Men's Basketball

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Game Preview: No. 1 Men's Basketball at Coast Guard

Game Preview: No. 1 Men's Basketball at Coast Guard

No. 1 Men's Basketball at Coast Guard
Saturday, January 21—1 p.m.
Roland Hall—New London, Conn.

Babson and Coast Guard will meet for the 77th time on Saturday afternoon in a series that dates back to the 1972-73 season. The Beavers hold a 50-26 edge all-time and have won 11 straight against the Bears since 2012.

Senior Joey Flannery scored 22 points and junior Nick Comenale recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds to help Babson defeat Coast Guard, 80-73, on February 17, 2016, in New London. Senior Sam Bohmiller added 14 points and four assists for the Beavers, who led by as many as 19 less than 10 minutes into the contest. Kevin Alvarez paced four Bears in double figures with 17 points.

Jevon James scored 20 points and Kevin Sowers chipped in with 15, including a 9-for-11 effort from the free throw line, helping the fifth-seeded Bears knock off fourth-seeded Babson, 62-53, in a NEWMAC Tournament quarterfinal on February 23, 2011, in Babson Park. Matt Zoia '11 had 19 points to lead the Beavers, who built a 14-point first-half lead but shot just 34.9 percent on the night.

Coast Guard (5-10, 1-4 NEWMAC) is looking to halt a three-game skid after suffering an 80-74 loss at Springfield on Wednesday. Junior Micah Baldez scored 18 points and first-year Max Lampe added 17 to go along with six rebounds for the Bears, who finished with a 42-35 edge on the glass but shot just 37.9 percent on the night. First-year Patrick Witkowski (12.5 pts, 6.9 reb) leads the team in scoring and rebounding, Baldez is averaging 11.9 points, 4.6 boards and 3.2 assists, and Lampe (10.9 pts, 3.5 reb) is shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. Coast Guard is averaging is averaging 73.4 points in league play, but ranks seventh in both scoring defense (79.0 points) and field-goal percentage defense (46.4).
No. 1 Babson (15-1, 5-0 NEWMAC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference by rallying from a 15-point second-half deficit for a 71-65 victory at MIT on Wednesday. Junior Isaiah Nelsen paced four players in double figures with a game-high 18 points, while Flannery and Comenale each added 13 for the Beavers, who erupted for 54 points over the final 20 minutes after trailing 30-17 at the half. Flannery (22.9 pts, 6.1 reb, 4.2 ast) is first in the league in scoring and third in assists, Comenale (17.6 pts, 5.5 reb, 2.3 ast) is shooting 47.4 percent from three-point range and Nelsen (13.5 pts, 6.7 reb) leads the conference in field-goal percentage at 62.1 percent. The Green and White is averaging 77.0 points in NEWMAC play and is holding its foes to a league-low 37.7 percent from the field.

Senior Matthew Droney, who played a season-high 27 minutes in last Saturday's win over Wheaton, has averaged 4.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists over the last two games. He is averaging 18.4 minutes in conference play and is tied for second on the team and seventh in the league with 16 assists.

After averaging just 11.0 points in 2014 against Coast Guard, Flannery has put up four straight 20-point games and is averaging 24.3 points while shooting 54.1 percent over the last two years against the Bears. Fellow senior Sam Bohmiller has averaged 9.3 points, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in six career games against Coast Guard.

After Ripon (Wis.) snapped St. Norbert's Division III record 72-game Midwest Conference winning streak on Wednesday, the Beavers' 16-game NEWMAC winning streak is now the longest in the country. Additionally, the Green and White has won 20 consecutive conference road games since suffering a 71-70 loss on January 29, 2014. Included in this stretch are 10 wins by six points or less or in overtime.

The Beavers are 5-0 this season and have won their last seven contests when trailing at halftime.