Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. Emerson

Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. Emerson

Men's Basketball vs. Emerson
Wednesday, January 24—7 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Emerson will meet for the 25th time on Wednesday in a series that goes back to the 1951-52 campaign. The Beavers are 22-2 all-time against the Lions and have won 10 straight matchups between the teams going back to 2011.

Senior Bradley Jacks scored a game-high 16 points and Sam Bohmiller '17 added 15 as top-ranked Babson College defeated visiting Emerson College, 78-42 on January 28, 2017 at Staake Gymnasium. Joey Flannery '17 added eight points, seven boards and a game-high four assists for the Beavers, who closed out the first half with a 24-1 run while holding the Lions without a field goal for more than 10 minutes. 

Carlos Negrete knocked down seven three-pointers and scored a game-high 25 points as the Lions defeated Babson, 69-66, on November 23, 2010, in Babson Park. Bilali Kalilou-Mack netted 13 points for Emerson, which finished 12-for-22 from behind the arc on the night. Russell Braithwaite '13 paced four Beavers in double figures with 16 points.

Emerson (9-8, 3-3 NEWMAC) edged Wheaton, 79-78, on Saturday inside Brown and Plofker Gym. Junior Geoffrey Gray and sophomore Jack O'Connor both poured in 25 points, while senior John Geary chipped in with 15 for the Lions, who overcame a 16-point first-half deficit. Gray (20.5 pts, 9.0 reb) is shooting 49.4 percent from the floor with eight double-doubles on the year, O'Connor (15.8 pts, 5.6 reb) has reached double figures in five of the last six games, and senior Michael Sheng (12.5 pts, 4.0 reb) is shooting 91.2 percent from the free-throw line. The Lions lead the conference in three point field-goal defense (30.8). 

Babson (9-8, 4-2 NEWMAC) has dropped two straight games after falling to then-No. 9 MIT, 80-78, in overtime on Saturday afternoon. Junior Brandon Johnson scored a career-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists, senior Nick Comenale added 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, and sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson had 14 points and five assists for the Beavers, who led by as many as 10 in the second half. Comenale (18.6 pts, reb 5.3) ranks 23rd nationally with 58 three-point field goals, Jacks (15.8 pts, 6.2 reb, 1.5 blk) is shooting 51.4 percent from the floor, and Johnson (11.2 pts, 7.1 reb) has recorded four double-doubles on the year. The Green and White ranks 37th in Division III in field goal percentage (48.2), and is blocked a league-high 3.9 shots per game. 

Jacks, who returned to the lineup after missing two straight games on Saturday against MIT, has averaged 15.4 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 58.9 percent over his last five games against Emerson. He has reached double figures in all five contests, which includes a 28-point effort on 12-of-16 shooting as part of a 79-53 Babson victory back on January 30, 2016.

Johnson, who has averaged 13.4 points and 8.3 boards over the last seven games, is pulling down a NEWMAC-best 2.8 offensive rebounds per game in league play. Sophomore Frank Oftring ranks first in the conference in field goal percentage (63.6) and third in three-point field goal percentage (61.5) against league foes, while Ulrickson's 4.5 assists are tied for third in the conference.

The coaches for both Babson and Emerson are teaming up with the NABC, Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society to take part in the 15th annual Suits and Sneakers Week in support of cancer awareness. More than 4,000 college coaches will participate in the week-long event, which raises funds and encourages people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening and early detection.

The Beavers are 5-1 this season when holding their opponents below 40 percent shooting.