NEW YORK - The Columbia women's basketball team will host Dartmouth and Harvard in Levien Gymnasium, Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4, for the first Ivy League double weekend of the season. The Lions have had three Ivy League match-ups spread out over three weeks, but now begin the traditional back-to-back style of play that is typical in the Ivy League. Tip off for both games is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

Columbia is coming off a 75-50 loss in the Palestra against the University of Pennsylvania. Penn had an offensive outpouring against the Lions, with five players in double figures, including a career-high 20 points for first-year Renee Busch. It was the most in a regulation context under head coach Mike McLaughlin, and shot a season-best 46.6 percent from the field. 

The Big Green hold the advantage in the all-time series, 39-11, but Columbia has won three of the last four. The two squads split the series in 2010-11, as Columbia won at home, 67-61, before falling to Dartmouth, 63-51 on the road. 

Harvard holds a dominating 49-2 all-time record against Columbia, including a sweep of the Lions in 2010-11. Columbia kept it close at home, falling 69-68, and lost in Cambridge, 77-46. 

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Columbia and Dartmouth will be in a battle Friday night to determine which Ivy League team is the last to get a win. The Lions and the Big Green have identical records at 2-13 overall, and 0-3 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth hasn’t won an Ivy League game on the road since the 2009-10 season, and is the midst of a 13 game losing streak; they’ll be looking to change all that in Levien Gym this weekend. Dartmouth is led by junior guard Faziah Steen, who is averaging 15.6 points per game. First-year Tia Dawson leads on the boards with a 6.9 rebounds per game average. 

Harvard is 9-8 overall and 2-1 in the Ivy League, coming off a split weekend with Yale and Brown. The Crimson beat the Bears, 65-57, but fell to Yale, 68-63. Harvard’s other Ivy League win came against travel partner Dartmouth, as the Crimson won, 71-63. 

Harvard had three guards averaging in double figures: sophomore Christine Clark (15.2 ppg), senior Brogan Berry (12.5 ppg) and junior Victoria Lippert (12.1 ppg). Harvard averages 65.4 points per game, led by those three. Junior forward Emma Golen also adds 8.5 ppg.

The Lions have out-rebounded opponents just three times this season, including most recently, against Cornell. The Lions grabbed 38 rebounds, including 21 offensive rebounds, to Cornell’s 28 total rebounds. Courtney Bradford had seven offensive rebounds, matching Cornell’s team total. The December 11 game against the Blackbirds marked the first time this season the Lions out-rebounded their opponents. Columbia notched 38 total rebounds, including 27 defensive rebounds, while LIU had 31 total rebounds. The January 4 game at Lafayette is the other  best effort for the Lions on the boards. Columbia snagged 44 rebounds to the Leopards’ 31, including 24 defensive rebounds to Lafayette’s eight offensive rebounds.  

Senior co-captain Jazmin Fuller had her Columbia coming out party this January, as her statistics skyrocketed. Earning her first two starts of the season against Princeton and Cornell, Fuller averaged 15.75 minutes per game in the month of January, compared to just 5.75 minutes per game in November and December. And her other numbers have gone up as well. In Columbia’s loss to Cornell, Fuller matched her career-high with six points scored, and set new career highs in minutes (22), assists (3), FGM (3) and FGA (6).

First-year Campbell Mobley saw her first collegiate action against Cornell, after sitting out the entire first semester with an injury. Though she got just one minute of playing time, Mobley made it worth it, scoring her first collegiate points on a jumper from outside the paint. In the next game, against Penn, she notched a season high in minutes (16), points (3), FGA (6), FTM (1), FTA (2), rebounds (2) and steals (1).

Junior Brittany Simmons has stepped into an important role for the Lions after battling injuries for two years. Simmons, who played limited minutes in her first year with injuries, missed the entire 2010-11 season. But she’s back, and better than ever! Since her return, she’s started 11 of 16 games for the Lions, and is averaging 5.3 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game. She’s also sopping up playing time, as Simmons averages 20.6 minutes per game. 

Senior Melissa Shafer, who’s led the team in scoring throughout the season, is currently setting her sights on Columbia’s all-time perimeter shooters. Shafer is currently second all-time in both three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted. She’s 17 3PM and 35 3PA away from Columbia’s all-time records.

1. Emily Roller (1995-99) 161
2. Melissa Shafer (2008-Present) 144
3. Megan O’Neill (1999-03) 120
4. Sue Altman (2002-05) 119
5. Susan Kern (2001-05) 118
6. Megan Griffith (2003-07) 115
7. Brittney Carfora (2006-08) 109
8. Shawnee Pickney (1997-01) 102
9. Michele Gage (2004-08) 100
10. Jennifer Beubis (1987-91) 99
Rose Jackson (1995-99) 99

1. Emily Roller (1995-99) 467
2. Melissa Shafer (2008-Present)   432
3. Shawnee Pickney (1997-01) 383
4. Megan O’Neill (1999-03) 376
5. Megan Griffith (2003-07) 356
6. Sue Altman (2002-05) 349
7. Rose Jackson (1995-99) 346
8. Susan Kern (2001-05) 345
9. Brittney Carfora (2004-08) 319
10. Katrina Cragg (2005-09) 312

Tyler Simpson had one of the best games of her career against Morgan State, January 11, as the junior set career highs in five different categories. Simpson had a career-high 20 points, played a career-high 30 minutes, and also had career bests in Field Goals Made (7), Field Goals Attempted (20) and Free Throws Attempted (10). Simpson also had a season-high in Free Throws Made with six, just short of her career high of eight. Most recently, she led the Lions in scoring against Cornell, with 13 points. It was her sixth game in double figures this season, and she’s started the last seven of the team’s games. 

Though the Lions suffered a tough loss against Princeton, there was one bright spot for Columbia: the team brought down a season-high 29 defensive rebounds against the Tigers.

Junior guard Taylor Ball is sixth in the Ivy League in assists per game, with a 3.0 assists per game average. And when Ball passes the ball, the Lions win. She had her season-high assist total in the win against Army (7), and nearly matched that in Columbia’s win over Bryant (6). The only time Ball has had more than five assists and the Lions haven’t won was the game against Hawai’i on December 3. 

Columbia has had three different Ivy League Rookies of the Week this year. First-year Amara Mbionwu was the first to earn the honor for the week of Nov. 13, as she averaged 6.5 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds in two games for the Lions. The next week, Miwa Tachibana took the honor, as she led the Lions in scoring against Wagner. Tachibana was 4-for-7, scoring 11 points. And in January, Caitlyn Unsworth made it 3-for-3, as she was named Rookie of the week, scoring 18 points in two games for the Lions.