WELLESLEY, Mass. -- David Hixon won his 700th career win as head coach of Amherst on Thursday night when the No. 7 Jeffs defeated Babson 90-77 at Staake Gymnasium. The Jeffs improved to 7-1 on the season, dropping Babson to 7-2 overall.
With the win, Hixon is now 700-253 in his 37th season and ranks fourth all time in Division III in wins, behind Glenn Robinson of Franklin & Marshall, Jim Smith at Saint John’s (Minn.) and Steve Moore from Wooster. Hixon’s .735 winning percentage also ranks seventh all-time. The two-time NABC Coach of the Year and three-time NABC All-Region Coach of the Year has led his alma mater to 15 NCAA tournaments and two national championships in 2006-07 and most recently '12-13.
Three Jeffs scored 20-plus points to lead Amherst to the win. Tom Killian led the way with a career-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting while going 4-of-7 from downtown. He also grabbed seven rebounds while Connor Green and Aaron Toomey scored 26 and 23 points, respectively. Green also pulled in a game-high eight boards while Toomey dished out a team-high eight assists. As a team, the Jeffs shot 59.6 percent from the floor and held Babson to 43.3 percent.
Five Beavers scored double figures in the loss. John Wickey went 3 for 7 from behind the arc to lead Babson with 19 points while Joey Flannery posted 17 with a team-high seven rebounds. Kenny Ross added 12 points and dished out a game-high nine assists.
Getting off to a fast start, Killian scored Amherst’s first 14 points, giving the Jeffs a five-point edge after draining his fourth 3-pointer just 3:50 after the opening tip-off. After Wickey trimmed the deficit to one with a layup on the other end, Green connected on another from long distance to stretch the visitor’s margin to six.
Trailing 19-13 after a Killian alley-oop off a Toomey feed, Babson rattled off an 11-4 run, taking its first lead of the game on another Wickey bucket. Knotted at 34-34 with 4:27 to go in the half, Amherst ripped off an 11-6 spurt.
Held scoreless for the majority of the first 20 minutes, Toomey drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner. The next time down the floor, he hit another triple from the left wing before connecting on a pair from the charity stripe and two more treys to cap off a stretch of 14 consecutive Amherst points that helped give the Jeffs a slim 46-43 edge at the intermission.
Following a layup from Reid Berman at the 16:02 mark, Amherst had pulled ahead by seven early in the second half. Within the next six minutes, Babson had cut into the lead and eventually pulled ahead after a steal by David Mack led to a three-point play as the Beavers went ahead 63-61 with 9:10 remaining in regulation.
Despite taking a lead, the momentum quickly shifted in the Jeffs favor as a layup from Killian sparked a 15-1 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Green as Amherst led 81-67 with just more than three minutes remaining.
The deficit was too much to overcome as the Jeffs pulled away with the 90-77 win.