BABSON PARK, Mass. –- Colby College's Diana Manduca (Portland, Maine) and Rachael Mack (Augusta, Maine) both had 18 points, but 17th-ranked Babson College received a big night from Nicki Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass.) on the way to a 65-59 win in non-conference play Tuesday night.
Wurdeman became the all-time leading scorer in Babson College women’s basketball history on Tuesday night, netting 24 points to reach 1,927 career points.
The Beavers, ranked third in New England by the NCAA and 17th in the country by D3hoops.com, improved to 21-2 overall. Meanwhile, Colby, ranked 10th in the NCAA regional poll, fell to 18-6 on the season.
Babson's Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.) posted 14 points, eight boards, and a season-high three blocks. Junior Sarah Collins (Weymouth, Mass.) added eight points, 14 boards, and five blocked shots.
Colby had nine points off the bench from junior Jayde Bennett (Lynn, Mass.). Mack, who shot 7-for-11 from the floor, also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, while senior captain Aarika Ritchie (Lee, Maine) tacked on four rebounds and three assists.
In a back-and-forth first half that featured four ties and 11 lead changes, the Mules took their largest lead of the contest after a pair of Manduca free throws made it 21-17 in favor of the visitors with 7:37 remaining in the period. However, it was all Babson for the remainder of the half, as the Beavers closed the session with a 14-2 run over the final seven and a half minutes.
The Beavers threatened to pull away for good early in the second stanza, as Wurdeman sank back-to-back lay-ups to push the lead to 12 at 35-23. However, Colby refused to go quietly, pulling to within two after a 17-7 burst over the next six minutes. Mack scored seven points during the run, including a three-pointer to cap it and make it a 42-40 game with just under 13 minutes left to play.
Consecutive buckets from King and Wurdeman extended the Beavers’ advantage back to six before a lay-in by Bennett pulled the Mules to within four, 46-42, with 10:40 to go. Babson then embarked on a 14-6 spurt that featured points from five different players as the hosts re-established a double-digit lead at 60-48 with 3:32 on the clock.
Colby made one final push to get back to within two possessions, as Manduca scored five points during an 11-3 run that trimmed Babson’s lead to just four, 63-59, with 51.4 seconds left in the game. However, Collins converted a tough lay-up off a beautiful entry pass from King on the right side to push the margin back to six with 36 seconds remaining, and the Mules would come up empty on their final possession as the Beavers held on.
The Mules host Williams College in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship Tournament at 3 p.m. Saturday.
BABSON COLLEGE 65, COLBY COLLEGE 59
COLBY COLLEGE (18-6)
Diana Manduca 5-12 6-6 18; Rachael Mack 7-11 2-3 18; Jayde Bennett 3-6 3-3
9; Jil Vaughan 2-8 1-2 5; Aarika Ritchie 2-15 0-0 4; Jacky McLaughlin 1-4
0-0 3; Kelly Potvin 1-4 0-0 2; Jen Nale 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-62 12-14 59.
BABSON COLLEGE (21-2)
Nicki Wurdeman 9-18 6-12 24; Kathleen King 7-17 0-0 14; Sarah Collins 3-6
2-4 8; Erin Young 2-5 0-0 6; Mary O'Connor 3-4 0-0 6; Katerina Mallios 2-2
1-1 5; Kelly McKenna 1-1 0-0 2; Caitlin O'Connell 0-1 0-0 0; Allanah Wynn
0-7 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 9-17 65.
Colby College................. 23 36 - 59
Babson College................ 31 34 - 65
3-point goals-Colby College 5-18 (Diana Manduca 2-6; Rachael Mack 2-4; Jacky
McLaughlin 1-2; Aarika Ritchie 0-4; Jayde Bennett 0-2), Babson College 2-10
(Erin Young 2-3; Caitlin O'Connell 0-1; Allanah Wynn 0-3; Nicki Wurdeman
0-3). Fouled out--Colby College-None, Babson College-None. Rebounds-Colby
College 37 (Rachael Mack 7), Babson College 43 (Sarah Collins 14).
Assists-Colby College 9 (Aarika Ritchie 3), Babson College 10 (Sarah Collins
2; Nicki Wurdeman 2; Allanah Wynn 2). Total fouls-Colby College 12, Babson
College 13. A-255