Men's Basketball

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Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. Clark

Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. Clark

Men's Basketball vs. Clark
Saturday, February 13—2 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Clark will meet for the 67th time on Saturday afternoon in a series that dates back to the 1934-35 season. The Beavers are 28-38 all-time against the Cougars but have won seven of the last nine matchups and have a chance to sweep the regular-season series for the second year in a row.

The Beavers have a two-game lead over MIT with three games remaining and can clinch a share of the NEWMAC regular-season crown for the second consecutive season with a win on Saturday. Babson has not won back-to-back regular-season conference titles since finishing atop the Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) in both 1995 and 1996.

Junior Joey Flannery scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting to help Babson down Clark, 72-50, on January 26 in Worcester. Sophomore Nick Comenale and junior Isaiah Nelsen added 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Beavers, while first-year Luca McCormick scored 11 points to lead the Cougars, who shot just 31.1 percent.

Andrew Musler poured in 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and the Cougars built a 17-point second-half lead before holding off Babson, 71-70, on January 25, 2014, in Worcester, Mass. Junior David Mercier 12 points for Clark, which led 65-48 with 8:51 to go. John Wickey '15 and Flannery, who had his potential game-winning shot go in-and-out in the closing seconds, each scored 23 points to lead the Beavers.

Clark (6-16, 3-8 NEWMAC) is looking to halt a two-game skid after suffering an 88-83 overtime loss at Wheaton on Wednesday. Senior Tyler Huffman scored 29 points and junior Joe Atkinson added 15 for the Cougars, who drained 15 three-pointers but were unable to hold onto a 14-point second-half lead. Huffman (14.1 PPG, 1.5 APG) has knocked down 44 triples this winter, junior Lamar Berk (9.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG) is second on the team in rebounding and Mercier is contributing 9.6 points and 4.4 boards.

Babson (16-5, 10-1 NEWMAC) has won six consecutive games after rallying for a 68-64 victory at Springfield on Wednesday. Flannery finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Nelsen and junior Bradley Jacks both added 12 points for the Beavers, who shot a season-low 39.7 percent on the night. Flannery (25.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.7 APG) has scored at least 20 points in 12 of the last 13 games, Nelsen (16.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG) is shooting a league-best 60.9 percent and Jacks (12.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG) has reached double figures in four straight outings.

The Beavers' lone senior Travis Sheldon will play his final regular-season home game at Staake Gymnasium on Saturday against the Cougars. The two-year captain has appeared in 68 career games and enjoyed one of the best four-year runs in school history as the Green and White has gone 79-28 with one conference title, two NCAA Tournament berths and the program's first Division III Final Four appearance.

Flannery, who has averaged 26.7 points while shooting 60.9 percent over the last three games against Clark, is up to eighth on Babson's single-season scoring list with 513 points. He is also up to fourth in single-season history with 152 made free throws on the year.

Comenale and junior Sam Bohmiller have combined to make 25 three-point field goals over the last six games while shooting 46.3 percent from beyond the arc. Additionally, they have dished out 32 assists and committed just five turnovers.

The Beavers are 14-3 this season and have gone 39-4 over the last two years when outrebounding their opponents.