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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Men's Basketball Finishes Road Slate at Dartmouth, Harvard This Weekend

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 02/26/2014
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COMPLETE GAME NOTES (.pdf)

COLUMBIA (17-10, 6-4) AT DARTMOUTH (9-15, 2-8)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 • 7 P.M.
LEEDE ARENA • HANOVER, N.H.

COLUMBIA AT HARVARD (22-4, 9-1)
SATURDAY, MARCH 1 • 7 P.M.
LAVIETTES PAVILLION • BOSTON, MASS.

GAME VITALS

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GAME NOTES

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
The Lions are coming off their first Ivy League weekend sweep since the 2008-09 season after outlasting Brown, 70-68, and knocking off Yale, 62-46, on NBCSN on Feb. 23. Maodo Lo’s free throws with 14 seconds left sealed the deal in a back-and-forth battle on Friday. Steve Frankoski’s 14 first half points spearheaded a Columbia run, and the Lions maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the way against the Elis.

DARTMOUTH’S STATUS
The Big Green have now lost six-straight after losses at Princeton and Penn last weekend. Against the Tigers, neither team shot the ball well, but Princeton’s nine treys and a 20-for-23 effort from the foul line was enough to earn them a 67-57 win. Brandon McDonell started the game 5-for-5 to give Dartmouth an early lead, but the Quakers rallied with the big man on the bench with foul trouble and picked up the 74-65 victory.

HARVARD’S STATUS
The Crimson are winners of their last four contests after coming away with a rare road sweep at Penn and Princeton. Harvard forced 20 Quaker turnovers and had six players with nine or more points as they coasted to an 83-63 win at the Palestra. Like Columbia earlier in the season, the Crimson snapped a long losing streak at Jadwin Gym. Harvard trailed by five with 13:19 remaining, but outscored the Tigers, 27-10 the rest of the way to pick up its first win at Princeton since 1989.

ABOUT THE MATCHUPS
The Lions snapped a mini two-game skid against the Big Green after a 10-point win at Levien Gym on Feb. 15 to improve to 108-97 against Dartmouth in the series that spans 108 years. Columbia and Harvard meet up for the 172nd time on Saturday. Despite the Crimson winning nine of the last 10 contests, the Lions lead the series 94--77.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING
Columbia’s win over Yale on Feb. 23 gave the Lions 17 wins on the season, which is the most for the program since 1978-79. It also marked the first Ivy League weekend sweep for Columbia since February 2009 when they topped Dartmouth and Harvard at home.

“THREE-KO” LYLES
Junior Meiko Lyles made his first start of the season count, netting 21 points on 5-of-5 shooting from downtown to help Columbia edge Brown, 70-68, on Feb. 21. Despite shattering his previous season-high of 11 points the outburst should come as no surprise. Lyles had three previous 20-point games coming into the season and ranks as the third best 3-point shooter in program history, converting at a 41.5 percent rate.

THE FANTASTIC FOUR
The quartet of Maodo Lo, Grant Mullins, Alex Rosenberg and Meiko Lyles have accomplished something that has not been done at Columbia since the 1969-70 season. The Lions have now had two 20-point scorers in five games this season. Lo and Rosenberg each hit the 20-point mark against St. Francis, Stony Brook and Harvard, while Lo and Mullins accomplished the feat against Central Penn. Most recently against Brown on Feb. 21, Rosenberg posted 23 points to go with 21 from Lyles, who was making his first start of the season.

REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long as they are eight shy of tying the team single-season mark of 218 treys set in 1996-97. Columbia is averaging 7.8 triples per game and are on pace will for 242 with at least four games remaining in the season.

BALL DON’T LIE
On the heels of setting a single-season program record for free throw percentage (.745) in 2012-13, Columbia has shot even better from the charity stripe this season. They Lions are currently seventh in the nation and lead the Ancient Eight, converting at a .764 clip.
• Sophomore Grant Mullins leads the squad and the conference, and he checks in at No. 11 in the NCAA, knocking down 89.9 percent of his attempts. Mullins has a two-year percentage of 88.7 (126-142) and ranks fourth on the Ivy League career list.
• Maodo Lo is third in the Ivy League, converting at an 84 percent rate, while Alex Rosenberg is shooting 80.4 percent from the charity stripe to check in sixth in the conference.

THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In the latest NCAA rankings that came out on Feb. 24, Columbia was ranked 24th in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 62.4 PPG. The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .420/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .338/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.

THE LIONS’ DEN
Through 12 games, Levien Gym has been an intimidating place to play for opposing teams. Columbia has posted a 12-2 mark on its home floor and has won those games by an average margin of 16.8 points (nine by double figures) and its two losses have come by a combined five points (70-71 vs. Manhattan - 84-88 vs. Harvard - 2OT). The 12 wins at home matches the most since 1949-50. The Lions have not won 13 home games since 1950-51 when they set the benchmark for most wins on Morningside Heights with 16.

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