Men's Basketball

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

Game Preview: Men's Basketball at Wheaton

Game Preview: Men's Basketball at Wheaton

Men's Basketball at Wheaton
Wednesday, January 17—7 p.m.
Emerson Gymnasium—Norton, Mass.

Babson and Wheaton will meet for the 46th time in a series that dates back to the 1989-90 campaign. The Beavers are 34-12 all-time and have won 16 straight against the Lyons.

Joey Flannery '17 finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to help then-top-ranked Babson College defeat Wheaton College, 78-64, on February 1, 2018 at Emerson Gymnasium. Isaiah Nelsen '17 and Charlie Rice '17 added 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Beavers, who led by as many as 25 in the second half. Senior Ryan Fogarty paced the Lyons wiht 16 points.

Anthony Coppola and Jaxon Leo each scored 12 points and the Lyons rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat Babson, 70-65, on February 11, 2011, in Babson Park. Russell Braithwaite '13 led all scorers with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds for the Beavers, who led 38-29 at the half.

Wheaton (9-5, 1-3 NEWMAC) has dropped three straight games after suffering a 91-65 loss to then-No. 11 MIT on Saturday. Senior Liam Bruno scored a team-high 19 points on 6-of-11 from the floor, Fogarty posted 16 points, and junior David Carbonello chipped in with 12 points for the Lyons, who got outscored 53-24 in the paint. Fogarty (15.6 pts, 4.7 reb) leads the conference with 82 made free throws, Bruno (15.2 pts, 3.8 reb) has reached double figures in eight of the last nine games, and junior David Ekwensi (12.6 pts, 6.1 reb) is shooting 57.9 percent from the floor. The Lyons rank second in the NEWMAC in turnover margin (2.9).

Babson (9-6, 4-0 NEWMAC) extended its winning straight to four by edging Clark, 68-64, on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Frank Oftring scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, first-year Andrew Jaworski had 12 points and sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson added 10 as the Beavers closed the game with a 28-15 run over the final 13 minutes. Senior Nick Comenale (18.5 pts, 5.2 reb) ranks 21st national with 51 three-point field goals, senior Bradley Jacks (16.0 pts, 6.3 reb, 1.6 blk) is shooting 51.7 percent from the floor, and Jaworski (11.5 pts, 3.7 reb) is averaging 15.3 points on 56.8 percent shooting in conference play. The Green and White ranks 33rd nationally in total three-point field-goals made (152).

Since opening conference play with a blowout win over Springfield two weeks ago, the Beavers have trailed by at least nine points in each of their last three NEWMAC contests. The Green and White fell behind 12-0 at WPI, trailed by 11 in the first half against Coast Guard and was down 49-40 with just over 13 minutes to go on Saturday at Clark.

Although Babson is shooting 48.8 percent and averaging 77.8 points in league play, its defense has plenty to do with its 4-0 start in league play. The Beavers are holding foes to a conference-low 0.88 points per possession, and rank first in the NEWMAC in three-point field goal defense (30 percent) and forced turnovers (16.0).

After scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting in Wednesday's win over Coast Guard, Oftring recorded his first double-double with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds while playing 37 minutes in his first collegiate start on Saturday at Clark. After averaging just 3.9 points over the first 13 games this season, Oftring produced 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the floor. 

Sophomore Jack Coolahan, who had played just seven total minutes in seven games going back to December 3, came off the bench to score eight points on 3-of-4 shooting in 12 second-half minutes at Clark on Saturday.

The Beavers enter Wednesday's tilt having won 27 straight conference road games.