Men's Basketball

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Johnson & Wales Uses Second-Half Run to Sink Men's Basketball, 78-68

Johnson & Wales Uses Second-Half Run to Sink Men's Basketball, 78-68

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Matt Madoian (North Kingstown, R.I.) poured in a game-high 31 points and visiting Johnson & Wales University rallied from a 10-point deficit over the final 15 minutes to defeat Babson College, 78-68, in non-conference men's basketball on Sunday afternoon inside Staake Gymnasium.

Babson, which has dropped two straight games, falls to 5-6, while Johnson & Wales improves to 5-5 on the year.

Senior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) finished with a season-high 29 points on 13-of-20 shooting to lead the Beavers. Classmate Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) added 11 points, junior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and first-year Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) added 10 points and six boards. Sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) led all players with seven assists.

Madoian pumped in 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the second half, while junior Randall Ferdinand (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) posted a double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Classmate Brian Hogan-Gary (Staten Island, N.Y.) added eight points and 12 boards for the Wildcats.

The Green and White trailed 17-10 nearly eight minutes into the contest before taking its first lead with a 16-2 run. Jaworski tied the game at 19-19 with layup, Johnson scored four straight points and Jacks buried a three-pointer to make it 26-19 with 6:36 to go in the half. Johnson & Wales responded with a 13-6 burst before a layup by Comenale gave the Beavers a 34-32 edge going to the locker room.

Babson scored on seven of its first 10 possessions to open the second half as it built a 52-42 lead, its biggest of the game, on a bucket by Ulrickson with 14:29 to go in the game. The Wildcats knocked down four straight free throws on their ensuing trip to begin a 30-6 run that helped them seize command of the game.

Madoian knocked down four triples during the spurt, and Johnson & Wales took the lead for good on a three-point play by first-year Justin Bullock (Spring Valley, N.Y.) at 55-53 with 10:42 left. A dunk by Madoian pushed the lead to eight less than three minutes later, and Ferdinand, who scored seven points during the burst, converted a layup to make it 72-58 with 6:00 remaining.

A pair of buckets by Comenale, a free throw by Johnson, and a layup by Jaworski helped cut the Beavers' deficit to 73-67 with 51 seconds left, but the Wildcats went 5-of-6 at the charity stripe down the stretch to close out the win.

Babson shot 45.3 percent from the floor, but made a season-low five three-pointers and struggled from beyond the arc shooting just 20.8 percent. The Green and White outscored Johnson & Wales 46-36 in the paint.

The Wildcats shot just 39.4 percent on the afternoon, but went 17-of-23 at the free throw line (73.9 percent) and finished with a 47-35 edge on the glass.

The Beavers return to action on Wednesday when they host Springfield at 7 p.m., while Johnson & Wales travels to Anna Maria next Saturday at 12 p.m.

• Babson is now 1-1 all-time against the Wildcats.
• Prior to Sunday, the Beavers had made eight or more three-point field goals in 13 consecutive games going back to last season.
• The Green and White has now dropped five straight Sunday afternoon games going back to last March.
• Johnson, who recorded his second double-double of the year, has grabbed 10 boards in each of the last two contests.