Men's Basketball

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Game Preview: Men's Basketball at Bates

Game Preview: Men's Basketball at Bates

Men's Basketball at Bates
Friday, December 29—1 p.m.
Alumni Gym—Lewiston, Maine

Babson and Bates will meet for the 26th time on Friday afternoon in a series that dates back to 1960. The Beavers are 13-12 all-time against the Bobcats and are looking to win back-to-back games in the series for the first time since 2008. 

Senior Nick Comenale finished with 20 points and seven rebounds as then-second-ranked Babson raced past Bates, 87-53, on November 20, 2016 at Staake Gymnasium. Isiah Nelsen '17 recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, while Joey Flannery '17 added 11 points for the Beavers, who held the Bobcats to just 32.2 percent shooting.

Joey Flannery poured in 35 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but Babson was unable to rally from a double-digit second-half deficit and suffered an 83-78 loss to the Bobcats on December 31, 2015, in Lewiston. Malcolm Delpeche (21 points, 12 rebounds) and Mike Boornazian (15 points, 10 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles for Bates, which led for the final 28 minutes of the contest. 

Bates (6-3) downed Alma, 86-80, as junior Nick Lynch tallied a double-double to pace four Bobcats in double figures back on December 21 in the final day of the Daytona Beach Shootout. Lynch scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 13 boards, while sophomore Tom Coyne added 16 points and a pair of steals for the Bobcats, who hit 14 three-pointers and went 20-of-25 at the free throw line. Sophomore Jeff Spellman (16.3 pts 4.2 reb) has reached double figures in seven games this season, Coyne (15 pts, 5.1 reb) has made a team-high 18 three-pointers, and Lynch (9.3 pts, 7.7 reb) is shooting 47.9 percent from the floor. As a team, Bates is shooting just 37.9 percent over its first nine outings. 

Babson (5-4) edged No. 21 Amherst, 72-71, as sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson knocked down three free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining back on December 7. Comenale paced four players in double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds, while junior Brandon Johnson finished with 14 points and seven boards for the Beavers, who held the Mammoths to just 37.2 percent shooting. Comenale (18.3 pts, 5.1 reb) ranks 28th in Division III with 3.56 mader three-pointers per game, senior Bradley Jacks (17.1 pts, 5.8 reb, 2.1 blocks) is shooting 54.8 percent from the floor, and first-year Andrew Jaworski (7.6 pts, 3.0 reb) has averaged 12.3 points on 53.8 percent shooting in a trio of starts. The Green and White ranks 31st nationally in field goal percentage (49.1) and has knocked down at least eight three-pointers in every game this season.

In addition to knocking down clutch free throws against Amherst, Ulrickson also finished with career highs of eight assists and seven rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. He has averaged 13.0 points, 4.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 62.5 percent in starts against Brandeis, Salem State and the Mammoths.

Senior Brian Kelley, who scored a career-best 10 points in last season's victory over Bates, came off the bench to play a career-high 10 minutes while producing three points, two steals and one rebound in his first action since November 18 in the win over Amherst.

Reigning NABC Division III Coach of the Year Stephen Brennan, who picked up his 375th career victory with the win over Amherst, will return to his alma mater as a head coach for just the second time on Friday. A four-year letterwinner for the Bobcats from 1983-87, Brennan also served as an assistant coach at Bates during the 1988-89 campaign.

In their five wins this season, the Beavers have held their opponents to just 36.7 percent shooting.