Men's Basketball

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

Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. No. 21 Amherst

Game Preview: Men's Basketball vs. No. 21 Amherst

Men's Basketball vs. Amherst
Thursday, December 7—7 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Amherst will meet for the 38th time on Thursday night in a series that dates back to 1977. The Beavers are 13-24 all-time against the Mammoths and have dropped the last three contests between the teams going back to 2015.

Senior Jayde Dawson hit a driving layup at the buzzer to send No. 1 Amherst College past No. 2 Babson College in double overtime, 99-97, in on December 8, 2016, at LeFrak Gymnasium. Joey Flannery '17 led four players in double figures with 41 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Beavers, while Dawson poured in 32 points for the Mammoths.

Eric Dean '15 finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Beavers defeated then-second-ranked Amherst, 68-49, on December 11, 2014, in Amherst. John Wickey '15 added 17 points and nine boards, while Sam Bohmiller '17 chipped in with 12 points for Babson. David George posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mammoths.

No. 21 Amherst (5-0) remained unbeaten with a 78-41 victory over Anna Maria on Tuesday night. Sophomore Eric Sellew recorded 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, first-year Fru Che went 6-of-6 and scored 12 points off the bench, and senior Johnny McCarthy added 11 points while leading the team with six boards. Senior Michael Riopel (11.0 pts, 7.8 reb) is shooting 60 percent from the field, Sellew (10.6 pts, 7.6 reb) has reached double figures in three games, and first-year Grant Robinson is contributing 9.2 points and a team-high 4.2 assists. The Mammoths, who are shooting 46.7 percent, rank first in Division III in scoring defense (53.2 points) and are holding their opponents to 29.4 percent from the field.

Babson (4-4) was edged by Salem State, 75-70, in the championship game of the Big 4 Challenge on Sunday. Senior Nick Comenale finished with 20 points, four assists and three steals, while classmate Bradley Jacks produced a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds to go along with a career-high six blocked shots for the Beavers, who shot a season-low 42.2 percent in the loss. Comenale (18.8 pts, 4.8 reb) ranks 13th in Division III with 29 three-pointers, Jacks (18.1 pts, 5.8 reb, 2.3 blocks) is shooting 59.0 percent from the floor, and first-year Andrew Jaworski (6.8 pts, 3.0 reb) has averaged 12.5 points on 58.8 percent shooting in a pair of starts. The Green and White ranks 29th nationally in field goal percentage (50.0) and has knocked down at least eight three-pointers in every game this season. 

Babson and Amherst have played two of the most exciting games in all of Division III over the last two years, as each matchup has been decided in double overtime. Last year's two-point game featured nine players in double figures, while the December 2015 affair at Staake Gym, a 103-96 Mammoths' win, saw three players post double-doubles and 10 players scored 10 or more points.

Although both the Beavers and Mammoths have each won a Division III national championship while combining for five Final Four appearances since 2013, only four players have appeared in each the three meetings between the teams going back to 2015-16. 

In four victories this season, the Green and White is allowing just 0.83 points per possession and limiting foes to 36.6 percent shooting. In four losses though, Babson has given up 1.08 points per possession and opponents are shooting 46.9 percent from the floor.

The Beavers are averaging 12 made three-point field goals and are shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc over their first three home games this season.