The men’s basketball team edged out Babson College for the first time since 2010 with a score of 86-83 in a nail-biting New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference showdown on Jan. 24 in the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym.
A back-and-forth first half ended with Babson junior guard Shyheim Ulrickson scoring at the buzzer to give the Beavers a 40-38 lead. The Lions fought back in the second half by shooting 56 percent from the field and hitting 18 of 20 free throws.
Emerson led by nine points with 50 seconds remaining, but Babson junior forward Jack Coolahan nailed two tough three-pointers to lessen the gap to three points. Babson had an opportunity to send the game into overtime on their final possession, but they missed the game-tying shot, allowing Emerson to hold on for the win.
Before the game, Emerson was tied with Worcester Polytechnic Institution for third in the NEWMAC standings, and Babson was ranked second behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The win places Emerson in a tie with Babson and WPI for second place in the NEWMAC. MIT still holds on to first place with a record of 6-1, their only loss coming from a matchup against Emerson on Jan. 9.
In a post-game interview, Babson’s head coach Stephen Brennan said Emerson earned the win.
“Early in the game, Emerson crushed it in transition,” Brennan said. “Emerson played with confidence, and Coach Bill Curley did a great job. Emerson deserved to win the game.”
Brennan said Emerson freshman Zach Waterhouse’s shooting and freshman Jarred Houston’s physicality challenged Babson.
“Waterhouse was able to hit a lot of threes, and Houston was able to bully them on the court and make great finishes,” Brennan said.
Waterhouse finished the game with 20 points, while Houston added 18 points and three rebounds. Geoffrey Gray led the Lions with 26 points, and Jack O’Connor added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The men’s basketball team declined to comment.
The Lions will play MIT on Jan. 26. A win would result in Emerson moving up to a first-place tie with MIT, which would be an improvement from their sixth-place finish in the NEWMAC last year.