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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Men's Basketball Set for Rubber Match With Yale in CIT Quarterfinals

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 03/25/2014
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COLUMBIA (21-12) VS. YALE
2014 COLLEGEINSIDER.COM POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26 • 7 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK

GAME VITALS

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Jerry Recco - Play-by-Play
Dalen Cuff '06CC - Analyst

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GAME NOTES

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
The Lions used a 24-5 run to close out Eastern Michigan and earn a 69-56 win in the second round of the CIT on Saturday night. Columbia trailed by six midway through the second half before stepping up on the defensive end, holding the Eagles without a basket for nearly six minutes. The Lions outrebounded EMU, 34-22, and shot the ball well (50 percent FG, 10-of-21 from 3-point range)to advance to the quarterfinals.

YALE’S STATUS
The Bulldogs have played a pair of barn burners in their first two CIT games, using a banked in 3-pointer by Justin Sears to sneak by Quinnipiac, 69-68, and went on a 6-0 run in the final 1:43 to knock off Holy Cross, 71-66, on the road on Saturday night. With the victory over the Crusaders, head coach James Jones became Yale’s all-time leader in wins with 207, surpassing Joe Vancisin, who led the Bulldogs from 1956 to 1975.

About the CIT
This is the sixth year of existence for the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, which started in 2009. The tournament features a 32-team field, oriented towards mid-major institutions. The tournament does not feature a traditional bracket, instead determining future matchups by the results of previous rounds. All games are held on campus sites. Five different teams have won the first five CITs, including East Carolina in 2013.

ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Sunday’s contest will mark the 226th meeting between the Lions and Elis. Yale has won nine of the last 11 contests, but Columbia has won the last two games at Levien Gymnasium. It will also be the first time two Ancient Eight squads will battle it out in the postseason.

EXTENDING THE SEASON
Columbia is making its fourth postseason appearance and its first since 1968. This is the first non-NCAA Tournament the Lions are participating in. Columbia has gone to the “Big Dance” three times (1948, 1951, 1968). Columbia improved to 4-4 in postseason games after its win over Eastern Michigan on March 22. The contest against the Eagles night was also the first time Columbia hosted a postaseason contest.

SHARING IS CARING
Columbia posted a season-high 18 assists on 22 made buckets (including 10 dimes on 10 field goals in the first half) in its win over Eastern Michigan on Mar. 22,. The Lions’ previous season-best came against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 21 when they dished out 17 assists on 23 made field goals. Although they only average 12.2 dimes per game, five players have recorded five or more assists this season for Columbia.
- Cory Osetkowski - 5 vs. UMES/5 vs. Brown
- Isaac Cohen - 6 vs. American/5 vs. SFC/5 vs. Central Penn/vs. Cornell 5/at Princeton 5/6 vs. Brown/6 at Dartmouth
- Maodo Lo - 7 vs. Army/5 vs. Harvard/7 at Dartmouth/ 5 at Valparaiso.
- Grant Mullins - 7 vs. FDU/6 vs. Central Penn
- Alex Rosenberg - 5 at Cornell/7 vs. Eastern Michigan

“MARCH” TO 1,000
Alex Rosenberg has put together one of the finest offensive seasons in school history and that, coupled with Columbia’s postseason run allowed him to become the 26th player to reach the 1,000 point club in program history. Rosenberg’s milestone came with 9:51 left in the second half against Eastern Michigan on March 22..

ENTER SANDMAN
With Mariano Rivera retired, New York has a new closer that goes by the name of Maodo Lo. In the second half of games this year, he has scored 10 or more points 13 times. Lo hit the biggest shot of his career as time expired at Valparaiso on Mardch 18 to lift Columbia to a 58-56 win in the opening round of the CIT. On the season, he has gone 64-of-74 from the foul line in second halves, compared to 13-of-19 in the opening stanzas. Lo’s 15-point outburst in the second half helped spark a big run to seal a win over Dartmouth on Feb. 15. Earlier this season against Stony Brook, Lo scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half to help the Lions hold off the Seawolves, 68-63.

THE GIVING TREE
Cory Osetkowski (affectionately known as “Tree” to teammates and coaches) has strung together four outstanding games in a row to close the regular season and the opening rounds of the CIT.
• Averaging 16 points and is shooting 65.8 percent from the floor and 6-of-8 from downtown during this current stretch.
• Dropped 10 points and added seven rebounds against Eastern Michigan and MAC Defensive Player of the Year Da’Shonte Riley on Mar. 22.
• Poured in career-high 21 points at Valparaiso on Mar. 18, going 8-of-11 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point land.
• Scored 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds in a win over Penn on Mar. 7.
• Followed that performance by tying a then career-high with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting against Princeton on Mar. 8.
• He ranks sixth on the career block list with 70 blocks, trailing former teammate Mark Cisco ‘13CC by two rejections for fifth.
• Osetkowski played arguably his finest game in blue and white at Cornell on Jan. 25, recording 19 points, nine boards and five blocks. The five rejections were the most for a Lion since Noruwa Agho turned away five shots against Lafayette in 2011.

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