Men's Basketball

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Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. WPI

Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. WPI

Men's Basketball at WPI
Wednesday, January 7 —8 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and WPI will meet for the 78th time on Wednesday night in a series that dates back to the 1974-75 season. The Beavers are 47-30 all-time against the Engineers and have won six straight in the series going back to 2015.

First-year Andrew Jaworski scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and sophomore Julian Alexis knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer with 3:08 to go in regulation as visiting Babson College rallied from an early 12-point deficit to defeat WPI, 79-72, on January 6 at Harrington Auditorium. The Beavers, who shot 53.6 percent in the second half closed the game with an 18-5 run. Senior Chris Rodgers led the Engineers with 23 points. 

Domenick Mastascusa scored 15 points and Aaron Davis added 13 points as the Engineers defeated the Beavers, 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 (13-8, 7-3 NEWMAC) is looking for its fourth straight league win after downing Coast Guard, 79-70, on Saturday inside Harrington Auditorium. First-year Dakota Wheeler recorded a career-high 17 points to lead four players in double figures, while classmate Reid Walker added 16 points and a game-high nine boards for the Engineers, who shot 60 percent in the second half. Rodgers (12.0 pts, 5.3 reb, 3.7 ast) ranks second in the conference with a 2.41 assist-to-turnover ratio, Walker (9.5 pts, 6.4 reb) is shooting 50 percent from the floor, and sophomore Jake Wisniewski (9.1 pts, 3.8 reb) is shooting 55.9 percent over his last five games. WPI ranks first in the conference in rebound margin (+5.7).

Babson (13-8, 8-2 NEWMAC) collected its fourth straight NEWMAC win after defeating Clark, 80-67, on Saturday afternoon inside Staake Gymnasium. Sophomore Frank Oftring finished with 17 points, while senior Nick Comenale and junior Brandon Johnson each chipped in with 13 points apiece for the Beavers, who shot 58.6 percent over the final 20 minutes. Comenale (17.8 pts, 5.2 reb) ranks second in the conference with 64 three-point field goals, senior Bradley Jacks (15.2 pts, 5.6 reb, 1.3 blk) is second in the NEWMAC in blocked shots, and Johnson (12.2 pts, 4.9 reb) has recorded four double-doubles on the year. The Green and White, who leads the NEWMAC in blocked shots, ranks 25th nationally in made three-point field goals (217).

Johnson, who ranks fifth in the league in rebounding, and Jacks both produced double-doubles in Babson's win at WPI last month. Johnson scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with 11 boards, while Jacks put up 10 points and snagged a career-high 12 rebounds.

In addition to getting 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for Oftring, Alexis and fellow sophomore Jack Coolahan both came through with big games against Clark on Saturday. Alexis scored 11 points, all in the second half, on 4-of-5 shooting to go along with two assists and two steals, while Coolahan finished with eight points and three assists in a career-high 18 minutes of action.

Both Babson and WPI are participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge to raise money for the fight against cancer during the month of February for the second year in a row. Help support both squads by pledging for every three-point field goal they make check out where they stand on the national leaderboard.

The Beavers are shooting 60.2 percent on two-point field goal attempts over the last four games.