|Score by Quarter|
|Points||Camille Zimmerman (22)||Jephany Brown (19)|
|Rebounds||Camille Zimmerman (12)||M. Finney-Smith (9)|
|Assists||Camille Zimmerman (5)||K'lynn Willis (5)|
|Steals||Madison Pack (2)||Ashley Bates (4)|
||Camille Zimmerman (1)
Madison Pack (1)
|M. Finney-Smith (2)
HAMPTON, Va. — The Columbia women’s basketball team came up on the losing end of a game that came down to the wire against defending MEAC champion Hampton, 60-58, Wednesday evening at the Hampton Convocation Center.
Trailing by five entering the final two minutes, Columbia (6-9) tied it up with two free throws and timely 3-pointer by first-year Riley Casey. Hampton (3-9) got to the foul line twice down the stretch to regain the lead, but couldn’t hit enough to put the game away. The Lions called for time off a missed free throw and advanced the ball trailing by two with 10.9 seconds remaining.
Senior Camille Zimmerman gained possession off the ensuing in-bounds play and tried to tie the game with a pull-up jumper along the baseline. The shot fell short off the rim, but sophomore Stephanie Flynn was able to collect the loose-ball rebound. She put up one last desperation attempt from the right elbow that slammed the backboard and fell to the floor just as time expired.
Turnovers were Columbia’s undoing. Hampton turned the Lions over 24 times, including 16 turnovers in the second half on 14 steals. The Lady Pirates entered the contest among the top-25 in the NCAA in steals per game (12.1), but had not recorded a single steal until the third quarter. Hampton kept full-court pressure on the remainder of the way, scoring 22 points off turnovers in the second half alone that included an 11-0 advantage in the final 10 minutes.
Zimmerman led Columbia (6-9) with game-highs of 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. The senior shot 8-of-15 from the field to register her ninth 20-point game and Ivy League-leading seventh double-double of the campaign. Sophomore Maya Sampleton registered career-highs of nine rebounds and four assists to go along with six points. First-year Madison Pack scored eight points and connected on both of her attempts from long range.
Columbia outshot Hampton by a large margin, finishing the game at 46 percent and holding the Lady Pirates below 30 percent. However, Hampton got off 21 more shot attempts than Columbia thanks to all of the second-half turnovers. Hampton also took 20 more free throw attempts to outscore the Lions by 12 at the charity stripe.
Senior Jephany Brown scored a team-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting to head the Hampton offense. She came up with three of the team’s 14 steals, while sophomore Ashley Bates swiped four to go with a dozen points. Senior Monnazjea Finney-Smith pulled down a team-high nine boards to help the Lady Pirates to a 44-42 advantage on the glass.
Hampton scored six points before the Lions got on the board with a Zimmerman bucket more than halfway through the first period. The Lions struggled offensively at the start, opening the game 1-for-10 from the field, but were able to string together seven consecutive points and take their first lead on a Zimmerman 3-point play.
Zimmerman scored five points in the first 2:30 of the second period, including the first triple for either side to put Columbia up 14-12. She scored nine in the quarter altogether, tying the game at 16 and hitting two free throws with seven seconds left in the half to cut Hampton’s lead to 21-20.
Columbia shot just 33.3 percent (8-24) in the first half before hitting 58 percent (15-26) the rest of the way. Zimmerman had 14 of Columbia’s 20 points at the break, shooting 5-of-9 from the field to lead all scorers.
The Lions found the spark they needed to take the lead out of the locker room, starting the second half with eight straight points and hitting four of their first six shots. Back-to-back 3-pointers by first-year Madison Pack and senior Paige Tippet gave the Lions their largest lead of the game, 28-21, just three minutes in.
Columbia led the rest of the quarter, although Hampton’s pressure defense caused enough turnovers to keep it close. The Lady Pirates scored five straight points in the final minute of the period to get within one headed to the fourth. They took the lead back for good with a 7-0 run that resulted in a 58-53 advantage with 2:20 remaining.
Columbia begins Ivy League play next Friday and Saturday, January 12-13, with road games against Princeton and defending league champion Penn. The Tigers are up first that Friday at 5:30 p.m.
- Zimmerman became the 13th player in Ivy League women’s basketball history to score 1,700 career points and now has 1,708. She is 71 points away from Donna Yaffe of Brown (1981-85) for a spot in the all-time top 10.
- Hampton’s shot 28.2 percent from the field, marking the lowest by a Columbia opponent since Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 29, 2016 (27.1 pct.).
- Columbia played its first game against a MEAC opponent since taking on Morgan State in November of 2012.
- Columbia’s streak of three consecutive seasons with a victory to start the New Year came to an end.
- Wednesday marked the first all-time meeting between the two programs.