AMHERST, Mass. – For the second straight season, Amherst College men's basketball's five-game winning streak to open the year has come to an end at the hand of Babson College. The Beavers handed Amherst a 68-55 defeat on Thursday night in non-conference action at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Grant Robinson '21 scored a game-high seventeen points, but the No. 19 Mammoths, who were averaging nearly 100 points per game, were held under 85 points for the first time this season.
Amherst trailed by double-digits in the first half and by nine early in the second half, but rallied to take a three-point lead, only to have the Beavers (6-3) answer with a run of their own.
After a Frank Oftring layup to put Babson up 34-25 with half a minute gone in the second half, the Mammoths slowly began to chip away at the deficit.
Hustle plays by Dylan Groff '19 led to a pair of layups as Amherst got to within five points, and C.J. Bachmann '19 and Josh Chery '20 added baskets before Robinson tied the game at 43 with a layup of his own.
The Mammoths got their first lead of the second half at the ten-minute mark, with a layup by Chery, and extended the advantage when Chery fed Eric Sellew '20 to make it 50-47.
That was as much separation as the home team could get, however, as Babson ran off a 13-0 run over the next five minutes and with less than four minutes to play, the visitors had a ten-point advantage again.
Matt Pattyson and James Welch each hit three-pointers during that run, capped by a layup from Oftring, who led the Beavers with 12 points. Oftring also had two blocks, a steal and two assists. Pattyson was one of five players to score eight or more points, a list that included Brandon Johnson, who had nine points and nine rebounds, and Jack Coolahan (eight and seven).
Sellew paced Amherst with four assists, a block and a steal to go with seven points and seven rebounds. Joe Schneider '19 also had seven points, while Chery scored eight points and handed out three assists.
Neither team was effective from the three-point line, with Amherst hitting just 2-20, including 0-12 from long range in the second half. Babson made six of their 24 three-point attempts and shot 41.4% from the field, compared to 33.8% for Amherst, who were averaging just under 50% shooting this year.
Amherst (5-1) will have a chance to bounce back in two days' time when they host Lasell College at 2:00 PM on Saturday. That game will follow a 12:00 PM women's basketball contest against Maine Maritime.