|Score by Quarter|
|Points||Camille Zimmerman (20)||Alana Dudley (14)|
|Rebounds||Camille Zimmerman (17)||Tatianna Torres (7)|
|Assists||Camille Zimmerman (6)
||Alana Dudley (4)
Kelly Guarino (4)
Three tied with 1
|Alana Dudley (3)|
|Blocks||Danielle Tunstall (1)
Maria Ruban (1)
NEWARK, N.J. — The Columbia women’s basketball team polished off its winningest non-conference season in program history by defeating NJIT, 65-51, early Wednesday afternoon at the Fleisher Athletic Center. The game tipped at 11:30 a.m. as part of NJIT’s Education Day.
Columbia finishes the non-conference portion of its schedule at 10-3 (.769), marking the program’s highest non-conference winning percentage. Last season, the Lions went 11-4 (.730) out of conference to total the program’s most non-conference wins. Meanwhile, NJIT falls to 7-8.
“I’m happy to start the New Year with a win,” first-year head coach Megan Griffith ‘07CC said. “I’ll take it, but there are a lot of things we have to sure up over these next 10 days as we head into [Ivy League] play.”
Camille Zimmerman led the Lions with a game-high 20 points and was a force all over the court, matching season-highs of 17 rebounds and six assists. The junior shot 8-of-18 from the floor and already had a double-double at halftime. Her 17 rebounds led the Lions to a dominant, 50-27, advantage on the glass. The 20-point game was her ninth of the season and sixth in the last seven outings.
“There was a definitely a lot to improve on today, but we had some good moments where we executed and ran the game plan,” said Zimmerman, who picked up her 500th career rebound, joining teammate Tori Oliver as one of seven Lions in program history to attain both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. “We passed the ball well and a lot of our teammates got us open looks. It was good to see us being able to read the zone and read their man defense.”
Sophomores Josie Little and Abby Lee came up with their best scoring games of the season. Little began the New Year with a career-high 16 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting. She added eight rebounds and was 4-of-6 at the charity stripe. Lee scored a season-high 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a 2-for-4 mark from long range. She tied her season-high in rebounds with five.
Adding to Columbia’s dominant effort on the glass was senior Tori Oliver, who finished the afternoon with nine. Four of Oliver’s boards came on the offensive end, leading the Lions to a decisive, 21-3, advantage in second-chance points. It was Oliver’s fourth consecutive game with at least nine boards.
NJIT was led by Alana Dudley’s team-high 14 points. Tatianna Torres scored an even 10 to go with a team-high seven rebounds.
Columbia shot just 33 percent in the first half, but was able to take a 26-21 lead into the break by holding NJIT to only five second-quarter points. The Highlanders led for the majority of the half until Zimmerman scored off an offensive putback to tie the game at 18. A few possessions later, Zimmerman hit from long range to give the Lions their first lead, 21-20, since the opening minutes.
Columbia found its offense in the third quarter, doubling its halftime total by the end of the period on 11-of-19 (57.9 pct.) shooting. The Highlanders burned a quick timeout after Oliver capped a 7-0 run with an offensive rebound and bucket. Two minutes later, Zimmerman grabbed a long rebound off a missed NJIT 3-pointer and scored in transition to give the Lions took their first double-digit lead, 42-31.
The Lions took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter and were never truly threatened. Tracey Brereton connected form deep to slice the margin to nine with 5:42 remaining, but the Lions responded with the next four points and led by as many as 15 before all was said and done.
Columbia has a 10-day layoff before its next game, beginning the Ivy League season next Saturday, January 14, at Cornell. Tip is slated for 1 p.m. from Newman Arena in Ithaca, N.Y.
“It’s going to be difficult – teams know each other,” Griffith added on the Ivy League. “We’re going to see some things that we haven’t seen yet and prepare to play some really good teams.”
- Columbia finished the non-conference season 10-3 (.769), posting its highest non-conference winning percentage in program history.
- Camille Zimmerman tallied her ninth 20-point game of the season and matched season-highs in rebounds (17) and assists (6).
- Camille Zimmerman picked up her 500th career rebound, becoming the seventh Lion in program history to eclipse both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Tori Oliver accomplished the feat earlier this season.
- Josie Little scored a career-high 16 points.
- Abby Lee scored a season-high 12 points.
- Columbia held its opponent to 30-percent or less from the field for the fourth time this season.
- Columbia improved 4-0 all-time against NJIT.