Men's Basketball

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Men's Basketball Runs Away from Tufts to Reach Sixth Consecutive Big 4 Final, 94-73

Men's Basketball Runs Away from Tufts to Reach Sixth Consecutive Big 4 Final, 94-73

Beavers Make School-Record 19 Three-Pointers, Record Third Straight Win

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Brandon Johnson (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) led five players in double figures with 21 points and Babson College knocked down a school-record 19 three-pointers on its way to defeating visiting Tufts University, 94-73, on the opening day of the 10th Annual New England Big 4 Challenge on Saturday afternoon inside Staake Gymnasium.

With its third straight win, Babson (5-2) advances to Sunday's Big 4 championship game for the sixth year in a row. Tufts suffered its third straight loss to drop to 2-3 on the year.

Junior Frank Oftring (North Attleboro, Mass.) scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, first-year James Welch (Needham, Mass.) drilled four three-pointers and finished with a career-high 14 points, and junior Julian Alexis (Somerville, N.J.) added 11 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Beavers. First-year Colin Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) also posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards in just 15 minutes off the bench.

First-year Tyler Aronson (Holliston, Mass.) scored 17 points, junior Eric Savage (South Brunswick, N.J.) added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore Brennan Morris (East Hempstead, N.H.) chipped in with 11 points to lead the Jumbos.

Alexis scored eight points and Johnson and Oftring added seven apiece as the Green and White jumped out to a 25-6 lead just over eight minutes into the contest. Morris drilled back-to-back triples to close out a 21-10 burst that pulled Tufts within eight at the 4:01 mark of the opening stanza, but Babson responded with a 15-2 run over the final three minutes of the period.

Alexis canned his third three-pointer of the half, Johnson scored seven consecutive points, sophomore Graham Dolan (Williamsville, N.Y.) buried a corner three and Bradanese beat the buzzer with a tip-in to send the Beavers to the locker room with a 50-29 advantage.

The Jumbos cut their deficit to 17 on three occasions early in the second half, the last coming at 68-51 on a three-pointer by Morris with 12:36 to go. The momentum was short-lived however, as Bradanese and Welch combined to score 10 straight points that extended the margin back to 78-51 with just over 10 minutes to play.

Babson's biggest lead of the game came at 91-61 on a three-pointer by Bradanese with 5:16 remaining.

The Beavers shot 45.9 percent overall and were a blistering 61.9 percent (19-of-31) from beyond the arc, which includes a 10-of-14 effort in the opening half. The Green and White also finished with a 44-36 edge on the glass and held Tufts to just 39.4 percent shooting.

Both teams are back in action on Sunday as Babson hosts Brandeis in the 4 p.m. title game, while the Jumbos meet Salem State in the 2 p.m. consolation game.

GAME NOTES
• The Beavers are now 15-27 all-time against Tufts, which includes a 3-4 record since the inception of the Big 4 Challenge in 2008.
• Babson finished with a season-high 10 steals in Saturday's win in addition to match its season highs in both assists (18) and offensive rebounds (15).
• The Green and White has now scored at least 50 points in the first half of three of its last four games.
• The Beavers' 94 points on Saturday are their highest output since scoring 101 in a win over Worcester State on November 18, 2017.

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