MEDFORD, Mass- Senior Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) scored 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting to lead five players in double figures as Babson College defeated Brandeis University, 89-81, in the opening round of the New England Big 4 Challenge on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym on the campus of Tufts University.
With the win, Babson improves to 4-3 on the year and will make it fifth consecutive Big 4 Challenge title game appearance on Sunday, while Brandeis falls to 1-5.
Sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson (Topsham, Maine) scored a career-high 18 points in his first collegiate start and junior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) added a career-best 17 points for the Beavers. Senior Nick Comenale (New York Mills, N.Y.) finished with 16 points, five assists and four steals, while first-year Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn. / Tolland) chipped in with career highs of 10 points and eight rebounds in his first start.
Sophomore Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I.) scored 21 points and first-year Lawrence Sabir (Pawtucket, R.I.) finished with 15 points for the Judges.
The Beavers got off to a fast start limiting the Judges to just five points in the first nine minutes of play while building a 17-point advantage. The Green and White took its biggest lead in the opening half at 38-14 on a layup by Comenale with just over 6:00 remaining, but Brandeis got 10 points from senior Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass.) and closed the half with a 22-8 run to pull within 46-36 at the break.
The Green and White scored on eight of its first nine possessions to begin the second half, pushing the margin back to 64-42 on a step-back triple by Jacks with 15:01 to play. The Judges chipped away, getting within 79-73 after two free throws by Sabir with 3:57 left. A free throw by Jacks and back-to-back layups from Jaworski and Johnson pushed the Babson lead to 84-73 with just over three minutes remaining.
Following a turnover, Brandeis first-year Semih Say (Istanbul, Turkey) hit a free throw with 42 seconds left to make it 86-81. Johnson converted a layup to extend the margin to seven on the next possession and Jaworski followed with a steal to close out the victory.
The Beavers shot a season-high 61.0 percent from the floor and turned 16 Brandeis turnovers into 17 points. The Green and White also held a 40-26 edge in paint scoring and outrebounded the Judges 31-21.
Both teams are back in action on Sunday as Babson will play in the championship game at 3 p.m. Salem State, while Brandeis will take on Tufts in the 1 p.m. consolation game.
• The Beavers are now 21-22 all-time against Brandeis and have won three straight meetings between the teams.
• Babson knocked down 13 three-pointers on Saturday, which is one short of its season high, and has now connected on at least eight triples in 10 consecutive games.
• The Green and White has now won 40 consecutive games on Saturday - a streak that extends back to November 15, 2015.