BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) scored a game-high 32 points and 23rd-ranked Babson College shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the floor to cruise past Salve Regina University, 91-69, in the opening round of the 29th Babson Invitational Tournament on Saturday night at Staake Gymnasium.
With the win, Babson is now 1-0 on the year, while Salve Regina drops to 0-1.
Flannery was 11-for-15 from the field and drained a career-high six three-pointers while also pulling down eight rebounds and dishing out four assists. Senior John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) poured in 21 points to go along with eight boards, classmate Eric Dean added 15 points, seven caroms and four assists, while sophomore Matthew Droney (Canton, Mass.) finished with 11 points, a game-high six assists and five rebounds in his debut for the Beavers.
Seahawks' sophomore Nicholas Bates (Danvers, Mass.) had 20 points and three rebounds, while graduate student Isiah Pringle (Queens, N.Y.) and freshman Bryce Boggs (Hyde Park, Mass) attributed 15 and eight points, respectively.
Leading 18-17 just past the midway point of the first half, the Green and White broke the game open with a 28-4 run to close the frame. Flannery and Wickey accounted for 20 points during the spurt that gave Babson a 46-21 lead at the break.
The Beavers pushed their lead to 30 with 16:04 to play and a trifecta by Flannery. Salve Regina got within 22 at 76-54 on a layup by Bates with 6:55 remaining, but Flannery scored five quick points and Dean knocked down a pair of free throws to push the advantage back to 83-57 with 3:58 left in the game.
The Seahawks, who shot 42 percent on the night, buried seven of their 10 three-pointers after halftime.
The Green and White finished with a 37-26 edge on the glass and shot 8-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Babson will take on Bates College in Sunday's championship game at 7 p.m., while Salve Regina will face Nichols College in the consolation game at 5 p.m.