Worcester, Mass. – Visiting Babson College, ranked No. 5 in the ESPN/USA Today Division III National Poll, extended its conference winning streak to 41 games with a resounding 79-48 win over Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday evening.
With the win the Beavers improve to 24-0 on the season and are on the cusp of posting consecutive undefeated conference seasons. Clark, meanwhile, has now dropped four straight to slip to 8-16 overall and 7-10 in conference action.
Despite their recent swoon, the Cougars are still in the hunt for a postseason berth. A win on Saturday at Coast Guard would secure the sixth and final spot in the upcoming league tournament. Babson, which now has a 17-0 record in NEWMAC play, has already assured itself of its eighth regular season conference title, the No. 1 seed in the league tournament and home court advantage throughout the championship.
The Beavers overpowered Clark inside, outscoring the Cougars 50-8 in the paint and had a 23-0 edge in second chance points. Babson also held a 51-34 advantage on the glass and scored 28 points off of 27 Clark turnovers.
Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.) paced all scorers with a career-high 36 points (14-for-26 field goals), to go along with 15 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Nicki Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass.), meanwhile added 28 points (11-for-21) eight rebounds and three steals for the Beavers, who won their 18th game this season by 20 points or more.
The duo of King and Wurdeman (64 points) outscored Clark (48) as the Beavers held the Scarlet and White to 18 percent shooting (6-for-33) and just 18 points in the final 20 minutes.
Things started out well for the Cougars as a Kelsey Giedymin (Shrewsbury, Mass.) three-pointer gave them an early lead, but Wurdeman answered with a triple of her own to spark a 12-0 Babson run that made the score 16-5 less than five minutes into the contest.
Clark stayed relatively close as freshman Lily Colley (Wells, Maine) came off the bench to score 12 of her career-high 17 points in the opening frame.
After Colley's fourth three-pointer of the half cut the lead to 32-28, the Beavers held the Cougars without a basket over the final 3:24 and went on an 8-0 run capped by a Wurdeman buzzer-beating layup to give Babson a 44-30 halftime edge.
Clark would get no closer than 15 points the entire second half as the lead eventually ballooned to 31 after the Cougars failed to score a basket in the final 6:34 of the contest.
Babson shot 42 percent from the field for the game and had 14 assists attached to their 31 baskets.
In addition to King and Wurdeman, Damisi Adewumi (Bronx, N.Y.) added eight points and nine rebounds.
Babson wraps up regular season play on Saturday with a road trip to Mount Holyoke, while Clark, facing a win-and-get-in scenario, visits Coast Guard on Saturday as well.