NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s basketball team begins a three-game homestand when it hosts Saint Francis University on Wednesday. The game will tip at 7 p.m. from Levien Gymnasium and will be available on the Ivy League Network.
• Columbia has won consecutive games for the first time this season. The Lions knocked off Boston College last Wednesday, 68-60, in New York. On Sunday, they defeated UMBC, 60-44, in Baltimore. Columbia outrebounded both teams by 13, marking the first two times this season the Lions have outrebounded their opponent.
• Columbia held UMBC to 44 points, 31.1-percent shooting and just 28 rebounds on Sunday. All three of those marks are the best Columbia has put up defensively this season. UMBC's 44 points are the fewest Columbia has allowed to a Div. I opponent since defeating Harvard, 59-43, on Feb. 13, 2015 (72 games ago).
• First-year Riley Casey was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Monday. Casey averaged 11.0 points and shot 57.1 percent (8-14) in victories over Boston College and UMBC. Casey is the first Lion to win the weekly award since Josie Little on Jan. 1, 2016. That year, Little was named Rookie of the Week three times.
• Senior Camille Zimmerman is expected to make her 93rd career start, which will tie her with Danielle Brown (2006-10) for sixth on the all-time list. Zimmerman has started all but one game in her career and has made 65 consecutive starts. She is already the program's career record holder in points (1,584), field goals made (590) and field goal attempts (1,373)
• Senior Camille Zimmerman has scored in double figures in 36 consecutive games. She has led Columbia in scoring in all nine games this season.
• Sophomore Maya Sampleton has tied her career-high in made baskets each of the last two games. She scored a career-high 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting (2-3 3FG) last Wednesday against Boston College.
• Despite being limited to 13.0 points over her last two games, Camille Zimmerman is averaging 6.5 assists. She had a career-high seven assists against Boston College (Nov. 29) and followed with six more on Sunday against UMBC (Dec. 3).
• First-year Madison Pack took all seven of her shot attempts from 3-point range on Sunday at UMBC. Pack connected on her last two attempts in the fourth quarter to help put away the victory.
• Sophomore Janiya Clemmons is averaging 8.0 points and 7.5 rebounds off the bench over her last two contests. Clemmons played a career-high 30 minutes in Sunday's win at UMBC.
• Last season against Saint Francis, the Lions came back from a 10-point halftime deficit to earn an 84-77 victory in Loretto. It marked Columbia's first victory when trailing by 10 or more at halftime since Feb. 2, 2008 against Brown.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
• First-year Riley Casey was tabbed Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Monday. Casey, a first-year guard out of Brentwood, Tennessee, averaged 11.0 points and shot 57.1 percent from the field (8-14) to help the Lions to a 2-0 week. She hit double figures in both games, including a 12-point performance on 5 of 9 shooting in Wednesday’s 68-60 victory over Boston College. The win marked Columbia’s first in program history over an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Casey followed up with 10 points in a 60-44 victory on Sunday at UMBC, hitting 3 of 5 attempts from the field all three of her free throws. The 5-8 rookie scored seven points in the first quarter, including a 4-point play, to help Columbia jump ahead by double digits. Casey is Columbia’s second-leading scorer at 9.1 points per game and leads all Lions in 3-pointers made (14). She has started all nine games and reached double figures in six. The Franklin Road Academy product is also No. 2 in the Ivy League in total minutes played (283:00).
LITTLE RETURNS TO LINEUP
• Junior Josie Little returned to Columbia's lineup at the Cancun Challenge (Nov. 23-25) and started all three games. Little averaged 8.0 rebounds through the first 13 games of the 2016-17 season before suffering a season-ending injury in January against NJIT. After being held out for over 10 months, Little scored nine points with five rebounds and two blocks in her return against Green Bay (Nov. 23). Little was a force on the glass in last Wednesday's victory over Boston College, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds to help the Lions outrebound BC 43-30 and earn the victory.
• First-years Riley Casey and Madison Pack have worked their way into Columbia's starting lineup and are among the team leaders in scoring. Casey, a 5-8 guard, has started all nine games and is second on the team in scoring with an average of 9.1 points. Pack, a 6-3 post player, has started each of the last six games, is third on the team in scoring (6.4) and averages 5.0 rebounds. Rookies Andrea McCormick and Imani Whittington have also seen significant playing time. Whittington has played in eight of nine games and started one, while McCormick has also appeared in all but one contest.
ZIMMERMAN ECLIPSES 1,500
• Senior Camille Zimmerman became the 29th player in Ivy League women's basketball history to score 1,500 career points with a 10-point effort on Thanksgiving Day against Green Bay (Nov. 23). Already Columbia's all-time leading scorer, Zimmerman now has 1,572 career points, which ranks 25th in the Ivy League record books. Her career scoring average of 17.1 points per game ranks among the conference's top 10 all-time.
TOP 25 TROUBLE
• Columbia fell to 0-9 all-time against AP Top 25 opponents with back-to-back losses against No. 7 Mississippi State (Nov. 24) and No. 24 Arizona State (Nov. 25) at the Cancun Challenge. The closest the Lions have come to defeating a nationally-ranked opponent was a 19-point loss to 13th-ranked Princeton on March 7, 2015.
• Senior Camille Zimmerman landed on the Mayan Division All-Tournament Team at the 2017 Cancun Challenge. Zimmerman averaged 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 17 of 19 from the foul line against three of the nation's top programs. Her performance included a 26-point, 12-rebound effort against No. 7/3 Mississippi State, as well as 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting against No. 24 Arizona State. Zimmerman was one of six named to the Mayan Division All-Tournament Team.
SCOUTING SAINT FRANCIS
• Saint Francis (3-4) is coming off back-to-back losses to Duquesne and William & Mary. In their last outing, the Red Flash came out on the wrong end of a high-scoring affair to William & Mary, 92-86, in Loretto. The game saw 13 lead changes but a 9-0 fourth-quarter run boosted the Tribe to victory. SFU's Jessica Kovatch scored a team-high 31 points and enters Wednesday's contest averaging a NEC-best 19.9 points per game. She is the reigning NEC Player of the Week, also scoring a season-high 33 points last Monday, Nov. 27, to lead Saint Francis to its most impressive win of the season, defeating Cincinnati, 77-73, on the road. The Red Flash play a hectic style of basketball that generally leads to high-scoring games with a lot of forced turnovers. They force an average of 20 turnovers and lead the NEC in scoring at 75.6 points per game. SFU's offense also likes to put up a lot of threes, ranking among the top 20 nationally in 3-point attempts and among the top 35 in 3-point makes per game.