Aronson's 17 Not Enough as Jumbos Fall to Babson In Big Four Challenge Opener

BABSON PARK, Mass. – Freshman Tyler Aronson turned in a career-high 17 points, but the Tufts men's basketball team wasn't able to overcome a Babson strong first half and the Jumbos fell, 94-73, in their first game of the New England Big Four Challenge hosted by Bason on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Eric Savage finished with 13 points and ten rebounds

With the setback the Jumbos are 2-3, and will take on Salem State in the tournament consolation game on Sunday.  Babson improves to 5-2 with the win, and will play Brandeis for the tournament championship on Sunday.  Brandeis collected a 77-69 win over Salem State in Saturday's other tournament game. 

The Beavers came out on fire in the first half, and with things locked at four early they got two free throws and a jumper from Brandon Johnson and then two more free throws from Julian Alexis to give them a six-point advantage, 10-4, just about four minutes into play.  After sophomore Brennan Morris missed a shot but was able to tip it in, the Beavers made three consecutive threes to increase their lead to as much as 19. 

But, the Jumbos answered, getting a layup from freshman Eric DeBrine, followed by a three from sophomore Will Brady and then a jumper from DeBrine brought the Jumbos within 12. The two teams traded points and with the Beavers up 14 with just over five minutes to go in the half the Jumbos got back-to-back-to-back threes from Morris and freshman Tyler Aronson, and then another from Morris brought the Jumbos within eight, 35-27, with 4:01 left in the half. 

The Beavers had an answer of their own, getting a three from Alexis followed by two points from Johnson.  Johnson followed that with a three and then a dunk, and all of a sudden the Beavers were up 18, 45-27, with just over a minute left in the half.  They would take a 50-29 advantage into the break.  

The Jumbos came out of the break and got somethings going offensively, as freshman Tyler Aronson opened up the half with a jumper and then sophomore Luke Rogers answered a Babson bucket with one of his own.  Aronson followed that with another jumper, and that's the way the entire second half went.  

Aronson scored 14 points in the second half, including 2-for-3 from behind the arc, and the Jumbos matched the Beavers offense in the second half with both teams scoring 44 second-half points.  But, the Jumbos weren't able to overcome the first half deficit, and Babson picked up the 94-73 win. 

The Jumbo offense was led by Aronson, who finished with 17 points and four rebounds.  Junior captain Eric Savage turned in 13 points and ten rebounds with four steals off the bench for the Jumbos. Morris helped with 11 points and Rogers collected nine points and six rebounds, while adding two blocks. 

Johnson led the Beavers with 21 points and five rebounds.  Frank Oftring finished with 19 points and five rebounds.  Coming off the bench, James Welch helped with 14 points and three rebounds and Colin Bradanese added ten points and ten rebounds.  

The Jumbos take on Salem State at 2 pm on Sunday.  Babson plays Brandeis at 4 pm on Sunday.