Strong Second Half Sends Babson Past Wellesley Basketball, 62-40

Alyssa Cho had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Blue (Julia Monaco).
Alyssa Cho had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Blue (Julia Monaco).

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Sophomore Alyssa Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.) finished one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing nine boards, but Wellesley College basketball dropped a 62-40 final to visiting Babson College in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

Babson clinches at least a share of the NEWMAC regular season title with the victory, improving to 20-4 overall and 13-2 in the NEWMAC. Wellesley ends the regular season at 8-14 overall and 5-11 in conference contests. The Blue are still in the hunt for the seventh and final spot in the NEWMAC Tournament. 

Three players finished in double figures for Babson, led by junior Emily Bonifacic's (Allendale, N.J.) game-high 17 points. Senior Peyton Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) recorded her fourth double-double in her last five games, with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Junior Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) added 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor.

Cho was joined in double figures by junior Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas), who scored 11 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and four steals for the Blue. Cho and Aguirre combined for 25 of Wellesley's 40 points in the contest as the Blue combined to shoot 30% (18-of-60) from the floor. 

Cho knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Blue a 6-5 lead midway through the opening quarter. Cho's pair at the line ignited a 12-2 Wellesley run that helped the Blue take a 16-7 lead when Aguirre knocked down a triple at 2:29. However, Babson countered with an 8-0 run to knock the lead back to one, 16-15, before a jumper at the buzzer from Valentina Morakis (Long Island, N.Y.) sent the teams into the second with Wellesley leading, 18-15. 

Wellesley held the lead until the final minute of the second quarter, when a three from sophomore Nicole Hiller (Rocky Hill, Conn.) brought the visitors all the way back and tied the game at the half, 26-26. The first quarter lead would be the largest of the game for the Blue, as Babson would rally to tie the game in the second quarter before outscoring the Blue, 36-14 in the second half.

Bonifacic scored 10 of her 17 points in the fourth as Babson would go on to lead by as many as 22 points in the closing moments of the second half. The Beavers finished the game shooting 45.8% (22-of-48) and had a 41-29 advantage in rebounds and a 30-18 lead in points in the paint. The Beavers also finished with 17 assists on the team's 22 made field goals. 

Babson will close out the regular season at 3:00 PM on Saturday, February 16, at WPI. The Blue will wait for the conclusion of regular season play to see if they have qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament.