Joey Flannery's block of a Nolan Ebel layup Saturday denied Augustana's bid to win its first national title, as Babson survived a late Viking push to win 79-78 at the Salem Civic Center. Coach Grey Giovanine's club finished the year 24-9, while the third-ranked Beavers claimed their first national championship with a record of 31-2.
A Flannery layup with 2:40 to play gave Babson a 79-72 lead. Ebel answered with a three-pointer 12 seconds later to pull Augustana to within three. After a defensive stop, the Vikings got three shots on their next possession, but couldn't convert any of them. The teams alternated empty possessions until a Jacob Johnston three-pointer cut the deficit to 79-78 with 10 seconds left.
Dakota High School graduate Brett Benning contributed 11 points for the Vikings in the national title game defeat.
Augustana shot .466 (27-58) from the field, .417 (10-24) from three-point range and .737 (14-19) from the foul line. The Beavers hit 30 of 62 (.484) from the floor, seven of 19 (.368) from long distance and 12 of 17 (.706) at the foul line. The Vikings won the rebound battle 35-30, but Babson turned it over just four times to Augustana's 10.