Men's Basketball

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

Men's Hoops Rallies to Upend WPI, 79-72

Men's Hoops Rallies to Upend WPI, 79-72

Beavers Close Game with 18-5 Run for 26th Consecutive NEWMAC Road Win

WORCESTER, Mass.—First-year Andrew Jaworski (Tolland, Conn.) scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and sophomore Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer with 3:08 to go in regulation as visiting Babson College rallied from an early 12-point deficit to defeat WPI, 79-72, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.

With its 26th straight conference road win, Babson improves to 7-5 overall and 2-0 in league play, while WPI slips to 6-7 and 0-2 in the NEWMAC.

Jaworski was 8-of-14 from the floor and made four three-points to match his career high, while junior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) produced a double-double with 17 points and a career-best 11 rebounds for the Beavers. Senior Nick Comenale (New York, Mills, N.Y.) chipped in with 12 points and classmate Bradley Jacks (Fort Washington, Md.) added 10 points and a game-high 12 boards.

Senior Chris Rodgers (Franklin, Mass.) finished with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, while first-year Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, Mass.) came off the bench to score 12 points for the Engineers.

The Green and White trailed 12-0 less than four minutes into the contest and spent the entire first half cutting into the deficit. The Beavers got within two on a three-pointer by Comenale just past the midway point of the stanza, and got as close as one on two free throws by Johnson before WPI pushed its advantage back to 42-36 at the break.

Down eight a little over four minutes into the second half, Babson got seven points during a 9-0 run from Jaworski to take its first lead at 52-51 with 12:44 remaining in the contest. Junior Jamani Spencer (Closter, N.J.) followed a bucket by Rodgers with a three-pointer to put the Engineers back in front 61-57 with 9:40 left, and Stephenson connected on a pair of free throws to extend the hosts lead to 67-61 at the 6:08 mark.

Jaworski tied the game at 68-all with a triple less than two minutes later, and Alexis buried a three-pointer from the right wing two possessions later to give the Green and White the lead for good. Jacks connected on a foul line jump shot on the next trip and Johnson extended the margin to 75-70 with a short jumper with 1:45 to go. Comenale and Jaworski each canned a pair of free throws over the final 25 seconds to seal the victory.

The Beavers shot 48.2 percent for the game and 53.6 percent in the second half when it outscored WPI 43-30.

The Engineers, who were 8-of-12 from beyond the arc in the opening half, shot just 27.8 percent (10-of-36) over the final 20 minutes.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday as Babson hosts Coast Guard at 7 p.m., while WPI travels to Wheaton at 6 p.m.

GAME NOTES
• The Beavers are 47-30 all-time against WPI and have won six in a row against the Engineers for the first time since 2003.
• In addition to picking up its 25th straight regular season conference win, the Green and White extended its Saturday winning streak to 41 games.
• Johnson leads Babson with three double-doubles this winter, while Jacks collected his second the year on Saturday.
• Saturday's win is the first this season for Babson when trailing at halftime.