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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Men's Basketball Returns Home to Host Harvard and Dartmouth

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 02/12/2014
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COLUMBIA (14-9, 3-3) VS. HARVARD (18-4, 5-1)
PRESENTED BY COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT UPPER EAST SIDE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 • 7 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK

PROMOTIONS/GIVEAWAYS
• Fans can enter to win a complimentary weekend stay with breakfast, sample Valentine’s Day chocolates and sign up for the Marriott Rewards Program in the Levien Gymnasium lobby.

• Red Bull will distribute free samples in the Levien Gymnasium lobby prior to tip-off.

COLUMBIA  VS. DARTMOUTH (9-11, 2-4)
PRESENTED BY INSOMNIA COOKIES
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 • 7 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK

PROMOTIONS/GIVEAWAYS
• Free cookie samples in the Levien Gymnasium lobby prior to the game and fans can sign up to win a gift card for free Insomnia Cookies.

• TRIVIA NIGHT - Join the competition in teams of five or less and answer questions on an array of subjects during the exciting Ivy League Men’s Basketball game. All fans are welcome to participate in Trivia Night festivities! Prizes will be awarded at time-outs with a special grand prize to the team that earns the most points. 
• ECOLIONS RECOGNITION - The EcoLions group is the official environmental organization of the Columbia Athletics Department. Student-athletes from 15 varsity teams work to develop sustainability and recycling programs to inspire greener athletic practices. At this Saturday's men's basketball contest versus Dartmouth, all fans are asked to donate used shoes in Levien Gymnasium Lobby during the game. These shoes will be reused by those in need around the world; prizes will be given to those who bring used shoes. Show your support for EcoLions this weekend!

GAME NOTES

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
The Lions came away with a split last weekend, topping Princeton, 53-52, for their first road win against the Tigers since Feb. 13, 1993. Meiko Lyles 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in regulation proved to be the game-winner. Columbia was unable to earn a sweep the next night, falling to Penn, 68-60, at the Palestra. The Quakers shot 54.2 percent and held a 37-26 edge on the glass.

HARVARD’S STATUS
The Crimson are coming off their first Ivy League loss of the season and first home loss in 20 games after Yale picked up a 74-67 win on Feb. 8. Harvard grinded out a 52-45 win over Brown the previous night. The Crimson are one of the stingiest defensive teams in the conference, holding opponents to 60.5 points per game and .316 shooting from downtown.

DARTMOUTH’S STATUS
Playing without starting center Gabas Maldunas, who is out for the year with a knee injury, the Big Green dropped both games to Yale and Brown last weekend. Dartmouth was limited to just four field goals in the second half in a 67-54 loss to the Bulldogs on Feb. 7. The next night, the Bears opened the contest on a 17-3 run and never looked back, securing a 75-62 decision in Hanover.

ABOUT THE MATCHUPS
Columbia and Harvard will meet for the 171st time on Friday with the Lions holding a 94-76 edge in the series that dates back to 1900-01. The Crimson have won eight of the last nine meetings and the teams split home victories in 2012-13. Since the 1905-06 season, the Lions and Big Green have faced off 204 times, with Columbia victorious on 107 occasions. Dartmouth swept the Lions last season for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.

EXORCISING THE DEMONS
Thanks to Meiko Lyles game-winning trey with 28 seconds remaining in regulation and stifling defense in the second half (particularly in the waning moments), Columbia secured a 53-52 win over Princeton marking the first win at Jadwin Gymnasium since Feb. 13, 1993. The victory also snapped an eight-game skid against the Tigers, dating back to the 2008-09 season.

BALL DON’T LIE
On the heels of setting a single-season program record for free throw percentage (.745) in 2012-13, Columbia has shot even better from the charity stripe this season. They Lions are currently 16th in the nation and lead the Ancient Eight, converting at a .753 clip. Sophomore Grant Mullins leads the squad and the conference, and he checks in at No. 12 in the NCAA, knocking down an 89.9 percent of his attempts. Mullins has a two-year percentage of 88.7 (126-142) and ranks fourth on the Ivy League career list.

REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long as they are converting on 38.2 percent, ranking 37th in the nation. If the Lions continue their current pace (7.9 makes per game), the team will have 245 treys, shattering the single-season mark of 218 set in 1996-97.

THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In the latest NCAA rankings that came out on Feb. 10, Columbia was ranked 23rd in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 62.0 PPG. The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .417/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .328/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.

THE LIONS’ DEN
Through 10 games, Levien Gymnasium has been an intimidating place to play for opposing teams. Columbia has posted a 9-1 mark on its home floor and has won those games by an average margin of 19.2 points (seven by double figures).

ROAD WARRIORS
Winning away from home has been difficult for just about every team during the 14-game tournament, but Columbia has picked up two road victories in Ivy League play, tied with Yale for the most in the conference. The last time the Lions won three times away from home in the Ancient Eight was in 2008.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Lions started Ivy League play 2-0 for the first time since 2011 and just the second time since 2000. The last time Columbia won three straight to start the 14-game tournament was in 1994-95 when they began 4-0 with Jack Rohan patrolling the sidelines.

THE GIVING TREE
Cory Osetkowski (affectionately known as “Tree” to teammates and coaches) played arguably his finest game in blue and white at Cornell on Jan. 25, recording 19 points, nine boards and five blocks. The five rejections were the most for a Lion since Noruwa Agho turned away five shots against Lafayette in 2011.

COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions improved to 27-31 all time in Ivy League openers and are 3-1 under the direction of Kyle Smith. Columbia is also 33-25 in its home conference debuts and 17-10 when starting the 14-game tournament in Levien Gymnasium.

THIS ONE GOES TO 11
The Lions’ 11 non-conference victories matches the highest total in program history, previously accomplished in 2011-12 when Columbia posted an 11-5 mark before the 14-game tournament also under the direction of Kyle Smith.

RECORD BREAKERS
Columbia’s 18 made 3-pointers against Central Penn on Jan. 11 set a new single-game record, breaking the old mark of 16 set against Brown on Feb. 10, 2012, and fell just two shy of the Ivy League standard shared by Cornell (2010) and Princeton (2003).

THE THREE AMIGOS
After being lumped closely together in the Ivy League scoring race the past few weeks, the trio of Maodo Lo, Grant Mullins and Alex Rosenberg have accomplished something that has not been done at Columbia in over 40 years. The Lions have now had two 20-point scorers in three games, marking the first time that has occured since the 1971-72 season. Lo and Rosenberg each hit the 20-point mark against St. Francis and Stony Brook, while Lo and Mullins accomplished the feat against Central Penn.

THREE-COH-LA!
In the second half of the Lions win over Stony Brook on Jan. 8, the squad scored only on 3-point field goals and free throws until the 3:41 mark of the frame.

 

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