By Brian Willwerth
BABSON PARK, MA – The streak is still alive for the Babson women’s basketball team.
In a battle of the top two teams in the NEWMAC, the No. 22 Beavers used a stifling defensive effort in the second half, and ground out a win against Smith College on Saturday afternoon, 59-50.
For the entire first half, and the first few minutes of the second, that streak was in jeopardy. The Pioneers led during much of that time, thanks in large part to Rosa Drummond’s 13 first-half points. But the Beavers turned their defensive intensity up a few notches, and held Smith to just 18 points in the second half.
“We took our post player and kept her inside, instead of matching post on post,” said Babson head coach Judy Blinstrub. “That was the big difference, people playing tougher on the defensive end. And matchups were key.”
Offensively, Babson was led by NEWMAC leading scorer Sarah Collins, who had a double-double: 19 points (17 in the second half) and 22 rebounds. Drummond led Smith with 15 points.
The Beavers improved to 13-1, 8-0 in the conference. They are now in sole possession of first place in the NEWMAC.
“It feels good. I’m happy for the girls. They worked hard to get there, and the seniors especially,” said Blinstrub of her team’s 73-game winning streak in the conference. “You don’t want to lose on your home court, [so] I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
On Wednesday night, Babson will host Clark on Wednesday, while Smith (12-2, 7-1 NEWMAC) returns home to take on WPI.