BOSTON – Senior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) recorded a team-high 24 points as Babson College shot 49.2 percent from the floor to defeat Emerson, 89-82, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Wednesday night at Brown-Plofker Gymnasium.
With the win, Babson moves to 15-9 overall and 10-3 in league play, while Emerson falls to 10-14 overall and 5-9 in the NEWMAC. The Green and White can capture its fourth consecutive regular season conference title with a win on Saturday at Springfield.
Senior Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) posted 16 points, first-year Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points, sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) scored nine points while going 7-of-9 from the free throw line, and junior Brandon Johnson led the Beavers with 12 rebounds.
Junior Geoffrey Gray (Newton, Mass.) recorded a double-double with a career-high 47 points and 15 boards, senior Michael Sheng (Altadena, Calif.) finished with 12 points, and sophomore Jack O'Connor (Newport, R.I.) added 10 points in the loss.
The Green and White got off to a fast start when Comenale, who scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half, and Johnson combined to give Babson a 10-2 lead four minutes into the game. The Beavers saw their largest lead of the game after Jaworski hit a triple with 2:49 left in the half to push the score to 49-23.
Babson shot 54.1 percent from the floor and 50% from the three-point line on 9 of 18 shooting to enter the Locker room with a 52-36 lead.
The Lions came out of the locker with 10-2 run to come within eight of the Beavers with 17:22 left on the clock. Leading 56-46, a Jaworski triple sparked a 13-2 burst that extended the Babson lead to 69-50 with just over 12 minutes remaining.
Down 78-68 with less than four remaining, Gray, who recorded of his 31 of his 47 points in the second half, logged a layup and a trio of free throws to bring the Lions within six points. Emerson got as close as five, but Ulrickson went 5-of-6 from the line over the last 48 seconds to lead Babson to an 89-82 victory.
The Lions held the advantage in both rebounds, 47-38, and points off turnovers, 17-14.
Both return to action on Saturday at 1 p.m. as Babson visits Springfield, while Emerson travels to Coast Guard.
• The Beavers are 24-2 all-time against Emerson and have won 12 straight against the Lions.
• Babson has made at least eight three pointers in all 13 conference games this winter.
• The Beavers are 5-1 this season and have won 30 of their last 31 NEWMAC road games going back to 2014.
• Comenale has reached double figures in 10 consecutive games and has made at least one three-point field goal in 19 straight contests going back to November 29.