NEW YORK - The Columbia men's basketball team will look to end its three-game slide this weekend when they host Dartmouth on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The Lions' game against Harvard, originally scheduled for Feb. 9, will now be played on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. in preparation of Winter Storm Nemo.
Fans that are not able to make it to the game, can also catch the action on www.gocolumbialions.com or through the Columbia Athletics app (click here for more information) on mobile devices. Jerry Recco and Dalen Cuff '06CC will bring you all the action.
Columbia dropped a pair of heartbreakers at Penn and Princeton last weekend to fall to 1-3 in the Ivy League. The Lions struggled to score in the first half against the Quakers on Friday and a second half rally proved to be futile as Columbia dropped a 62-58 decison at the Palestra. The Tigers came out white-hot on Saturday, going 7-for-7 from downtown in the first half to build up a double-digit first half lead. The Lions hung in despite the barrage and tied the game late, but could never get over the hump and fell, 72-66.
BIG GREEN’S STATUS
Dartmouth earned its first conference win of the year, defeating Yale, 71-62, on Saturday evening. The Big Green knocked down 22-of-24 of their attempts from the line and were dominant in the paint, outscoring the Bulldogs, 36-20. Gabas Maldunas is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 10.8 points and 6.2 boards per contest.
Harvard comes into the weekend 4-0 in Ivy League play, but have gone to overtime twice, including last Saturday’s double-OT triumph against Brown. The Crimson led by as many as 17 in the second half before the Bears rally. Harvard took an early five-point lead in the second extra frame and sealed the win at the foul line. The Crimson are the league’s top scoring squad, averaging 70.8 points and shoot a blistering .486 from the floor.
A LOOK BACK - DARTMOUTH VS. COLUMBIA 2012
Mark Cisco hit a 15-footer on the baseline with four seconds remaing to lift Columbia to a 64-62 victory at Leede Arena. Neither team led by more than six points at any point in the contest, which saw six lead changes. Cisco led the way with 18 points, while Dartmouth’s Jvonte Brooks posted 17 points and eight boards.
The Lions completed the sweep of the Big Green on senior night at Levien Gym, earning a 61-55 win. In another tight game, Columbia held a slim lead most of the way, but could not put Dartmouth away until the final moments by knocking down clutch free-throws. Meiko Lyles scored 22 points on five three’s. Cisco added 15 points and nine rebounds. Brooks posted another 17-point game in the finale.
A LOOK BACK - HARVARD VS. COLUMBIA 2012
Columbia trailed by just three points at halftime and got within two points late in the game, but No. 23 Harvard made enough plays down the stretch to defeat the Lions 57-52 at Lavietes Pavilion. Alex Rosenberg hit a triple and converted a traditional three-point play with just over two minutes remaining, but Keith Wright swung the momentum back to the Crimson with a tough layup. Brian Barbour posted 15 points in the game for the Lions, while Laurent Rivard was the catalyst for Harvard, netting 20 points.
In front of 2,702 fans at Levien Gym, Columbia and the Crimson put on a show, with Harvard claiming a 77-72 overtime victory. The Crimson shot 75 percent from the field in the first half, but seven Harvard turnovers and the Lions’ 52.4 percent shooting in the first half helped keep them in the game. The Crimson led by six with four minutes left before a frantic rally by Columbia. Barbour evened the score with a tough layup with 34 seconds remaining to force the extra session. However, Harvard scored the first five points of overtime to take control and stave off the upset. Barbour was outstanding, scoring 23 points. Kyle Casey led the Crimson with 19 points.
First-year Maodo Lo has stepped up his play in the last three contests. At Princeton on Feb. 2, the speedy guard scored a career-high 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Lo is averaging 9.6 points during this stretch and has started the last nine games for the Lions.
I LIKE IKE
First-year Isaac Cohen has been able to do different things on a nightly basis to help Columbia since the start of Ivy League play. At Cornell on Jan. 19, he dished out a career-high seven assists without attempting a shot. At The Palestra against Penn, he pulled down nine rebounds in 25 minutes. The Orlando, Fla. product, followed with a seven-point performance at Princeton on 3-of-3 shooting. For the year, Cohen has been a selective 11-of-14 (78.6%) on his field goal attempts.
Senior John Daniels sparked a furious late rally against Cornell on Jan. 26 with a thunderous two-handed jam over a Big Red player. The play was featured as the No. 3 play on SportsCenter’s Top-10 that evening.
DID YOU KNOW?
Prior to the Lions’ conference-opening win at Cornell on Jan. 19, Columbia had not won a road game to begin an Ivy League season since a 74-64 win against the Big Red on Jan. 16, 1993.
After an 18-point, nine-rebound effort at Cornell, senior Mark Cisco earned Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors. Coincidentally, Cisco was named POTW last season after recording 18 points and 20 rebounds against the Big Red.
COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions improved to 26-31 all-time in Ivy League openers and are 2-1 under the direction of Kyle Smith after a Jan. 19 win at Cornell.
The Lions had five players score in double-figures at Holy Cross on Jan. 8, marking the first time they have achieved that feat since Feb. 24, 2012 against Yale.
FIRST THREE SEASONS OF THE SMITH ERA
Over the last two-plus seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 39 games. That is the largest total since Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 56 games in his first three seasons on the bench. Smith is also the first coach to post back-to-back 15-win seasons since the 1977-78, 78-79 seasons, when Tom Penders patrolled the Lions’ bench.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Columbia has done a tremendous job taking care of the ball this season, averaging 10.2 turnovers per game, which is the sixth fewest in the nation. Additionally, the Lions 1.33 assist/turnover ratio puts them 23rd in the country.