Men's Basketball

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Game Preview: No. 1 Men's Basketball at Emerson

Game Preview: No. 1 Men's Basketball at Emerson

No. 1 Men's Basketball at Emerson
Wednesday, January 4—6 p.m.
Brown-Plofker Gymnasium—Boston, Mass.

Babson and Emerson will meet for the 23rd time on Wednesday night in the conference opener for both teams. The Beavers own a 20-2 edge in an all-time series that dates back to the 1951-52 campaign, and have won eight straight games against the Lions.

Senior Joey Flannery recorded a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds to help the Beavers defeat Emerson, 74-69, in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal on February 27, 2016, in Babson Park. Classmate Sam Bohmiller and junior Nick Comenale both added 13 points for the Green and White, while Michael Thorpe paced three Lions in double figures with 18 points to go along with eight assists.

Carlos Negrete knocked down seven three-pointers and recorded a game-high 25 points as the Lions defeated Babson, 69-66, on November 23, 2010, in Babson Park. Bilali Kalilou-Mack netted 13 points for Emerson, which finished 12-for-22 from behind the arc on the night. Russell Braithwaite '13 paced four Beavers in double figures with 16 points.

Emerson (4-7, 0-0 NEWMAC) enters league playing having lost two straight and five of its last six following a 96-54 setback at Pomona-Pitzer on Friday. Sophomore Geoffrey Gray finished with 13 points and six rebounds for the Lions, who shot 35.8 percent while watching the Sagehens knock down 18 three-point field goals. Gray ranks fourth in the league in scoring (17.8 points), third in rebounds (8.5) and second in assists (4.4), junior Michael Sheng (15.0 pts, 5.7 reb, 4.0 ast) has reached double figures in 10 straight games and classmate John Geary (10.7 pts, 4.4 reb) is shooting 53.8 percent from beyond the arc. Emerson is allowing 79.2 points this season and has given up 83 or more in four of its last five contests.

No. 1 Babson (10-1, 0-0 NEWMAC) returned to action after more than three weeks off with an 82-70 victory at Chicago on Saturday. Junior Bradley Jacks scored a season-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and Flannery added 22 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Beavers, who held the Maroons to 28.5 percent shooting in the second half. Flannery (25.9 pts, 5.9 reb, 4.2 ast) ranks seventh in Division III in scoring, Comenale (18.0 pts, 5.5 reb, 2.5 ast) recorded his first double-double of the year at Chicago and senior Isaiah Nelsen (12.7 pts, 6.8 reb) is shooting a league-best 64.3 percent from the floor. The Green and White, which is averaging 88.2 points, ranks 10th nationally in field goal percentage (50.3).

Flannery has averaged 21.7 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 53.9 in seven career games against Emerson. Additionally, he is averaging 8.3 made free throws against the Lions.

The Beavers have won 18 straight NEWMAC games on the road going back to a 77-71 OT triumph at Emerson on February 1, 2014. The Green and White has averaged 89.5 points while shooting 46.6 percent in its only two road games this season.

Babson, which collected seven of eight first-place votes to finish atop the NEWMAC coaches' poll in November, is looking to become the first program to win three straight regular season league titles since WPI captured a share of six in a row from 2004-09.

The Beavers have scored at least 70 points in 19 consecutive games going back to last February.