Men's Basketball

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NEWMAC Championship Preview: No. 1 Men’s Basketball vs. No. 3 MIT

NEWMAC Championship Preview: No. 1 Men’s Basketball vs. No. 3 MIT

No. 1 Men's Basketball vs. No. 3 MIT
Sunday, February 28—12 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and MIT will meet for the 71st time on Sunday afternoon in a series that dates back to the 1978-79 season. The Beavers are 50-20 all-time against the Engineers and have won six out of the last seven meetings going back to the 2013-14 campaign.

Babson and MIT will meet for the sixth time in the NEWMAC Tournament and 10th time in the postseason on Saturday. The Beavers, who defeated the Engineers in the league semifinals last season, are 5-3 all-time in the conference plays and also own an ECAC Tournament win against MIT.

Junior Joey Flannery paced five players in double figures with 27 points to help Babson defeat MIT, 94-80, in the regular-season finale for both teams on February 20. Classmate Sam Bohmiller and sophomore Bradley Jacks both added 16 points for the Beavers, who led by as many as 19 in the second half. First-year Adam Jurko paced four Engineers in double figures with 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting.

First-year Bradley Jomard scored 21 points and senior Ryan Frankel added 19 and nine assists to help the Engineers edge Babson, 71-66, on January 20 in Babson Park. First-year Tim Roberts finished with 11 points and 10 boards for MIT, which led by as many as 16 early in the second half. Flannery scored 21 points for the Beavers, who used a late 13-1 run to get within three in the final minute.

Third-seeded MIT (20-6) returned to the NEWMAC championship game for the fourth time since 2011 with a 96-80 victory over second-seeded WPI on Saturday. Jomard finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds, while senior Justin Pedley was one of five players in double figures with 15 points for the Engineers, who shot 58.3 percent and drilled 10 three-point field goals. Jomard (16.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG) is fourth in the NEWMAC in scoring, Pedley (15.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG) has connected on a league-best 76 treys and Jurko (14.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG) is shooting 51.3 percent from the floor. MIT, which entered the weekend ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense allowing just 60.3 points, is looking to win its second conference title in the last three years.

Top-seeded and 20th-ranked Babson (20-5) its making its second consecutive NEWMAC title game appearance after edging fifth-seeded Emerson, 74-69, on Saturday. Flannery scored a game-high 27 points, while Bohmiller and sophomore Nick Comenale both scored 13 for the Beavers, who went 29-of-33 at the free throw line to offset shooting a season-low 38.8 percent. Flannery (24.7 PPG, 6.8 PPG, 2.8 APG) ranks 11th in Division III in scoring, junior Isaiah Nelsen (15.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG) is shooting a league-best 60.3 percent and Jacks is contributing 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds. The Green and White, which has now reached 20 wins in three consecutive seasons, is looking to become the fourth program to repeat as NEWMAC Tournament champions since 2005.

Flannery, who passed Chris Johnson '78 for second on the program's all-time scoring list, is now just 34 points behind Tom Groth's '84 school record of 1,854.

Bohmiller, who has played at least 31 minutes in eight consecutive games, is averaging 13.8 points while shooting 66.7 percent over the last four contests.

Babson is now 15-5 over the last two years in games decided by five points or less.

The Beavers, who are 4-6 all-time in conference tournament championship games, have won eight consecutive postseason games at home.