Beavers Off to Best Start in Program History at 8-0
WALTHAM, Mass.—Senior Isaiah Nelsen (North Andover, Mass.) scored 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and junior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) added 23 points as second-ranked Babson College rallied to defeat Salem State, 82-73, in the opening round of the New England Big 4 Challenge on Friday night at Red Auerbach Arena on the campus of Brandeis University.
Babson, which is now 8-0, is off to its best start in school history, while Salem State drops to 4-3 with its second consecutive loss.
Senior Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) recorded a double-double with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting to goa long with a game-high 11 rebounds for the Beavers. Junior Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) added eight points, seven boards and three assists in the win.
Sophomore Alexander Santos (Lawrence, Mass.) paced four players in double figures with 17 points for the Vikings. Junior Marcus Faison (Cambridge, Mass.) recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Shaquan Murray (Boston, Mass.) chipped in with 15 points.
Santos scored 13 early points and staked Salem State to a 21-15 lead less than six minutes into the contest. Nelsen and Comenale combined for 19 of Babson's first 22 points to pull within 23-22 at the 7:50 mark, but the Vikings used a 14-4 spurt to take their biggest lead of the game at 37-26 on a layup by Bryan with 4:27 to go until halftime.
The Green and White countered with an 11-3 spurt to pull within three at the break and then outscored Salem State 16-5 over the first 9:45 of the second half to take a 55-46 on the second of two straight hoops by Rice. The Vikings cut their deficit back to seven following a turnover, but the Beavers responded with a 9-0 run to push their advantage to 66-54 on another bucket by Rice with 5:52 remaining.
Following a pair of empty possessions, junior Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) hit a driving layup and Nelsen came through with back-to-back buckets to give Babson its biggest lead of the game at 72-56 with 2:53 to go.
The Beavers shot 50.7 percent (34-of-67) from the floor and outscored Salem State 56-32 in the paint. The Green and White also finished with a 43-40 edge on the glass.
The Vikings shot 37.5 percent (30-of-80) on the night and connected on just 27.9 percent of their attempts after missing 15 of their first 17 shots to open the second half.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Babson will play in the championship game at 4 p.m. against either third-ranked Tufts or Brandeis, while Salem State will be in the 2 p.m. consolation game.
• The Beavers are now 7-12 against Salem State and have won three straight in the series.
• Babson has won its last four opening round games in the Big 4 Challenge.
• The Beavers four three-point field goals were a season low.
• The Green and White, which was playing its first game on the road this season, is 23-5 since the start of 2014-15 away from home.