NEW YORK - The mantra around the Ivy League is if you have a bad Friday night, you can come right back on Saturday night and erase it. Columbia held true to that mantra, bouncing back from a tough loss to Princeton on Friday with a 75-62 victory over Penn on Saturday night in front of 2,711 fans at a rowdy Levien Gymnasium.
The first half was hotly contested as neither team held more than a six-point edge through the first 20 minutes. With Penn ahead by two near the end of the half, Max Craig scored on a putback of a missed three-pointer to send the two teams into halftime tied at 35-35.
Columbia jumped out to a 10-0 run to start the second half, which included eight points by Noruwa Agho over a two-minute stretch that put Columbia ahead 45-35.
Agho, who scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, put Columbia on his back again after Penn got to within three, 55-52, on a Jack Eggleston jumper with 6:37 left in the game.
Agho nailed a three-pointer after a crossover dribble to give Columbia an eight-point edge, then nailed a jumper on the next possession to make it 62-52. Two possessions later, Agho made a steal after a scramble and found Craig underneath for a layup to give the Lions a 12-point advantage with four minutes left.
Eggleston led Penn with 16 points, while Zack Rosen added 12 points and seven assists. Cameron Gunter came off the bench to also add 12 for the Quakers.
Columbia's record improves to 13-9 and 4-4 in the Ivy League with the win, while Penn is now 9-12 and 3-4 in the league.
The Lions are back in action at Levien Gymnasium on Friday, February 18 against Dartmouth at 7 p.m.
Penn had played three straight overtime games, all losses, before Saturday night ... Mark Cisco had two more blocked shots and has registered a blocked shot in each of Columbia's last five games ... the Lions made 13 of 16 from the free throw line in the second half, including each of their last nine at the line ... Noruwa Agho has dished out five or more assists in each of the last four games ... prior to Saturday night's game, Columbia held its annual men's basketball alumni game ... the "Has Beens" defeated the "Fossils" 73-63 behind a game-high 26 points by Justin Armstrong '08.