Men's Basketball

2017 NCAA National Champions | 9 NCAA Tournaments | 11 Conference Championships

Game Preview: No. 1 Men's Basketball vs. Clark

Game Preview: No. 1 Men's Basketball vs. Clark

No. 1 Men's Basketball vs. Clark
Wednesday, January 25—5:30 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.


Babson and Clark will meet for the 68th time on Wednesday in a series that dates back to the 1934-35 season. The Beavers are 29-38 all-time against the Cougars, but have won eight of the last 10 matchups between the teams.

Junior Bradley Jacks scored a game-high 17 points and classmate Nick Comenale added 15 as the Beavers defeated Clark, 80-56, on February 13, 2016, in Babson Park. Senior Sam Bohmiller scored 12 points for the Beavers, who shot 50 percent and pulled away with a 24-4 run that spanned parts of both halves. Tyler Huffman led the Cougars with 10 points.

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. Senior David Mercier added 12 points for Clark, which led 65-48 with 8:51 to go. John Wickey '15 and senior Joey 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 (11-6, 3-3 NEWMAC) has won three of its last four games after pulling away to defeat Springfield, 82-68, on Saturday. Mercier led four players in double figures with 22 points and junior John Pisacreta added 14 for the Cougars, who shot 52 percent while outscoring the Pride 49-31 in the second half. Sophomore Luca McCormick is averaging 12.8 points and 4.5 boards, senior Joe Atkinson (12.4 pts, 7.7 reb, 3.8 ast) leads the team in rebounds and assists, and Mercier (11.3 pts, 4.6 reb) is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor. Conference opponents are shooting 48 percent overall and 42.4 percent from beyond the arc this winter.

No. 1 Babson (16-1, 6-0 NEWMAC) defeated Coast Guard, 87-72, for its seventh consecutive victory on Saturday. Flannery finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds and Comenale added 19 points and seven boards for the Beavers, who tied a school record with 18 three-pointers and built a 30-point lead less than seven minutes into the second half. Flannery (23.3 pts, 6.4 reb, 4.1 ast) ranks 16th nationally in scoring, Comenale (17.7 pts, 5.6 reb, 2.2 ast) leads the conference with 60 three-point field goals and senior Isaiah Nelsen (13.6 pts, 6.5 reb) is shooting 63.4 percent, good for 12th in Division III. The Green and White ranks 13th nationally with a 1.45 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The coaching staffs from both Babson and Clark will take part in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Week in conjunction with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Wednesday. Coaching staffs across the country participate in the nationwide event to raise awareness and help save lives from cancer by raising funds and encouraging people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening and early detection.

Flannery, who went 10-of-18 from the floor on Saturday at Coast Guard, is now tied for third in program history alongside Tom Groth '84 with 740 career field goals. He is also tied with Phil Riffe '92 for fourth place all-time with 167 three-pointers.

The Beavers retained the top spot in the Top 25 poll for the fifth week in a row on Monday with 15 first-place votes and 613 points. The last team to be No. 1 for five consecutive weeks was Augustana (Ill.) early in the 2015-16 season.

Babson's 17-game conference winning streak is currently the longest in Division III, and its 15-game winning streak at Staake Gymnasium is fourth in the nation behind Amherst (26), Christopher Newport (20) and St. Norbert (16).

The Beavers are 11-0 this season when outrebounding their opponents.