By Rory Duyon
BABSON PARK, MA — Moral victories don’t count in the standings, as Babson head coach Stephen Brennan said after a 61-50 loss to Amherst College on Thursday, but there’s something to be said for hanging with the No. 2 squad in the country, despite shooting only 25% from the field for most of the game.
A late second half Amherst run put this game out of reach, but with 13 minutes to play, it was a one possession game, as the Beavers held the Lord Jeffs of Amherst to 30.6 points under their season average.
“We’ve got to make more shots. We had lay ups we missed, we missed a lot of threes, we’ve got to make plays,” said Brennan. “We’re right there, we’re a very good defensive team, they’re the number two team in the country, but there’s no moral victory.”
The Amherst trio of Willy Workman, Aaron Toomey and Taylor Barrise was held to 21 total points, less than half of their combined average, while David Waller, Jeff Holmes and Peter Kaasila scored 29 points.
“Jeff [Holmes] really stepped up with the offensive rebounds,” said Amherst head coach David Hixon. “He made some good plays. Pete [Kaasila] played big, he’s coming off a sprained ankle, but [David Kalema] made some great plays with his quickness too.”
Babson trailed 4-0 after seven-and-a-half minutes until Matt Florio put his team on the board with a layup, (he led all scorers with 15 points). Amherst made five of their first 26 shots before hitting four of their last five in the first half to take a 24-20 lead at the break.
Amherst opened a double-digit lead in the second half, but a 10-2 run got Babson to within three points. At that point, Amherst overpowered Babson with a 21-7 run of their own, as Kalema scored nine points in that particular stretch to help put the game out of reach.
Russell Braithwaite and Marcus McDermott struggled from the field all night. They combined for just 13 points, including three baskets by Brathwaite in the final two minutes.
Babson protected the ball quite well by recording just 13 turnovers in a span of 40 minutes, but they only connected on 19-of-61 shots.
The Beavers [7-3] head into a three-week layoff with three losses in a row. They will return to the hardwood on December 30 in California when they visit Claremont McKenna.