Men's Basketball

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

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

No. 1 Men's Basketball vs. MIT
Saturday, February 18—3 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.


Babson and MIT will meet for the 73rd time on Saturday afternoon in a series that dates back to the 1978-79 season. The Beavers are 52-20 all-time against the Engineers and have won eight of the last nine matchups going back to 2014.

Senior Isaiah Nelsen led all players with 18 points and Babson shot 65.4 percent in the second half to rally past MIT, 71-65, on January 18 in Cambridge. Classmate Joey Flannery and junior Nick Comenale both scored 11 of their 13 points in the second half to help the Beavers erase a 15-point deficit over the final 13 minutes. Sophomore Cameron Korb paced four Engineers in double figures with 14 points.

Sophomore Bradley Jomard paced four players in double figures with 21 points and Ryan Frankel added 19 points and nine assists as MIT built a 16-point second-half lead on its way to defeating the Beavers, 71-66, on January 20, 2016, in Babson Park. Flannery had 21 points and six boards for Babson, which cut a 15-point deficit down to just three in the closing minute.

MIT (19-5, 11-2 NEWMAC), which is ninth in the most recent NCAA regional rankings, rallied from a 10-point deficit over the final four minutes to defeat Emerson in OT, 74-70, for its fifth straight win on Wednesday. Sophomore AJ Jurko finished with 17 points and junior Spencer Rust contributed seven of his 14 points in the extra session for the Engineers, who tied the game on Jomard three-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation. Jomard is averaging 16.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists, senior Tim Butala (13.8 pts, 5.5 reb) is shooting 47.3 percent and Korb (12.0 pts, 2.5 reb) has knocked down 68 three-pointers this season, good for second in the league. MIT ranks eighth in Division III in scoring defense allowing just 62.9 points.

No. 1 Babson (23-1, 13-0 NEWMAC) pushed its winning streak to 14 with a 103-88 victory over Coast Guard on Wednesday. Flannery finished with 28 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, Comenale added 22 points and Nelsen contributed 20 on 8-of-14 shooting for the Beavers, who outscored the Bears 54-20 in the paint. Flannery (22.0 pts, 7.3 reb, 4.1 ast) ranks 23rd nationally in scoring, Comenale (17.2 pts, 5.6 reb, 2.4 ast) has tied a single-season record with 88 three-pointers this season, and Nelnse (13.0 pts, 6.0 reb) is shooting 65.2 percent, good for third in Division III. The Green and White is looking to become the first team in NEWMAC history to go undefeated in conference play.

Flannery, Nelsen and fellow seniors Sam Bohmiller, Matthew Droney, Charlie Rice and David Stauffer will play their final regular season home game on Saturday. This group has won 95 games, the most by any senior class in program history, which includes a 54-6 mark against conference foes over the last four years. Additionally, these six seniors helped lead the Beavers' to its first NCAA Division III Final Four in 2015, back-to-back conference tournament championships in 2015 and 2016, and three straight NEWMAC regular season titles.

Babson, which scored a season-low 19 first-half points against MIT back in January, rallied thanks to a 54-point second-half outburst. The Beavers have topped the 40-point mark in a period 30 times this winter, and have put up 50 or more points in eight different halves.

Babson is one of three NEWMAC squads taking part in the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge. Fans can help the team raise money by pledging for everything three-point bucket made during the month of February. The Green and White has made 48 triples in its first five games this month and has raised more than $1,100. Check out the leaderboard and make your pledge.

Flannery, who ranks second on Division III's active career scoring list with 2,377 points, needs just five points to pass Grinnell University's Steve Wood (2001-04) for 25th place on the all-time Division III scoring list.

The Beavers have gone 43-2 against NEWMAC competition over the last three years.