MEDFORD, Mass.—First-year Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) exploded for a career-high 31 points, while senior Kenny Ross (Furlong, Pa.) added a season-high 13 points to go along with four assists, four steals, and three rebounds, helping Babson College overpower Brandeis University, 78-47, in the opening game of the Big 4 Challenge at Cousens Gym on Saturday afternoon.
Babson, which has won two straight games to move to 6-1 on the season, will face Tufts or Salem State in Sunday's championship game at 3 p.m. Brandeis (5-2), which is receiving votes in the most recent D3hoops.com poll, will take part in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
Flannery finished the day going 11-for-14 from the floor and a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line, capping his career day with a steal and an emphatic dunk to put the Beavers up 66-40 with 7:39 to go in the game. Ross had 11 of his 13 points in the first half, while junior John Wickey (Manchester, N.H.) contributed 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The Judges, who were held nearly 43 points below their season average of 89.9 points, got 12 points and six rebounds from senior Gabriel Moten (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and 10 points from first-year Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass.).
Flannery and Ross scored 24 of Babson's first 30 points as the Green and White raced out to a 30-15 lead in the opening 12:48. Brandeis got within 37-30 after back-to-back layups from Vilmont and senior Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H.), but Flannery buried two free throws and junior David Mack (Holden, Mass.) rebounded a missed free throw and converted the putback to give the Beavers a 41-30 lead at halftime.
Babson led by double digits throughout the second half, and put the game away with a 20-1 run midway through the stanza. Flannery led the charge with 10 points, while senior Matt Palazini (Franklin, Mass.) buried consecutive three-pointers to give the Beavers a 72-40 lead with 6:09 left in the game.
The Green and White, which led by as many as 33 in the closing minutes, held the Judges to just six second-half field goals. Brandeis also committed eight turnovers and went just 5-for-18 at the free throw line after halftime.
The Beavers finished the game shooting 50 percent (28-for-56) from the floor and held a 43-33 edge on the boards. Brandeis shot just 33.3 percent (17-for-51) on the afternoon, and missed 16 of its 26 free throw attempts.
GAME NOTES: Babson is now 19-22 all-time against Brandeis and snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Judges with Saturday's win…The Beavers are now 1-2 against Brandeis in the Big 4 Challenge and advance to Sunday's title game for the first time…Babson is now 6-0 this year when leading at halftime and are 5-0 when holding its opponent to 60 points or less.