ITHACA, N.Y. - Columbia took its first lead of the game at the 14-minute mark of the second half, then took its first four-point lead of the game with five minutes left in the game. Each time, Cornell regained the lead but Columbia went ahead in the end on four straight points by John Daniels and held on for a 70-66 victory over the Big Red at Newman Arena.
Brian Barbour was terrific for the Lions, going for a career-high 23 points with four rebounds and three assists. In his second collegiate game, Meiko Lyles came off the bench to score 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers.
Cornell led 40-37 after a sloppy first half on both ends. Cornell took a 45-40 lead on Drew Ferry's only three-pointer of the game at the 18-minute mark, but the Lions went on a 9-2 run to take their first lead of the game, 49-47, with 14:27 remaining on a basket by Asenso Ampim.
Cornell regained the lead but never pushed it past the four-point mark. After Errick Peck made one of two free throws to make it a 57-55 game in Cornell's favor, Barbour made two free throws and then made an off-balance jumper to put the Lions back in front.
Noruwa Agho, who had four assists in the game, found Ampim cutting to the hoop on the next possession to push Columbia's lead to four, but Cornell scored the next six points to regain a 63-61 edge with 2:18 remaining, prompting a Columbia timeout.
After the timeout, Mark Cisco found John Daniels at the foul line and Daniels drilled a 15-footer to tie the game. Barbour then made a steal on one end, Daniels drew contact down low and sank a pair of free throws to put the Lions ahead to stay at the 1:14 mark.
Leading by two, Columbia got a huge block by Agho on a potential tying layup by Peck, and Steve Frankoski corralled the loose ball with less than a minute to play.
After Barbour missed a runner in the lane, Cisco came up with a huge offensive rebound. Agho was fouled on an inbounds pass on the next possession and made both of his free throws to give the Lions a four-point advantage.
A three ball by Chris Wroblewski made it 69-66 with 5.3 seconds left but Frankoski converted one of two from the foul line to make it a four-point game, giving the Lions their fourth straight victory.
Barbour's 23 were a career high after he had matched his previous career high of 21 in last week's game with Cornell.
Wroblewski and Aaron Osgood had 16 points apiece for the Big Red, which also got 10 points and six boards from Peck.
Columbia (11-5, 2-0 Ivy League) is back in action on Friday at Harvard, which also improved to 2-0 in the Ivy League on Saturday with a win against Dartmouth. Game time in Boston is 7 p.m.
Columbia won for the eighth time in its previous nine games ... it is the second time this season that Columbia has won four games in a row ... Columbia last started the season at 2-0 in the Ivy League in the 1999-2000 season ... the Lions swept the season series with Cornell for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign ... it was Columbia's first win at Cornell in five seasons ... the win snapped Cornell's 22-game home win streak vs. Ivy League opponents ... each team made just three three-point field goals ... there were 44 fouls called in the game ... Brian Barbour is averaging 17.7 points per game in Columbia's lsat six games ... Mark Cisco posted a blocked shot for the fourth straight game ... Columbia matched its win total from last season ... the Lions outrebounded Cornell 38-32 ... the Lions have outrebounded their opponent 12 times this season.