MEDFORD, Mass.—Babson College sophomore Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) led four players in double figures with 15 points, but 15th-ranked Amherst College shot 61.5 percent in the second half en route to an 88-76 victory over the 16th-ranked Beavers in a Division III NCAA Tournament Sectional Semifinal on Friday night at Cousens Gymnasium.
Babson, which saw its 13-game winning streak come to an end, concludes the season at 23-6, while Amherst (25-5) advances to the national quarterfinals and will take on either 12th-ranked Johnson & Wales or 20th-ranked Tufts on Saturday.
Junior Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half before re-injuring his ankle late in the stanza. Classmate Isaiah Nelsen (North Andover, Mass.) finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while first-year Tyler Colon (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.) added a career-high 13 points to go along with five boards and four assists for the Beavers. Junior Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) chipped in with seven points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Sophomore Jayde Dawson (Montreal, Quebec) paced five Amherst players in double figures with 19 points. Classmate Johnny McCarthy (Medfield, Mass.) finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while fellow sophomore Michael Riopel (Nassawadox, Va.) came off the bench to score 14 points.
Amherst jumped out to a 10-4 lead behind a pair of triples from Dawson, and pushed its advantage to 25-14 on a layup by junior Eric Conklin (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with 10:35 to go in the opening half. Babson followed with a 21-7 spurt though, getting 10 points from Flannery and six from Rice, to grab its biggest lead of the night at 35-30 with 4:20 left in the stanza.
Amherst scored seven consecutive points to go back in front by two, but a layup by Nelsen and two free throws from junior Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) gave the Beavers a 39-37 halftime edge.
The Green and White missed three of its first four shots to open the second half, and Amherst took advantage by scoring on each of its first seven possessions to build a 53-46 lead at the 16:15 mark. Babson got back within 55-52 on a layup by Jacks just over a minute later, but Amherst followed with a 7-1 burst that pushed the margin to 62-53 with 12:09 remaining.
The Beavers got as close as six on a three-point play by Nelsen with a little under 12 minutes to play, but Amherst responded with an 11-4 run to lead by as many as 13 with 8:17 left. Jacks finished inside to cut the deficit to 74-64 with 7:22 remaining, but Babson would get no closer. Junior Jeff Racy (Ridgefield, Conn.) and classmate David George (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored on back-to-back trips to push the Amherst lead to 78-64 with under six minute left, and George added a two-handed slam to keep the lead at 13 at the 3:51 mark.
The Green and White shot 44.6 percent (29-of-65) on the night and held a 40-32 edge in paint scoring, but went just 4-of-17 from three-point range
Amherst shot 52.5 percent (31-of-59) from the game and finished with a 41-37 edge on the glass. They also scored 13 of their 15 second-chance points in the second half.
• The Beavers are 13-23 all-time against Amherst.
• Babson finished the year at 17-2 when leading at halftime, with both losses coming to Amherst.
• Friday's loss snapped the Beavers' nine-game winning streak away from home, and is just their fifth loss in the last 27 games on road and neutral courts.
• Senior Travis Sheldon (Woodstock, N.Y.), who is one of just five players in school history to reach the NCAA Tournament in three consecutive seasons, knocked down Babson's final field goal, a three-pointer from the right wing. Sheldon has helped the program go 86-29 over the last four years.