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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Men's Basketball Returns Home to Face Cornell Saturday

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 01/24/2013
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NEW YORK - The Columbia men's basketball team will wrap up its home-and-home series with Cornell when they welcome the Big Red to Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 7:00 p.m., following the women's contest against the Big Red at 4:30 p.m.

The annual "Pack the House" event is officially sold out. A limited number of standing room only tickets will be sold on gameday starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Levien Gymnasium ticket office on 120th Street just east of Broadway.

The first 300 students in attendance will receive "Beat Cornell" T-Shirts.

Prior to the game, Columbia Athletics will also host a Faculty & Staff Festival in the Blue Gym at the Dodge Fitness Center from 3:00-4:15 p.m. The first 250 faculty members to enter Levien Gym will also receive Columbia winter hats.

Fans that are not able to make it to the game, can also catch the action on www.gocolumbialions.com or through the Columbia Athletics app (click here for more information) on mobile devices. Jerry Recco and James Buford will bring you all the action.

LIONS’ STATUS
Columbia is coming off a, 67-58, win against Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. last weekend. After the first 27 minutes saw 13 lead changes, the Lions went on a 13-0 run midway through the second half to build a double-digit lead they would not relinquish. Senior Mark Cisco scored 18 points to go with nine rebounds, while Brian Barbour posted 16 points.

BIG RED’S STATUS
Despite the loss to Columbia on Jan. 19, Cornell has won four of its last six outings. Sophomore forward Shonn Miller had 13 points, five rebounds and three steals to lead the Big Red against the Lions last week. First-year guard Nolan Cressler came off the bench and hit a trio of 3-pointers for 11 points. Cornell will look to improve its defensive effort after Columbia shot 53.5% from the floor last week.

HISTORY NOTES - CORNELL
Columbia leads the all-time series with Cornell, 122-97, in one of the most played rivalries in college basketball. The Lions have won four of the last five meetings between the squads. Columbia will look to sweep the season series for the second time in the last three seasons.

SUITS AND SNEAKERS WEEKEND
The Columbia men’s basketball coaching staff will take part in the annual Suits and Sneakers weekend when they take the sidelines. Suits and Sneakers is a national Coaches vs. Cancer event that is designed to raise awareness about the fight against cancer and the American Cancer Society.

DID YOU KNOW?
Prior to the Lions’ conference-opening win at Cornell on Jan. 19, Columbia had not won a road game to begin an Ivy League season since a 74-64 win against the Big Red on Jan. 16, 1993.

CISCO HONORED
After a 18-point, nine-rebound effort at Cornell, senior Mark Cisco earned Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors. Coincidentally, Cisco was named POTW last season after recording 18 points and 20 rebounds against the Big Red.

I LIKE IKE
First-year Isaac Cohen made a huge impact at Cornell on Jan. 19 for a player that did not attempt a shot in 25 minutes of action. Cohen dished out a career-high seven assists and added four rebounds off the bench in the win.

COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions improved to 26-31 all-time in Ivy League openers, and are 2-1 under the direction of Kyle Smith after a Jan. 19 win at Cornell.

FANTASTIC FIVE
The Lions had five players score in double-figures at Holy Cross on Jan. 8, marking the first time they have achieved that feat since Feb. 24, 2012 against Yale.

FIRST THREE SEASONS OF THE SMITH ERA
Over the last two-plus seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 39 games. That is the largest total since Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 56 games in his first three seasons on the bench. Smith is also the first coach to post back-to-back 15-win seasons since the 1977-78, 78-79 seasons, when Tom Penders patrolled the Lions’ bench.

FRANKIE SAYS RELAX
Steve Frankoski has found the range, scoring in double-figures in each of the last six games. He has knocked down 23-of-40 (57.5 percent) of his attempts from downtown during that span. His torrid stretch has him converting on a 45.9 clip for the year, which puts him 12th in the NCAA.

HANDLE WITH CARE
Columbia has done a tremendous job taking care of the ball this season, averaging 10.6 turnovers per game ,which is the eighth fewest in the nation. Additionally, the Lions 1.3 assist/turnover ratio to put them 30th in the country.

BALL DON’T LIE
Columbia went a perfect 15-for-15 from the free-throw line against Bucknell on Dec. 1. It was the first time a Lions team has gone perfect from the line while shooting 10 or more foul shots in a game since Columbia was 13-for-13 against Princeton on Feb. 5, 1994. In addition, Columbia is converting at a .765 rate from the line this season to lead the Ivy League and rank seventh in the nation.

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