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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Men's Basketball Begins 14-Game Tournament Against Cornell Saturday

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 01/16/2014
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COLUMBIA (11-6, 0-0) VS. CORNELL (1-13, 0-0)
PRESENTED BY EMPIRE OFFICE
SATURDAY, JAN. 18 • 7 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK

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GAME NOTES

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
The Lions claimed their fourth straight victory after a 104-78 romp of Central Penn on Jan. 11. Columbia broke the program’s single-game record, burying 18 3-pointers and dominated the glass to improve to 8-1 at Levien Gym. Maodo Lo scored 23 points and Grant Mullins added 20.

CORNELL’S STATUS
The Big Red picked up its lone win of the season, topping D-III Oberlin, 77-55 on Jan. 11. Ned Tamic provided a lift off the bench, setting career-highs with 20 points, nine boards and three blocks.Cornell boasted a strong non-conference schedule which included trips to Syracuse, defending champions Louisville and Notre Dame.

ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Columbia and Cornell will square off for the 221st time this weekend with the series dating all the way back to the 1902-03 season. The Lions hold a 122-98 record against the Big Red and have won four of the last six meetings. Last season, the teams traded road victories to earn a split.

COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions are 26-31 all-time in Ivy League openers and are 2-1 under the direction of Kyle Smith. Columbia is 32-25 in its home conference debuts and 16-10 when starting the 14-game tournament in Levien Gymnasium.

RECORD BREAKERS
Columbia’s 18 made 3-pointers against Central Penn on Jan. 11 set a new single-game record, breaking the old mark of 16 set against Brown on Feb. 10, 2012 and fell just two shy of the Ivy League standard shared by Brown (2010) and Princeton (2003).

THE THREE AMIGOS
After being lumped closely together in the Ivy League scoring race the past few weeks, the trio of Maodo Lo, Grant Mullins and Alex Rosenberg have accomplished something that has not been done at Columbia in over 40 years. The Lions have now had two 20-point scorers in three games (all in a row), marking the first time since the 1971-72 season. Lo and Alex Rosenberg each hit the 20-point mark against St. Francis and Stony Brook, while Lo and Mullins accomplished the feat against Central Penn.

REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long as they are converting on .410 of their attempts from long-distance to lead the Ivy League and rank 17th in the nation. Additionally, Columbia is ranked ninth in the NCAA with 152 triples made. If the Lions continue their current pace (8.4 makes per game), the team will have 276 treys, shattering the single-season mark of 218 set in 1996-97.

BALL DON’T LIE
On the heels of setting a single-season program record for free throw percentage (.745) in 2012-13, Columbia has continued to shoot it well from the charity stripe this season. They currently lead the Ancient Eight converting at a .747 clip, putting them in the top-30 nationally.

THE LIONS’ DEN
Through nine games, Levien Gymnasium has been an intimidating place to play for opposing teams. Columbia has posted a 8-1 mark on its home floor and has won those games by an average margin of 20.4 points (seven by double-figures).

THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In the latest NCAA rankings that came out on Jan. 13, Columbia was ranked 23rd in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 61.9. The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .414/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .330/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.

THREE-COH-LA!
In the second half of the Lions win over Stony Brook on Jan. 8, the squad scored only on 3-point field goals and free throws until the 3:41 mark of the frame.

 

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