GAME NOTES (.pdf)
COLUMBIA (3-3) vs. AMERICAN (1-3)
TUESDAY, NOV. 26 • 7 P.M.
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK
ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Columbia and American will meet for the seventh straight season and the eighth time overall. The Eagles hold a slim 4-3 lead in the all-time series, but the Lions have won two of the last three contests.
The Lions are coming off a successful three-game stint at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Portland where they went 2-1. Columbia topped North Texas and Idaho, but fell to the host Pilots in the middle game of the tournament. Maodo Lo averaged 17.7 points per game and was a sizzling 9-for-12 from 3-point range.
Don’t be fooled by the Eagles’ 1-3 record. Three of American’s games have been decided by four points or less and they played No. 8 Ohio State tough before falling, 62-53, Nov. 20. Most recently, AU dropped a 68-64 decision to Mt. St. Mary’s, on Nov. 23. Darius Gardner paces the offense, averaging 13.8 points and 4.0 assists per game.
LIONS VS. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
Columbia has a rich history playing teams in the Patriot League. The Lions are 120-95 against teams currently in the conference. Columbia’s most common opponent is Army, who they are 36-20 against. This season, Columbia will square off against four Patriot League squads (American, Army, Bucknell, Colgate).
American first-year head coach Mike Brennan is no stranger to Levien Gym. Brennan played for Princeton from 1990-94 and served as a volunteer assistant for Columbia during the 1995-96 season under Armond Hill. Following his brief stint with the Lions, Brennan spent seven seasons as Pete Carril’s top assistant and most recently was on John Thompson III’s staff at Georgetown.
SUNSHINE STATE CONNECTION
Bragging rights between former high school teammates Isaac Cohen and American first-year point guard Justice Montgomery will also be on the line on Tuesday night. Cohen and Montgomery won a pair of Florida State Championships together in 2010 and 2012 with Orlando Christian Prep.
LO BLAZES THE OREGON TRAIL
Sophomore Maodo Lo was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday after his red-hot shooting in three games at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Portland from Nov. 21-23. Lo averaged 17.7 points and shot .667 (9-of-12) from 3-point range. The Berlin, Germany native posted a career-high 23 points with five treys against North Texas and dropped 20 points, including a pair of triples to spark a first-half run, against Idaho.
After seeing limited action in Columbia’s first four games, first-year Jeff Coby posted career-highs of 10 points and six boards in 23 minutes off the bench against Portland on Nov. 22.
Columbia’s 29.5 field goal percentage against Portland on Nov. 22 was the first time a Lions’ team failed to shoot above 30-percent since a 27.4-percent percent performance against UMBC, coincidentally, five years to the exact day in 2008.
And it wasn’t just Lo who was red-hot from 3-point range against the Big Green. The Lions drilled 12 treys, 10 in the first half, and converted at a season-best 54.5-percent clip.
WE GO TO EXTREMES
On Nov. 15, Columbia held No. 2 Michigan State without a 3-pointer (0-for-5) for the first time since 2008, snapping a string of 196 games. It was also the first time a Lions team did not allow a make from downtown since Feb. 21, 2009 against Yale (0-for-6). Ironically, in Columbia’s previous game, Manhattan’s 10-of-12 performance from beyond the arc on Nov. 12 was the best 3-point shooting performance allowed by a Columbia team since Dec. 9, 2002 when Lehigh drilled 7-of-10 from long-range.
COHEN GOES THE DISTANCE
Sophomore Isaac Cohen played the full 40 minutes for the first time in his career at No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 15. The Orlando, Fla., native scored 10 points and tied a career-high of nine rebounds against the Spartans.