Men's Basketball

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Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. Salem State

Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. Salem State

Men's Basketball vs. Salem State
New England Big 4 Challenge
Saturday, December 3—3 p.m.
Cousens Gym—Medford, Mass.


Babson and Salem State will meet for the 20th time on Sunday in a series that dates back to 1988. The Beavers are 7-12 all-time against the Vikings but have won three straight in the series going back to 2012.

Isaiah Nelsen '17 scored 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and senior Nick Comenale added 23 points as second-ranked Babson College rallied to defeat Salem State, 82-73, in the opening round of the New England Big 4 Challenge on December 2, 2016, at Red Auerbach Arena on the campus of Brandeis University.

Justin Nieves scored a game-high 22 points and Nate Simpson added 14 points and a game-high 17 rebounds as Salem State defeated Babson, 80-69, in the Big 4 Challenge semifinals on November 24, 2012, in Waltham, Mass. Russell Braithwaite '13 led four Beavers in double figures with 16 points and six rebounds.

Salem State (5-2) downed Tufts, 77-67, to advance to the Big 4 Challenge championship game for the fifth time in nine years and first time since 2014. Sophomore Sean Bryan matched his career high with 21 points, while senior Drew Healy and junior Tyreik McCauley added 18 and 13 points, respectively, as the Vikings rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit. Healy (14.9 pts, 9.6 reb) is shooting 60.3 percent from the floor, senior Shaquan Murray (14.0 pts, 2.1 reb) has scored over 20 points in three separate games, and junior Alex Santos (12.6 pts, 3.3 ast) leads the team in assists. The Vikings are averaging 72.1 points per game and shooting 43.7 percentage from the field.

Babson (4-3) is looking to defend their 2016 Big 4 Challenge title after defeating Brandeis, 81-89, in the opening game of the tournament on Saturday afternoon. Senior Bradley Jacks scored 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while sophomore Shyheim Ulrickson and junior Brandon Johnson added career highs of 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Beavers. Comenale (18.6 pts, 5.0 reb) entered the weekend ranked 13th in Division III with 21 three-point field goals, Jacks (18.9 pts, 5.0 reb, 1.7 blocks) is shooting 62.1 percent from the floor, and graduate student Tim Hasbargen is averaging 11.0 points and 4.7 rebounds. The Green and White has shot better than 44 percent in each of its first seven contests and entered the weekend ranked 46th nationally in field goal percentage.

Babson is looking to bring home the Big 4 Challenge title for the fourth time time in five seasons on Sunday. Depsite going 0-8 over the first four years of the tournament, a victory over Salem State would give the Beavers the most championships among the participants. 

Despite playing without three starters on Saturday, the Green and White shot a season-high 61 percent from the floor and knocked down 13 three-point field goals while surpassing the 80-point mark for the sixth time in seven contests. Additionally, all five starters reached double figures for the first time since last season's national championship game.

Ulrickson, who went 7-of-8 from the floor in a career-high 34 minutes, and first-year Andrew Jaworski both started for the first time in their collegiate careers on Saturday. Jaworski played 33 minutes and finished with career highs of 10 points and eight boards.

With four three-pointers on Saturday, Comenale is up to 190 for his career and needs just two more to tie Matt Palazini '14 for fourth place on the program's all-time list. His classmate Jacks swatted two shots against Brandeis and is now seventh on the Beavers' all-time list with 54 career blocks.

With Saturday's victory, the Beavers have now won 41 straight games when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.