|Amherst athletics file photo|
Senior Connor Green scored 29 of his game-high 39 points after halftime as third-ranked Amherst College outlasted 19th-ranked Babson College, 103-96, in double overtime in a non-conference showdown between two of the region's top teams on Thursday night at Staake Gymnasium.
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- Thursday's women's scores
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With the win, Amherst is now 7-0, while Babson, which has suffered three overtime defeats this season, drops to 6-3 overall.
Junior Isaiah Nelsen led four players in double figures with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists for the Beavers. Classmate Joey Flannery posted a double-double with 28 points and 12 boards, while sophomore Bradley Jacks added 12 points and six rebounds. First-year Tyler Colon matched his career high with 11 points and also chipped in with four boards, three steals and two assists.
Junior David George finished with 14 points, while sophomores Johnny McCarthy and Jayde Dawson added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Lord Jeffs. Green, who went 12-of-22 from the floor, pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds in the win.
Following five ties and seven lead changes, Babson closed the first half on an 8-2 run to take a 35-34 lead into the locker room. The Green and White then outscored Amherst 18-8 over the first 7:15 of the second half to take its biggest lead of the game at 53-42 on a layup by Nelsen with 12:45 remaining. The Lord Jeffs cut the deficit to 64-62 on a bucket by George with just over six minutes left, but the Beavers responded with a 7-2 spurt to push their lead back to 71-64 with 3:40 left.
The lead changed hands twice over the final minute of regulation as Green nailed a jumper to put Amherst in front 77-76 only to have Flannery answer with two free throws to give Babson a 78-77 edge with 32 seconds left. Green was fouled on an elbow jumper with 0:04 on the clock and made one out of two at the line to send the game to overtime deadlocked at 78-78.
The Beavers led by three twice in the first extra session, the final time coming at 85-82, but junior Jeff Racy and Green each buried three-pointers over the final 1:37 to pull the Lord Jeffs even at 90-90. Babson had three shots on the final possession but came up empty sending the contest to a second overtime.
A three-pointer by sophomore Michael Riopel (Nassawadox, Va.) and a pair of free throws from Green gave Amherst a 95-91 advantage with 2:54 to go in the second extra session, but Flannery scored going to the hoop and then knocked down a pull-up triple around two more free throws from Green and get the Beavers within 97-96 with 19 seconds remaining. Riopel made 1-of-2 at the line and junior Eric Conklin (Scottsdale, Ariz.) pulled down a huge offensive rebound and followed with a pair at the charity stripe to give the Lord Jeffs a 100-96 lead that they would not relinquish.
Babson shot 44.4 percent (32-of-72) on the night and outscored Amherst 58-32 in the paint. The Beavers also held a 47-43 edge on the glass, but converted just 21-of-32 (65.5 percent) at the free throw line.
Babson returns to action on December 31 when it travels to Bates for a 1 p.m. start, while Amherst is Lasell on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip-off.
• The road team has won each of the last five meetings between Babson and Amherst.
• Nelsen now has five double-doubles in the Beavers' first nine games.
• Flannery is ninth all-time in school history with 1,402 points and third all-time with 382 career free throws.
• Thursday's loss snapped the Beavers' 15-game home winning streak; the Green and White is now 32-5 at Staake Gymnasium going back to the start of the 2013-14 season.