WASHINGTON, D.C. – Columbia’s backcourt of Brian Barbour and Grant Mullins combined for 39 points to lift the Lions to a 54-42 victory at American on Sunday. Barbour scored 19 points, becoming just the 25th player in program history to reach 1,000 for his career, while Mullins put up a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Points were at a premium for both teams at the get-go, but American was able to take a 9-1 lead 8:12 in after a Stephen Lumpkins score. Columbia’s first field goal came with 10:42 left in the half on a Mullins trey, but the Lions forced nine turnovers and were active on the offensive glass to stay in the hunt.
Barbour would later score four-straight to surpass his milestone and spark a 10-0 run to put Columbia on top, 20-14, with 1:35 left as the Lions took a four-point advantage into the break.
Mullins put on a show in the second half, scoring 12 points in the first 10 minutes of the frame to lift Columbia to a 42-27 lead. The Lions continued to apply the pressure on the defensive end, holding the Eagles (4-6) to just one field goal during an 8:30 span. However, American stayed close by getting to the foul line and pulled within 44-38 after a three by John Schoof ended the Eagles drought with 3:55 on the clock.
From there, Barbour played the role of closer, scoring nine points and shooting 7-of-8 from the foul line, down the stretch to preserve the victory.
The Lions shot just 20.7 percent in the first half, but converted at a 55-percent clip in the second, while holding the Eagles to 31-percent shooting for the game.
After a two-week break for final exams, the Lions will return home to Levien Gymnasium to take on Elon on Saturday, Dec. 22. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling (888) LIONS-11.