WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Gordon senior guard Park Thomas hit six consecutive free throws in the final 38 seconds to help the Scots of Gordon College hold off and upset Babson College 76-68 in an NCAA First round contest played at Williams College.
The win raises Gordon's record to 18-10 on the year and it is their first NCAA Tournament in three tries. With the loss Babson falls to 20-7. The Beavers are now 2-6 all-time in six NCAA tournament appearances.
Gordon advances to a Second Round game to be played tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM at Williams. The Scots will face the winner of the Williams versus Mitchell College game that followed.
Trailing by 13 at the half Babson closed to within five, 43-38, on a Joe Flannery layup with 13:38 to play.
Gordon's Dominic Paradis scored eight straight for the Scots from 12:53 to 10:57 on a three and two jumpers, to give Gordon a 55-43 lead with 10:48 to play.
A late Flannery put-back got the Beavers to within 6, down 66-60, but the Scots held off the Beavers with the strong free throw shooting of Park Thomas to win.
Gordon had five players in double figures with Alex Carnes leading with 20. Park Thomas added 15, while Jason Dempsey each netted 12 and Hans Miersma scored 10.
Babson was led in scoring by Joey Flannery with 17. Kenny Ross in his final game tallied 15 and John Wickey contributed 10.
Gordon owned the glass posting a 35-18 differential and Miersma led with 9.
On the night Park Thomas was 10 for 10 from the free throw line.
At 6:19 of the first half Babson's Joe Flannery scored on a driving layup to put Babson up 10-6, but that lead did not last long as Gordon answered with three threes, one each by Park Thomas, Shaun Roach and Dominic Paradis to take a 15-10 lead.
The Scots kept rolling as Alex Carnes found success inside with an assortment of baby hooks and turnaround jumpers. After a baby hook and two turnaround jumpers by Carnes the lead was up to 10, 21-11.
Babson's Kenny ross got one point back with a free throw, but Gordon answered with another Carnes jump hook and a layin by Jason Dempsey, making it 25-12.
Gordon's Jason Dempsey a baby hook down low 23-12 Gordon.
Two inside hoops by Babson's David Mack made it 25-16 Gordon.
Gordon then put together a seven-point run highlighted by another inside hoops by Carnes on which he was fouled and his conversion of the traditional three-point play boosted the Babson lead to 32-16.
Gordon's Jason Dempsey closed out the scoring with two free throws with one minute left in the half to make it 36-23 Gordon.
Gordon's Alex Carnes led all scorers with 13 in the first 20 minutes. Jason Dempsey added eight for the Scots.
David Mack led Babson with eight.
Gordon hit 50% of their floor shots (15-30) in the first half, while Babson hit just 30 (9-30).
Gordon held a 24-13 advantage on the glass in the opening session with Dempsey and Carnes each grabbing six.