|Score By Half|
|Points||Lukas Meisner (25)||Christian Vital (29)|
|Rebounds||Lukas Meisner (11)||Terry Larrier (14)|
|Assists||Lukas Meisner (4)||Jalen Adams (7)|
|Steals||Tai Bibbs (2)||Christian Vital (2)|
|Blocks||Jaron Faulds (2)||Mamadou Diarra (2)|
STORRS, Conn. – Connecticut erased a 15-point second-half deficit to force overtime and pulled out a 77-73 overtime victory over the Columbia men’s basketball team Wednesday night. Lukas Meisner had another monster performance with a career-high 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Lions (1-5).
Christian Vital scored a game-high 29 points for the Huskies (4-2) and added six rebounds.
Columbia built a 41-30 halftime cushion on the strength of 51.7 percent shooting, including a 7-of-15 clip from downtown. Meisner scored 15 of his points before the intermission and UConn shot just 35.7 percent from the floor.
A backdoor layup from Mike Smith put the Lions in front, 12-4, with 14:56 left in the half before an 8-0 run by the Huskies evened the score just over three minutes later. Columbia answered by draining four of their next five from 3-point range and Tai Bibbs gave the Lions their largest lead of the frame, 31-16, with a layup in traffic at the 6:46 mark.
UConn closed within seven at the 3:44 mark, however, Columbia used an 8-2 spurt to go in front, 41-27, with 1:18 before the break. Vital closed the first-half scoring with a triple with 28 seconds left in the half.
Patrick Tapé extended the cushion to 45-30 after a put-back 1:48 into the second period before the Lions went cold, but were able to stay in front thanks to Meisner. When UConn cut the deficit to 50-45, the junior came through with five-straight points to double the lead at the 9:32 mark.
After the Huskies rattled off a 9-1 run and came within two and one
Vital knocked down a pair from the charity stripe to give the Huskies their first lead since 2-0. Tapé converted on two free throws on the other end to put the Lions back in front, 62-61. Jalen Adams, UConn’s leading scorer who had been held in check most of the night, gave the Huskies the lead back before Quinton Adlesh buried a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left in regulation to make it 65-63 in favor of Columbia.
UConn drew up one final play during a timeout and Adams sent the game to the extra session with a pull-up jumper with 19 seconds left.
Mike Smith scored six of his 10 points to start the final stanza and tied the game at 71-71 with a trifecta with 1:39 to go. The Huskies made it 75-71, but Nate Hickman used a reverse pivot and lay-in to bring it back to a one-possession game with 44 ticks left. Columbia got the stop it needed on defense and the Lions had one last chance to extend the contest.
Columbia drove into traffic and missed two looks, but regained possession with 4.5 seconds left. On the inbounds play, Vital stole the ball on a handoff play, was fouled and secured the UConn victory with a pair of foul shots.
The Lions conclude their seven-game road swing at UAlbany on Saturday, December 2 for a 7 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. A free audio broadcast is also available on the Ivy League Network.
Season and individual non-conference tickets are on sale now. To purchase, visit gocolumbialions.com/tickets, call 888-LIONS-11.
- Columbia fell to 2-9 against UConn all-time and have lost three consecutive games.
- Meisner recorded a career-high in points for the third straight contest.
- Smith extended his streak of scoring in double-figures to 16 games. - The Lions have made exactly 10 3-pointers in three consecutive games.