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Tori Oliver scored a career-high 18 points Sunday.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike Kowalsky

Women’s Basketball Drops Tough Battle to Portland State, 75-67

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 12/01/2013
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PORTLAND, Ore. – First-year Tori Oliver scored a career-best 18 points and classmate Carolyn Binder chipped in 12 points, but the Columbia women’s basketball team dropped a back-and-forth affair Sunday to Portland State, 75-67.

Sunday’s game at the Stott Center saw eight lead changes and the game tied nine times, as both squads played tough until the final horn.

The Vikings made a point to get out and run the floor early in the opening period, but despite scoring in transition on two possessions, the Lions weathered the storm and kept the game close. PSU built its largest lead, a five-point advantage off an Angela Misa jumper at the 12:10 mark, but Taylor Ward struck back quickly on the offensive end with a trey from the wing to make it a 13-11 game.

Less than a minute later, Sara Mead connected from long range following a Courtney Bradford steal. The Lions took their first lead of the game, 19-18, at the 6:57 mark, when first-year Tori Oliver scored on a layup off a Ward steal.

PSU was able to regain a five-point advantage with just over two minutes left in the half, but Miwa Tachibana sank a runner and then found Bradford on the break the next possession to make it just a one-point contest, 29-28. First-year Carolyn Binder put Columbia ahead in the final minute with a deep 3-pointer from the right side and following a PSU jumper by Ani Avanessian the team’s headed to the locker room with the score knotted at 33-33.

Oliver led all Columbia scorers with nine points in the first half, going 4-of-6 from the field. Both teams made 11 field goals in the first half, but the Lions needed three fewer attempts to shoot 45 percent to the Vikings’ 40 percent.

After trading baskets through the initial stages of the second stanza, the Lions used a good inside-out play with Bradford finding an open Mead for a trey to go up 42-39 at the first media break.

The Vikings kept the game close though, and used consecutive layups just past the halfway mark of the second period to retake the lead, 50-49. First-year Devon Roeper was able to balance the scoreboard at 52-52, at the 7:17 mark, hitting the second of two free throws.

Miwa Tachibana swung the game back in Columbia’s favor, 57-56, with a triple from dead on with six minutes left, but PSU put together a 10-0 run over the next 2:53 of action to go ahead by nine points, a lead the Lions could not overcome.

In addition to Oliver and Binder, Bradford reached double digits, scoring 12 points, with Ward adding nine. Columbia hit 24 free throws in the contest, its highest total thus far this season.

Next up for the Lions is a short trip to Brooklyn to take on St. Francis on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.

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