A Hard-Fought Loss

Babson ends men’s basketball’s NCAA Tournament run, 87-80
Eric Savage with the basketball in Tufts game
Tufts guard Eric Savage, A20, drives the ball to the lane during the NCAA match against Babson. Photo: Anna Miller
March 13, 2017

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The No. 14 Tufts men’s basketball team and No. 3 Babson battled it out, but the Beavers outlasted the Jumbos, 87-80, in NCAA Division III Tournament Sweet 16 action on March 10.

The Jumbos ended their season with a 22-7 record. This was their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance; the team earned the first seed and hosted the NESCAC Tournament for the first time in program history. Babson improved to 28-8, and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.

The Jumbos found themselves down early. After the two teams traded baskets to open play, the Beavers scored 11 unanswered points to take a 13-2 lead just three minutes into the game. The Jumbos cut the lead to 23-18, after a layup from junior Vincent Pace with 10:44 left in the half. A three at the buzzer by Jumbo sophomore Ethan Feldman gave Tufts its first lead of the night, a 41-40 advantage heading into halftime.

Both teams came out of the half strong, and the Jumbos took a six-point point lead with back-to-back threes from senior Tom Palleschi and junior Ben Engvall about three minutes in. Babson battled back to take the lead, 54-51, and they did not trail again.

Tufts freshman Eric Savage finished with a team-high 20 points off the bench and added a team-high seven rebounds. Pace and Feldman each finished with 14 points, and Pace added seven rebounds. Palleschi totaled 13 points and five rebounds, and Engvall finished with nine points and four boards.