Babson Park, MA --- Freshman Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, CT) scored a game-best 16 points while he was joined in double figures by the rest of the Babson starters as the Beavers held off WPI, 68-59, Wednesday night in a NEWMAC Men's basketball contest that was played in Staake Gymnasium.
Babson improves to 14-8 overall and 9-2 in NEWMAC play while the Engineers slip to 13-9 and 7-4.
The Beavers forged an early 6-0 lead thanks to triples by sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, ME) and senior Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, MD). The hosts grabbed a handful of eight-point leads later in the frame, including after an and-one by Ulrickson with 2:01 left.
Sophomore Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) then sliced the margin to three with a hoop and a harm and later a pair of freebies. Freshman Dakota Wheeler (Easthampton, MA) got the Engineers within one (30-29) with a late layup.
It remained close after the intermission; however, Babson pulled away with a 15-3 run for the 10-point cushion with 12:05 on the clock. Sophomore Julian Alexis (Somerville, NJ) then added two more to the advantage from the charity stripe. Freshman Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA) finally answered for WPI with a layup at 9:39.
The Engineers pulled within five (49-44) following a 6-0 run, that was capped by a layup from senior Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA), with 5:52 to go. Babson eventually went up by a dozen in the final minute. Rodgers and Wheeler helped whittle the final margin to nine with a jumper and layup, respectively.
Ulrickson added 13 points and four helpers as junior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, NY) chipped in with 12 points. Jacks handed in 11 and was a rebound short of a double-double. Senior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, NY) also scored 11 for the hosts.
Rodgers led WPI with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Wisniewski totaled 14 points and Wheeler came off the bench to add 11.
Both teams are home Saturday at 2pm. WPI welcomes Emerson and Babson entertains Wheaton.