Game Preview: Men's Basketball at Emerson

Game Preview: Men's Basketball at Emerson

Men's Basketball at Emerson
Wednesday, February 14 — 7:30 p.m.
Brown-Plofker Gymnasium—Boston, Mass.

Babson and Emerson will meet for the 26th time on Wednesday in a series that goes back to the 1951-52 campaign. The Beavers are 23-2 all-time against the Lions and have won 11 straight matchups between the teams going back to 2011.

Junior Brandon Johnson poured in a career-high 27 points as Babson defeated visiting Emerson , 84-72, on January 24 in Babson Park. Senior Brian Kelley scored a career-high 15 points, classmate Nick Comenale recorded 15 points and seven boards, and fellow senior Bradley Jacks chipped in with 12 points for the Beavers. Senior Michael Sheng poured in a career-high 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting for the Lions, who trailed by as many as 26 late in the first half.

Carlos Negrete knocked down seven three-pointers and recorded 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 (10-3, 4-8 NEWMAC) has dropped eight of its last 10 games after falling to WPI, 105-77, on Saturday afternoon. Junior Geoffrey Gray recorded 21 points to lead four Lions into double figures, sophomore Jack O'Connor posted 13 points, knocked added 11 points, and first-year Jaelen Ogadhoh chipped in with 10. Gray (19.8 pts, 9.0 reb) ranks second in the league in scoring and rebounding, O'Connor (14.6 pts, 5.0 reb) has connected on 48 three-pointers this year, and Sheng (12.2 pts, 3.7 reb) is shooting 47.0 percent from the floor. The Lions, who rank first in the NEWMAC in three point field-goal defense, have been eliminated from conference tournament contention. 

Babson (14-9, 9-3 NEWMAC) had its five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday afternoon, falling 76-69 to visiting Wheaton. Comenale finished with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, Jacks added 14 points and four blocks, and Johnson chipped in with 10 points for the Beavers, who led just once in the second half. Comenale (17.7 pts, 5.1 reb) ranks 38th in Division III with 72 three-point field goals, Jacks (15.0 pts, 5.7 reb, 1.5 blk), is second in the NEWMAC with 31 blocked shots, and Johnson (12.1 pts, 6.7 reb) leads the Beavers with four double-doubles on the year. The Green and White ranks 26th nationally in three-pointers per game (10.2) and 29th in field goal percentage (48.4). 

Saturday's loss to Wheaton knocked the Beavers out of a first-place tie with Springfield enter the final week of the regular season. The Green and White can still clinch a share of its fourth straight NEWMAC title and the top seed in the upcoming league playoffs with road wins against Emerson and the aforementioned Pride.

The duo of Comenale and Johnson have both scored in double figures in eight consecutive games going back to January 17. Comenale is putting up 16.4 points and Johnson is averaging 15.4 during this stretch, which has seen them combine to shoot 52.2 percent from the floor.

Jacks blocked four shots in Saturday's loss to Wheaton and is now third in program history behind Bryant Richards '96 (128 blocks) and Tim O'Brien '97 (78 blocks) with 73 career rejections.

The Beavers have connected on at least eight three-point field goals in each of their first 12 NEWMAC games this winter.