Baumann Leads Lions in Well-Balanced Win at Wagner
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Herold Roy

Every preseason college basketball publication had John Baumann as a first team All-Ivy League selection.  Wagner saw why on Tuesday, December 4th as Baumann led the four Columbia players in double digits with 29 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the 79-65 win over the Seahawks in Staten Island, N.Y.

The Lions snapped Wagner’s four-game win streak, as the Seahawks were fresh off wins over William & Mary, Bucknell, Yale and Brown.

Baumann scored the first four points of the game for Columbia, en route to tying his career-high.  Columbia never trailed in the contest, but with a one-point lead, 6-5, in the first half, Brett Loscalzo hit a three to start a 12-2 Columbia run over a span of four minutes, which forced Wagner to take three timeouts. The Lions kept a double-digit lead throughout the first period.

Justin Armstrong had 10 points in the first half to give Columbia a 40-29 advantage at the break.

Baumann, who had 13 in the first half, opened the scoring in the second period with a three-pointer.  Wagner cut the lead to nine on a three by Joey Mundweiler, but Columbia answered with a tightly-guarded step-back three by Loscalzo to extend the lead back out to 12 points. 

At the 12-minute mark, Jamal Smith cut the Lions’ lead to eight with two free throws, but after a technical foul was assessed to a Wagner player for unsportsmanlike conduct, K.J. Matsui hit a free throw and Baumann was fouled on the ensuing in-bounds play and made both free throws, for the three-point swing.

Mark Porter assisted a jumper by Smith and hit two free throws of his own with just under ten minutes remaining, cutting the lead to seven, but this time, it was Matsui who hit a deep three assisted by Loscalzo to preserve the Lions’ advantage.

Porter hit another three-pointer minutes later, but Armstrong hit a layup and initiated the 8-0 Columbia run that put away the game for good.

Columbia broke out of its sluggish shooting rut by shooting 55.3 percent for the game (26-47), 50 percent from the three-point line (10-20) and 74 percent from the charity stripe (17-23). 

The Lions out-rebounded Wagner 37-28 and every Columbia player that logged more than 10 minutes had at least two rebounds. 

Baumann finished with 29 and six rebounds in 30 minutes of action.  Loscalzo added nine points, six assists and two steals and Mack Montgomery had a huge game with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Armstrong had a season-high 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and Matsui added a season-high 12 points and three rebounds in the win.

Porter had 25 points and eight assists for Wagner and Durell Vinson had eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Columbia improved to 3-5, while Wagner fell to 5-3.

The win closed out a seven-game road trip for the Lions and Columbia returns to Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, December 8, for a 2 p.m. game.