HAMPTON, Va. – Columbia begins the New Year with its final non-conference game of the season, visiting Hampton on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game will be available online courtesy of Media.HamptonU.edu.
• Hampton marks sixth opponent of the season Columbia is playing for the first time. The Lions also played inaugural games against Green Bay (Nov. 23), Mississippi State (Nov. 24), Boston College (Nov. 29), Buffalo (Dec. 9) and Houston (Dec. 28).
• The Lions have won three consecutive seasons in their first game after the turn of the calendar year. Last season, Columbia traveled to NJIT and defeated the Highlanders, 65-51. The year prior, the Lions scored a program-record 102 points to defeat Central Penn. The streak started in January of 2015 when Columbia topped Fairleigh Dickinson, 72-55, in New York.
• Columbia hopes to bounce back from two losses in the state of Texas over the holidays. The Lions were defeated by Houston on Thursday, 77-53, before falling to Rice two days later, 67-44. The Owls held Columbia to its lowest shooting percentage of the season (30.2 pct.).
• Senior Camille Zimmerman leads the Ivy League in several statistical categories, including scoring average (19.9), total points (278), field goals made (100), free throws made (73), total rebounds (120) and double-doubles (6). She is Columbia's all-time leading scorer with 1,686 career points, and is also the program's all-time leader in field goals made (624) and free throw percentage (.820). The senior guard-forward is also among Columbia's top-five in career rebounds (765), free throws made (374) and blocked shots (89).
• Columbia is 3-6 all-time against current members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Wednesday will mark Columbia's first game against the conference since traveling to Morgan State on Nov. 23, 2012.
• Senior Camille Zimmerman leads the Lions in points (19.9), rebounds (8.6), assists (3.2), steals (1.1) and blocks (0.7). She has been named Ivy League Player of the Week twice this season.
• Senior Camille Zimmerman has scored in double figures in 41 consecutive games. She has led Columbia in scoring in all 14 games this season.
• Columbia is 19th in the NCAA in free throw percentage at 76.1 percent for the season. Senior Camille Zimmerman, junior Abby Lee and first-years Riley Casey and Madison Pack are all hitting at above 85 percent.
• Riley Casey is Columbia's second-leading scorer at 10.2 points per game. She has scored in double figures nine times, including a season-high 18 points against Buffalo (Dec. 9). She averaged 13.8 points and shot 53.3% (24-45) over a five-game stretch from Nov. 29 - Dec. 11.
• Sophomore Maya Sampleton has scored in double figures in four of her last seven games, including back-to-back career-high scoring performances of 12 points against Hofstra (Dec. 11) and Houston (Dec. 28). Sampleton did not score in double figures in any game her rookie season.
• Hampton (2-9) has played an extremely challenging non-conference schedule that ranks No. 8 in the country according to the Jeff Sagarin ratings. The Lady Pirates began the season with their first win in program history over North Carolina and have played 10 of their first 11 games on the road. Hampton's other victory came over San Jose State at the Tiger Tipoff in Stockton, California. They've lost six straight since then to Oregon, Quinnipiac, Temple, TCU, Chattanooga and Samford. Wednesday marks Hampton's second home game of the year, the other coming in a six-point loss on Dec. 3 to Quinnipiac. Hampton makes its living forcing turnovers, ranking 16th in the NCAA with an average of 12.1 steals per game and 25th in the NCAA with a +5.55 turnover margin. Five Lady Pirates are among the NCAA statistical leaders in steals per game, led by Allina Starr and K'Lynne Willis, who each average 2.27. Four Lady Pirates average at least two steals per contest. Starr averages 13.0 points to lead the Lady Pirates in scoring. Monnaz Finney-Smith (12.7) and Jephany Brown (10.9) also average double figures scoring. Finney-Smith is the team's leading rebounder (7.5).
ADDING TO HER RECORDS
• Senior Camille Zimmerman became the 29th player in Ivy League women's basketball history to score 1,500 career points. Already Columbia's all-time leading scorer, Zimmerman now has 1,686 career points, which ranks 13th in Ivy League women's basketball history. Her career scoring average of 17.2 points per game ranks among the conference's top 10 all-time. Zimmerman now has 624 career field goals, passing Columbia Hall of Famer Kathy Gilbert '91CC, who held the record of 573 for more than 25 years. Zimmerman passed another Hall of Famer, Nora Beck '83SOA, for one of the top-five spots in career rebounds and now has 765.
TAKING DOWN THE POWER CONFERENCES
• Columbia is 3-2 in its last five games against power-conference opponents, including 2-2 this season. The Lions opened the year by defeating Providence on the road, 73-64, marking their second-straight victory over the Friars. Last season, Columbia took down Providence in overtime in New York to mark its first win in program history against a BIG EAST opponent. The Lions earned their first ACC win in program history this season when they defeated Boston College, 68-60, in front of a record 2,372 fans on Education Day. Columbia also took on then-No. 7/3 Mississippi State (SEC) and then-No. 24 Arizona State (Pac-12) at the Cancun Challenge.
• 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 14 games and is second on the team in scoring with an average of 10.2 points. Pack, a 6-3 post player, has started each of the last 11 games, is fourth on the team in scoring (6.0) and averages 4.7 rebounds. Rookies Andrea McCormick and Imani Whittington have also seen significant playing time. Whittington and McCormick have played in 11 of the 14 contests.
ZIMMERMAN EARNS SECOND PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Senior Camille Zimmerman was named Ivy League Player of the Week following her 24-point, 13-rebound performance in Columbia's 75-53 victory over Hofstra (Dec. 11). Zimmerman filled up the stat sheet with three assists, two steals and a block, and recorded her sixth double-double of the season. The senior pulled down 10 offensive rebounds and was also a finalist for the NCAA's Starting Five Players of the Week. The Ivy POTW selection was Zimmerman's second of the season, also earning the honors Nov. 13 after averaging 23.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and shooting 65 percent against Providence and Richmond. Zimmerman has earned the Ivy League's top weekly award nine times in her career, one behind Columbia Hall of Famer Judie Lomax (2008-10) for the most by a Lion in their career.
CASEY GOES BACK-TO-BACK AS ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
• First-year Riley Casey earned back-to-back Ivy League Rookie of the Week selections (Dec. 4, Dec. 11). A guard out of Brentwood, Tennessee, Casey averaged 11.0 points and shot 57.1 percent from the field (8-14) to earn her first selection, helping the Lions to a 2-0 week over Boston College and UMBC. 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 following week, Casey averaged 15.0 points, 4.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds while shooting an impressive 52.4 percent from the field (11-21) in games against Saint Francis (PA) and Buffalo. Casey began her week with 12 points and four assists as part of Columbia’s 94-81 victory over Saint Francis (PA). She went on to post career-highs of 18 points and five assists in a game that came down to the final buzzer against Buffalo. Casey connected on 6 of her 12 attempts from the field and all five of her free throws against a team that came into the game with a top-25 RPI and a top-50 scoring defense.