78-70
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Babson knocked down 12 three-pointers, shooting 54.5 from behind the arc en route to a 78-70 victory over tenth-ranked Amherst (6-2), snapping the Jeffs’ 35-game win streak at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Handing Amherst its first home loss since the 2009-10 season, Babson (6-3) picked up just its second win against the Jeffs in the last eight meetings, with the only other triumph during that span coming on Jan. 11, 2010.
David Kalema ’14 paced Amherst for the third-straight game with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting, while Connor Green ’16 finished with 13 points. Allen Williamson ’13 added 11 points, while Aaron Toomey ’14 scored 12 points with a career-high nine rebounds. Toomey is now just four points away from becoming just the 25th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club. Peter Kaasila ’13 rounded out the group of Jeffs in double figures with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Matt Palazani ’14 led all scorers with 21 points, knocking down 4-of-8 threes, while John Wickey ’15 added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Russell Braithwaite ’13 chipped in with 15 points and nine boards, while Kenny Ross ’14 hit 3-of-4 three-pointers to finish with 16.
Down 4-0 early, the Beavers scored five unanswered, taking its first lead of the night on a Wickey triple. Trailing 8-7, Palazani hit a layup to put the visitors back on top before a Travis Sheldon ’16 jumper stretched the margin to three.
Williamson answered with a trey on the Jeffs’ ensuing possession before a Willy Workman ’13 layup coupled with a Ben Pollack ’16 basket gave Amherst a 15-11 edge. Williamson kept things rolling with a jumper before Wickey ended a 9-0 Jeff run and a 2:56 Babson scoring drought with a layup at 10:56.
Ross pulled the Beavers within one with a three with just over 10 minutes to play in the half before a Sheldon trey followed by a Ross jumper suddenly put Babson up 21-17. With Amherst down three after a Toomey bucket at 3:50, the Beavers reeled off an 8-3 spurt to go up 10 on a Palazini jumper.
Tipping in a Williamson three-pointer at the end of the half, Kaasila got the Jeffs off to a fast start in the second, hitting a jumper to cut the Amherst deficit to 37-31, but Ross came right back with a three to push the lead back up to nine. Picking Sheldon’s pocket before coasting for a fastbreak dunk at 18:33, Williamson pulled the home team within seven.
A Kaasila steal and a Toomey outlet to Kalema led to another easy basket and a five-point game, but Palazini drained another from long distance before knocking down a jumper to make it 45-35. Amherst answered with a 10-3 run over the next two and a half minutes to trim the margin to just three. Kaasila got the rally started with a layup at 15:44, before a Pollack three-point play with just over 14 minutes remaining capped the stretch.
Up just two after a pair of Toomey free throws, Babson responded with a 17-3 run of its own to take a 65-49 edge. Ahead by five at 8:37, Wickey hit the first of three-consecutive Beaver triples before Sheldon knocked down a jumper to stake the visitors to a 16-point lead.
Coming out of a timeout, Green drained a three-pointer ending a nearly four-minute dryspell without a field goal before Kalema hit 1-of-2 from the line to bring Amherst within 12. Three Toomey free throws in the waning moments of regulation made it 76-70, but it was too little too late, with Babson holding off the late Jeff charge.
Amherst will look to break back into the win column on Saturday, Dec. 8 against Brandeis.