Men's Basketball

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

Tournament Preview: Men's Basketball Hosts 10th Annual New England Big 4 Challenge

Tournament Preview: Men's Basketball Hosts 10th Annual New England Big 4 Challenge

10th Annual New England Big 4 Challenge
Saturday-Sunday, December 1-2
Staake Gymnasium | Babson Park, Mass.

THE BIG 4 TURNS 10
• Babson welcomes Brandeis, Salem State and Tufts to Staake Gymnasium for the 10th edition of the New England Big 4 Challenge on Saturday and Sunday.
• The Beavers will take on Tufts and Brandeis faces Salem State on Saturday starting at 3 p.m., while the consolation and championship games are set for Sunday beginning at 2 p.m.

BABSON VS. BIG 4 FOES
vs. Tufts
• The Beavers and Jumbos will meet for the seventh time in the Big 4 Challenge and 42nd time overall in a series that dates back to the 1975-76 campaign.
• Babson is 14-27 all-time against Tufts and 2-4 in six Big 4 Challenge meetings. The programs have split their last eight meetings going back to 2008.

vs. Brandeis
• The Green and White is 21-22 overall against the Judges and have won three straight in a series that dates back to 1974-75.
• The Beavers are 3-2 against Brandeis in five previous Big 4 Challenge matchups.

vs. Salem State
• Babson is 7-13 all-time against Salem State in a series that dates back to 1988.
• The Beavers are 3-4 in the Big 4 Challenge against the Vikings, which includes a five-point loss in last year's tournament title game.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• Babson (3-2) enters the weekend having won two straight games after defeating Bates, 75-65, on Wednesday night.
• Senior Brandon Johnson finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Frank Oftring added 17 points and six boards for the Beavers, who closed the game with a 12-2 run.
• Sophomore Andrew Jaworski is averaging 20.0 points and 6.2 rebounds, Oftring (13.5 pts, 8.3 reb) is shooting 60 percent from the floor, and Johnson (11.8 pts, 7.0 reb) leads the team with two double-doubles.
• The Green and White is shooting 45.9 percent as a team and owns a +8.3 rebounding margin.

SCOUTING THE JUDGES
• Brandeis (3-1) has won two straight following Monday's 78-65 victory over Lasell on Monday night.
• Senior Corey Sherman finished with 26 points and junior Eric D'Aguanno came off the bench to score 22 points for the Judges, who made a season-high 12 three-pointers.
• Sherman is averaging team highs of 13.3 points and 3.5 assists, D'Aguanno (12.8 pts, 3.5 reb) is shooting 46.3 percent and sophomore Chandler Jones (12.3 pts, 7.3 reb) has scored at least 11 points in each of his first four outings.
• Brandeis has limited opponents to just 23.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc through four games.

SCOUTING THE VIKINGS
• Salem State (2-4) has dropped two straight and is coming off a 93-73 loss to Bates last Sunday.
• Junior Hakeem Animashuan had a double-double (22 points, 13 rebounds) and classmate Sean Bryan added 22 points, nine boards and three assists for the Vikings, who led by three at the half.
• Bryan (24.7 pts, 8.5 reb, 5.8 ast, 2.3 stl) is averaging more than six made free throws per game, Animashaun (15.8 pts, 8.5 reb) is shooting 63.3 percent and senior Bryan Martinez is contributing 11.2 points and 4.3 rebounds.
• Salem State is scoring 80.2 points and is averaging 8.7 steals per game.

SCOUTING THE JUMBOS
• Tufts (2-2) has dropped its last two games after suffering an 89-66 loss to WPI on Tuesday night.
• Sophomore Luke Rogers scored 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and first-year Carson Cohen and sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Jumbos, who shot just 20 percent after halftime.
• Rogers (18.0 pts, 8.0 reb) is shooting 67.4 percent from the floor, Cohen (16.3 pts, 5.3 ast) leads the team in assists and sophomore Brennan Morris (13.3 pts, 3.5 reb) is shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc.
• Tufts is averaging 83.5 points and has scored at least 88 points in three of its first four games.

HOME COURT DISADVANTAGE?
• Entering this year's tournament, the host school has won just two of the previous nine Big 4 championships.
• Brandeis defeated Tufts and Salem State to win inside Red Auerbach Arena in 2012 and Babson edged Tufts and Salem State the last time it hosted the event in 2014.

NOTABLE
• The Beavers, which lost its first eight games in the tournament from 2009-12, has reached the championship game in each of the last five seasons and claimed the Crotty Cup in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
• Brandeis, which won three of the first four Big 4 Challenge titles, is seeking a return to the championship game for the first time since 2012. The Judges have won all three of their previous Big 4 final appearances.
• Tufts, which won the tournament in 2011 and 2015, defending champions Salem State and Babson have all advanced to the Big 4 Challenge title game on five occasions.

//