The Lions closed non-conference play with a convincing 66-48 win over Howard Saturday. Columbia limited the Bison to 27 percent shooting from the floor and grabbed a season-high 59 rebounds in the victory.
• The Big Red snapped a three-game losing streak with a 100-72 win over NAIA affiliated Fisher College. Cornell has lost six of its last seven against Division I opponents.
• Sophomore Matt Morgan leads the Ivy League in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game, and 3-pointers made (49). Morgan also ranks second on the squad, pulling down 5.1 rebounds per contest.
• The Big Red are led by first-year head coach Brian Earl, who served as associate head coach at his alma mater, Princeton.
The Lions and Big Red will meet for the 227th time in a series that dates all the way back to the 1902-03 season. Columbia holds a 127-99 edge in the meetings and have won nine of the last 12 contests. The Lions are also riding a four-game winning streak at Newman Arena, which dates back to the 2011-12 campaign.
COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions are 29-31 all-time in Ivy League openers, including last season’s 74-70 triumph over Cornell in Levien Gym. Columbia is 12-21 all-time when beginning Ancient Eight play on the road, but have won the last three Ivy League debuts in Ithaca, going back to 2011.
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
Columbia’s 59 rebounds against Howard was the most against a Division I opponent since the recorded 59 against Yale on Feb. 4, 1972. It was just the second time the Lions eclipsed 50 or more in a game against a Division I program since 1994 (53 vs. TCU on Dec. 29, 1994 & 50 vs. Brown - Mar. 5, 2011).
Columbia is averaging 9.0 steals over its past five games, which now puts them third in the Ivy League for the season (6.3). The Lions tied the program’s single-game record with 14 steals in its win over Manhattanville on Dec. 11.
Senior Jeff Coby is rounding into form at the right time for Columbia. Coby has pulled down 25 rebounds in his last two games (12 at Maine, 13 to tie a career-high against Howard) and notched his first double-double of the season against the Bison. The Pembroke Pines, Florida, product missed the first two games of the year due to injury and saw limited action on the bench in his first six games, but is averaging 10.0 points in his last five games and has made four consecutive starts.
The Ivy League has added men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to its slate of conference championships beginning in March 2017. The top four teams in men’s and women’s basketball will vie for the conference’s automatic bids to the NCAA Division I Basketball Championships. The regular season champion will receive an automatic bid to the postseason NIT. The 2017 Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will both be held over the same two competition days, March 11 and 12, at The Palestra in Philadelphia. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN’s networks. For more information, visit IvyMadness.com.