PORTLAND, Ore. – The Columbia men’s basketball team concluded the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic with a 65-60 victory over Idaho on Saturday night. Sophomore Maodo Lo led all scorers with 20 points, knocking down 7-of-12 from the floor.
After a slow start, the Lions (3-3) trailed 13-5 more than 10 minutes into the game before they began to execute their game plan. An 11-2 run, capped by back-to-back treys by Lo put Columbia on top, 19-15, at the 5:08 mark and maintained a four-point advantage at the break.
The Lions were relentless in driving to the basket in the second half, forcing several key Vandals’ (3-3) players to get into foul trouble. Columbia attempted 29 free-throws in the second period and led by as many as 14 with 4:44 to go.
However, the Lions went on a long drought from the field and Idaho was able to work itself back into the contest. The Vandals scored seven unanswered to pull within 60-53 with 1:56 on the clock. With Columbia still up by two possessions, with under a minute left, Sekou Wiggs banked in a long 3-pointer to make it a 63-60 contest with 20 seconds remaining.
Idaho fouled Mullins with seven seconds remaining and the 85-percent free throw shooter calmly sank both tries to preserve the win.
The Lions outscored the Vandals, 28-14, in the paint and limited their turnovers to nine. Columbia finished the game 22-of-33 from the charity stripe.
Idaho’s leading scorer Stephen Madison, who came into the game averaging nearly 20 points, was held to just seven points. Connor Hill led the Vandals with 12 points.
The Lions return to the friendly confines of Levien Gymnasium against American on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. Catch all the action live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Tickets are also available at www.gocolumbialions.com/tickets.