Men's Basketball

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

Game Preview: Men's Basketball at WPI

Game Preview: Men's Basketball at WPI

Men's Basketball at WPI
Saturday, January 6—2 p.m.
Harrington Auditorium—Worcester, Mass.

Babson and WPI will meet for the 77th time on Saturday afternoon in a series that dates back to the 1974-75 season. The Beavers are 46-30 all-time against the Engineers and have won five straight in the series going back to 2015.

Joey Flannery '17 scored a game-high 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals to help then-top-ranked Babson defeat WPI, 62-45, on February 4, 2017, in Worcester. Senior Nick Comenale finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc and grabbed seven rebounds for the Beavers, while classmate Bradley Jacks added nine points in the win. Ian Converse scored 17 points to pace the Engineers.

Domenick Mastascusa scored 15 points and Aaron Davis added 13 points as the Engineers defeated Babson, 67-57, on January 14, 2015, in Babson Park. Sam Longwell also scored 12 points for WPI, which shot 50 percent and built a 13-point halftime lead. Eric Dean '15 led all scorers with 18 points, while Sam Bohmiller '17 added 15 for the Beavers.

WPI (6-6, 0-1 NEWMAC) is looking for its first league win after falling to No. 15 MIT, 94-58, on Wednesday night inside Harrington Auditorium. First-year Reid Walker led the team with 11 points and seven rebounds, classmate Avelino Damoura added eight points, and sophomore Andreas Bitsos chipped in with six boards and two blocks for the Engineers, who trailed 44-26 at the half. First-year Jake Needleman (11.1 pts, 2.1 reb) and classmate Garrett Stephenson (10.7 pts, 4.7 reb) are both shooting better than 56 percent from the floor, while Walker (9.3 pts, 6.6 reb) has averaged 9.5 boards over the last four games. WPI ranks 32nd in Division III in three-point field-goal percentage connecting at a 40.2 percent clip on the year.

Babson (6-6, 1-0 NEWMAC) collected a win in its NEWMAC opener as it downed Springfield, 83-60, on Wednesday night at Staake Gymnasium. Comenale scored 28 points and became the 26th player in program history to surpass 1,000 points, first-year Andrew Jaworski finished with 18 points, and junior Brandon Johnson had 14 points and seven boards for the Beavers, who shot 50 percent on the night. Comenale (19.8 pts, 5.4 reb, 2.3 ast) ranks 15th nationally with 43 three-point field goals, Jacks (16.2 pts, 6.2 reb, 1.8 blk) sits at 26th in the country with 22 blocked shots, and Jaworski (10.7 pts, 3.5 reb) has averaged 15.1 pts on 54.3 percent shooting over his last six outings. The Green and White ranks 36th nationally in field goal percentage (48.4) and is averaging just 10.3 turnovers over the last three games. 

Comenale, who is now third in program history with 208 three-pointers, and Jaworski each knocked down five trifectas in Wednesday's win over Springfield. The Beavers have connected on at least eight triples in 11 of 12 games this season, and have buried 10 or more three-pointers on seven occasions.

The Green and White enters Saturday's contest with a trio of impressive streaks, including 24 straight NEWMAC regular season wins and 25 consecutive conference road wins going back to 2014. Babson has also won 40 games in a row on Saturday going back to the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

Johnson, who has reached double figures in scoring in three of the last four games, is averaging 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists with one double-double during this stretch. Additionally, sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson is averaging 10.5 points, 5.3 assists and 2.8 boards since joining the starting lineup on December 2.

The Beavers have shot better than 41 percent in every game this season and have been held below 40 percent just twice over the last 45 games going back to last year.