NEW YORK – Sophomore forward Devon Roeper’s career night led the Columbia women’s basketball team past Brown, 83-74, Friday night at Levien Gymnasium.
Roeper went 11-of-15 from the floor and was perfect 5-of-5 from the line to tally a game-high 27 points. The sophomore led a trio of Lions in double figures as Tori Oliver and Camille Zimmerman provided 17 and 18, respectively. As a team, Columbia shot 47.3 percent from the floor, 81.5 percent from the line and outrebounded Brown (9-14, 3-6 Ivy League), 42-26.
Jordin Alexander led the Bears with 22 points.
For the first time this season the Lions grabbed the tip and used it to their advantage as Roeper scored the first hoop of the night off a pass from Oliver. The tides turned quickly, however, as the Bears rattled off seven quick points to hold a 7-2 early edge.
The lead was short lived as Roeper and the Lions roared back. Columbia went on a 14-0 run to take a 16-9 advantage. The spurt featured eight points from Roeper as the sophomore notched a new career high of 10 points just nine minutes into the contest. Oliver chipped in four points during the stretch.
The Lions lead blossomed to eight off Roeper’s fifth hoop, but Brown climbed back off a triple and an and-1. As things deadlocked at 20 with 10:06 minute mark, the sophomore duo of Oliver and Roeper continued to put on a show and regained a six-point lead, 28-22.
Baskets were traded on either end before Columbia put on a shooting show. Alexa Giuliano got things started with her first triple of the night that tied the Lions single season record. It did not take long for the rookie to break the mark as Giuliano netted her second trey of the night and 62nd of the season. Ara Talkov got in on the action with a three of her own as the score moved to 43-31 with just over a minute before the half.
The Bears netted a buzzer beater to send Columbia into the locker room up, 44-35.
Columbia shot 51.5 percent from the field and 60 percent from beyond-the-arc in the first frame with Roeper’s 70 percent connection rate and 16 points leading the way. Oliver added double digits with 10 points. Brown, meanwhile, went 40 percent from the floor and connected on all three of its attempts from deep.
Roeper’s hot hand did not cool off in the second stanza. The San Diego, California, local scored five quick points to give Columbia its largest lead of the night, 53-37, at the 17 minute mark. The Bears drew fouls for its comeback and sent Roeper to the bench with four in the process.
With its offensive spark sitting down, Columbia went cold and Brown heated up. Off a 14-2 run, the Bears pulled within three, 57-54, with just over eight minutes remaining. Zimmerman picked up the pace for the Lions as the first-year netted six straight points to put the host ahead, 63-54.
The Bears chipped away at the Lions lead and hit two big three’s down the stretch to cut the hosts lead to four, 70-66, with 2:16 on the clock. Columbia would not Brown come any closer, as it held its composure and used clutch free throw shooting to seal the victory.
The Lions will make its television debut in Levien Gymnasium Sunday, Feb. 22 as Columbia hosts Yale at 1 p.m.