SALEM, Mass.—Junior Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) led all players with 24 points, while classmate Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) knocked down six three-pointers and matched his career high with 18 points as 11th-ranked Babson College defeated Brandeis University, 75-65, in the opening round of the New England Big 4 Challenge on Saturday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium.
Babson, which is now 6-1 on the year, will look to win its third straight Big 4 Challenge title against either Salem State or Tufts on Sunday. Brandeis, which has dropped its opening round game in each of the last three seasons, falls to 4-2 overall.
Flannery scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half and also dished out five assists for the Beavers. Junior Isaiah Nelsen (North Andover, Mass.) posted his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while classmate Matthew Droney (Canton, Mass.) dished out a game-high seven assists.
Junior Jack Fay (New Rochelle, N.Y.) led the Judges with 11 points, while leading scorer Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass.) was held to just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Vilmont also chipped in with six rebounds and three steals.
The Green and White got 18 early points from the trio of Bohmiller, Flannery and Nelsen, and took its biggest lead of the opening half at 20-12 on a layup by junior Charlie Rice (Barnstable, Mass.) at the 12:33 mark. Brandeis used a 14-6 run to take a 40-37 lead on a bucket by senior Colby Smith (North Andover, Mass.) late in the stanza, but Bohmiller answered with his third triple of the half to send the squads to the locker room tied at 40.
The Beavers trailed 47-46 with 16:12 to play before ripping off a 13-2 run to take control of the game. Bohmiller made it 55-47 with a trifecta, Nelsen followed with a layup and Flannery capped the run with two free throws to give Babson a 59-49 advantage with 10:23 remaining.
The Judges got within six on two occasions, the last coming at 61-55 with 6:00 to go, but Bohmiller connected on his sixth triple at the 5:12 to push the Beavers' lead back to nine. Babson went 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 3:32 to ice the victory.
The Green and White shot 49 percent (25-of-51) from the floor and connected on a season-high nine three-pointers. The Beavers also finished with a 38-27 edge on the glass.
Brandeis shot just 37.3 percent (22-of-59) and were limited to just seven second-half field goals.
Both teams will return to action on Sunday as Babson takes the court for the championship game at 3 p.m., while the Judges will play in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 20-22 all-time against Brandeis with the teams splitting four meetings in the Big 4 Challenge.
• Flannery, who has been selected as the tournament most outstanding player in each of the last two editions of the Big 4 Challenge, has averaged 29 points in five career games at the event.
• Bohmiller also made six three-points and scored 18 points in a victory over Bowdoin on December 1, 2014.
• The Beavers, who entered the week ranked 26th nationally in rebounding margin, have won 31 of their last 33 games when outrebounding their opponents.