NEW YORK – First-year Tori Oliver went over 20 points for the first time in her career, pacing the Lions with 21, but Brown shot 49 percent from the floor to Columbia’s 31 percent, leading to a 79-57 final score in the Bears favor.
Oliver was on-target from the free throw line Saturday night, connecting on 13-of-14 attempts, a season-high for any Lion. Taylor Ward returned to the starting lineup after missing Friday’s game and contributed 10 points and three assists.
Brown scored the game’s first eight points, but the Lions responded after a Coach Glance timeout with the next seven. First-year Carolyn Gallagher tied the game at the 15:11 mark with a free throw, 8-8. The Bears took control over the next 6:28, putting together a 12-2 run that gave them a 20-10 advantage with less than nine minutes left in the first period.
The Bears’ lead would grow to as many as 12 late in the first stanza following a Natalie Ball triple with 1:56 left, but two free throws by Oliver with 0.4 left on the clock sent the teams to the locker rooms with Brown ahead 31-22. Columbia outrebounded the Bears, 24-22, including 10 offensive boards from the Lions, but shooting struggles hindered Columbia’s efforts, converting only on 20.7 percent on its attempts from the field.
Consecutive layups from Oliver and senior Courtney Bradford to start the second half closed the gap to five points, 31-26, with 18:44 remaining. Brown though, once again took control with a 16-5 run over the next five minutes to extend its lead to 19 points.
Columbia continued to battle late in the game, as first-year Carolyn Binder and Ward scored on back-to-back possessions, but the Brown lead was too much to overcome. Lauren Clarke led all scorers, pouring in 23 for Brown, while teammate Sophie Bikofsky tallied 18 points.
The Lions continue their homestand next weekend as they host Princeton on Friday, Feb. 7 and Penn Saturday, Feb. 8; both games begin at 7 p.m. at Levien Gym. Saturday’s contest against the Quakers will be Columbia’s Play 4Kay game and fans are encouraged to wear pink to support breast cancer awareness.