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Framingham’s King an all-around force for Babson women’s basketball

Babson’s Kathleen King has recorded a team-high 35 steals and 48 assists this season for the squad, which has a 12-2 record.

Kathleen King adds a new wrinkle or two to her game every season.

As a freshman just a few months out of Framingham High School, she was an inside presence for the Babson women’s basketball team. Her sophomore season, the 6-foot forward expanded her game out to the perimeter. The last two seasons, she has been asked to bring the ball up the court against the press, and handle inbound plays for the Beavers.

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The constant, according to Babson coach Judy Blinstrub, is King’s “refuse to lose’’ attitude and her ability to step up in pressure situations.

That was never more evident than in Saturday’s conference game at highly regarded Smith College, when King and fellow front-court mates Nicki Wurdeman and Sarah Collins were all battling assorted bumps and bruises.

King racked up 22 points, grabbed 13 rebounds - her sixth straight double-double - and added six assists as the Beavers (12-2, 8-0 in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) ripped off their 46th consecutive regular-season conference win.

“Kathleen was on fire, just phenomenal,’’’ said Blinstrub, in her 28th season on the bench at Babson. “She just goes and goes, like the Energizer Bunny.’’

A two-year captain, King said that if some parts of her game may be a bit off, she’ll try to help in other ways.

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“I’ll always bring energy to our team, along with my instinct for rebounding and sharing the ball with Nicki and Sarah,’’ said King, who is averaging a career-best 16 points and 10 rebounds per game, and Monday was named the conference’s Player of the Week for her play last week.

“Last Thursday, all three of us sat out practice. I had a foot problem, but once the game started against Smith, that was all in the past.’’

King’s energy is complemented by her consistency. With 103 starts in 104 career games, she ranks fourth in program history with 1,556 points, 212 steals, and 962 rebounds, and is 11th with 246 steals - but first in that category among forwards and centers. This season, she has recorded a team-high 35 steals and 48 assists.

With 38 more rebounds, the former Globe All-Scholastic will join Michele Merten (class of 1995) as the only two women at Babson with at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. She is also 161 rebounds shy of becoming Babson’s all-time leader.

King would trade in all the personal accolades, including three first-team All-NEWMAC selections, for another shot at the NCAA Division 3 title. The Beavers have been bounced out of the tournament the past three seasons by Amherst, twice in the national quarterfinals.

“I know that’s in the back of all our minds, and although we have high expectations, there is never any guarantee you’re going to go back. You have to earn it,’’ said King, who said being a captain is “flattering because you are looked on as a leader. It makes me want to take the team in the right direction.’’

King’s mother, Joanne, played basketball and volleyball at Framingham North; her older sister, Courtney, was a high school teammate.

She was recruited by some Division 2 schools, but was given the opportunity to play right away as a freshman by Blinstrub, who began her coaching career at her high school alma mater, Mount Alvernia in Newton.

King’s Babson teammates include a fellow Framingham High grad, 5-foot-4 sophomore guard Caitlin O’Connell, and 6-foot-1 senior captain Kelly McKenna (Shrewsbury High).

“Caitlin stepped up last year in the NCAA tournament and can get hot from the outside,’’ said Blinstrub, “and Kelly plays a significant role with quality minutes backing up our front court.’’

Haydenettes host skating event

The Haydenettes of Lexington, the world bronze medalist and US Figure Skating national champions last year, will host and perform Saturday at the third annual New England Challenge Cup.

The synchronized skating event, for beginner through masters levels, will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Ned O’Brien Ice Rink in Woburn. Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for senior citizens, children under 12, and college students with a valid ID.

Synchronized skating combines elements from ice dance and pairs skating into a team performance featuring speed and intricate formations and footwork.

The Haydenettes and nine other Hayden Recreation Center synchronized skating teams will be in Hershey, Pa., next Thursday for the start of the Eastern Sectional Championships. The Haydenettes, comprised primarily of college-age skaters from around the country, have won an unprecedented 19 national titles.

Local skaters on the Haydenettes include Lexington residents Alaina Salusti, sisters Hannah and Lauren Lapuck, and Megan Crocker; Abigail Goslin of Wrentham; and Jennifer Marshall of Sudbury.

Rothman shines

Newton South High graduate Chloe Rothman was recently named the Northeast-10 Conference’s Rookie of the Week for women’s basketball.

The 5-foot-7 freshman guard at Merrimack College played every minute in two games, scoring a career-high 22 points with 6 assists and 4 rebounds in a loss to Adelphi, then totaling 18 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds in a win over New Haven.

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.

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