BABSON PARK, Mass. – Fueled by 35 points from junior Tyler Roberson (Irvington, N.J.), visiting Becker College rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to pull off a stunning 70-68 comeback win over host Babson College in a non-conference men's basketball matchup at Staake Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
With their fourth straight victory, the Hawks improved to 6-4 on the season, while Babson fell to 6-4 following its first defeat in five contests.
Roberson was outstanding in the win for Becker, shooting 14-for-19 from the field and 5-for-7 from the line for his game-high 35 points. Junior Mike Russell (East Hampton, N.Y.) added 13 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while sophomore Yahmad Rountree (Waterbury, Conn.) tacked on 10 points and a team-high seven boards.
Babson received 15 points apiece from junior Kenny Ross (Furlong, Pa.), senior Russell Braithwaite (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and sophomore John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.), as well as six points and a game-high 10 rebounds from sophomore Ryan Stowe (Shrewsbury, Mass.). Ross also led all players with seven assists, Braithwaite grabbed eight rebounds, and Wickey collected six boards.
After taking a 37-32 lead at the half, the Beavers used a 10-2 run midway through the second period to extend their advantage to 59-46 with 7:13 left to play. Stowe ignited the burst with a three-pointer that made it 52-44, and after Roberson hit a lay-up at the other end, Wickey rattled off five straight points and Ross added a pair of free throws to give the hosts the largest lead of the day for either team.
Trailing by 13, Becker began its comeback with a 10-0 run that featured eight straight points from Roberson and a put-back by Rountree that made it 59-56 with 4:51 remaining. Ross would finally stop the barrage with two free throws, and although the Hawks would get back to within a single possession three times in the next two minutes, the Beavers answered on each occasion to maintain the advantage.
Babson appeared to gain some breathing room late when senior captain Peter Foley (Wells, Maine) threw down a put-back dunk on a Wickey miss to give his team a 67-63 edge with 2:20 to go, and Braithwaite later added one of two free throws to push the lead to five, 68-63, with 1:39 on the clock. However, those would be the final points of the contest for the Beavers, who would manage just one field goal attempt the rest of the way while committing two costly turnovers.
With 1:15 left in the game, Becker first-year Darius Sealy (Cambridge, Mass.) hit a spectacular up-and-under move from the left block while drawing a foul, and the ensuing free throw cut Babson's lead to just two at 68-66. Sophomore Lee Brockett (Waterbury, Conn.) then came up with a huge steal on the defensive end for the Hawks, setting up another conventional three-point when Roberson drew contact on a driving lay-up and added the freebie to give Becker its first lead of the second half, 69-68, with 30 seconds to go.
Coming out of a timeout, Babson turned the ball over again, this time on a steal by Becker first-year Rashaun Liggon (Elizabeth, N.J.) with 13.5 seconds remaining. Liggon was immediately fouled on the play and hit the first of two free throws for a 70-68 Hawks lead. The Beavers would have one final chance to take back the win, but Ross' desperation three-point attempt from well beyond the top of the key fell short at the buzzer as Becker held on for the 70-68 victory.