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Matt Johnson is one of four Columbia seniors who will play at Levien Gymnasium for the last time this weekend.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia Takes on Harvard, Dartmouth at Levien Gymnasium in Final Basketball Weekend

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 02/28/2012
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NEW YORK - The Lions will close out the 2011-12 regular season with a matchup with Harvard on Friday, March 2 before meeting Dartmouth on Senior Night on Saturday, March 3. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. at Levien Gymnasium. Friday's game is presented by Rack & Soul. Saturday's game is presented by Melba's Restaurant.

Columbia played two hotly contested games against the Crimson and the Big Green on the road in New England in early February. The Lions fell to Harvard 57-52 after Columbia had trimmed its deficit to two points with two minutes to go. A night earlier at Dartmouth, Mark Cisco’s jumper with three seconds left gave Columbia a 64-62 win in New Hampshire.

This weekend marks the final home games in the careers of Columbia seniors Chris Crockett, Steve Egee, Matt Johnson and Blaise Staab. The group has combined for 52 wins and 21 Ivy League wins during their careers. With two wins this weekend, the group has a chance to lead Columbia to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in more than 30 years.

Students are admitted free with Columbia or Barnard ID.

Tickets to Saturday's game are available online or by calling 888-LIONS-11. Please note that Friday's game vs. Harvard is sold out. A limited number of standing-room only tickets will be available at the ticket office on the second floor of Dodge Fitness Center, outside Levien Gym, at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 2.

Fans can also watch or listen live to the game via SideLION Pass with Jerry Recco (@JerryRecco) and Dalen Cuff (@DCuff21) on the call. WKCR 89.9 FM, Columbia's student radio station, will also call the game. Live stats and game notes are available.

LIONS AT LEVIEN
Over the past two seasons, Columbia is 17-9 at Levien Gymnasium. The Lions have won seven of their last ten games at home.

THE HISTORY NOTE - HARVARD
The Columbia-Harvard series began in Columbia’s inaugural 1900-01 season, when the Crimson won, 11-9. Harvard has won each of the last six games between the two teams but the Lions had won five straight games before that. Columbia’s last win over Harvard came at Levien Gymnasium on February 14, 2009. In that game, Kevin Bulger’s jumper with 4.2 seconds left lifted the Lions to a 60-59 win over a Crimson squad led by current New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.

THE HISTORY NOTE - DARTMOUTH
Columbia has won eight of the last eleven games against Dartmouth, including three straight in the series and three straight at Levien Gymnasium. Dartmouth was the last Ivy League team that Columbia faced in its early years as a program, in a series that began in the 1905-06 campaign.

BARBOUR’S SHOP
Junior guard Brian Barbour has had an All-Ivy League caliber season this year.
• Barbour ranks second in the league in scoring in Ivy games (17.0 ppg)
• First in assists during Ivy games (5.8 apg)
• Carries a 2.7:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league play
• Is second in the nation in free throw percentage (90.7%) and is shooting 92.3% from the line during league play
• Has scored in double figures in 13 of the last 14 games
• Scored 20+ points nine times this season
• Dished out a career-high 10 assists in Columbia’s last game vs. Brown. It was Barbour’s first career double-double and the highest assist total for a Columbia player in eight years.

CISCO’S SYSTEM
Junior center Mark Cisco ranks among the Ivy League leaders in several statistical categories.
• Cisco ranks third in rebounding (8.1 rpg) and second in field goal percentage (58.7%) during Ivy play
• Leads the league in offensive rebounds per game during league play (2.5 per game)
• Is fourth in free throw shooting during league play (86.2%)
• Posted four of his five double-doubles this season during Ivy League play, including 12 points and 12 rebounds vs. Yale on Feb. 11
• Has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 13 games
• In 2010-11, averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds during Ivy League action. In 2011-12, is averaging 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds during Ivy play

BALL DON'T LYE
Sophomore guard Meiko Lyles has had a strong sophomore season after coming on at the end of his rookie season.
• Lyles leads the team in made three-pointers (53) and three-point field goal percentage (42.4%)
• Leads the team in steals with 31 and is shooting 45.2 percent from the field
• In 2010-11, averaged 6.1 points and 2.5 rebounds during Ivy League play. In 2011-12, has improved those numbers to 10.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game during Ivy League play

THE BLOOM IS ON ROSENBERG
Rookie Alex Rosenberg has had a strong start to his first collegiate campaign. Named Ivy League Rookie of the Week earlier this season, Rosenberg has scored in double figures in each of the last three games. Last weekend at Yale and Brown, Rosenberg matched his jersey number with 13 points in each game. At Yale, he finished with eight rebounds and against Brown, Rosenberg grabbed five boards.

BLAISE OF GLORY
Senior forward Blaise Staab started has started the last four games for the injured John Daniels. In the first of those starts at Princeton, Staab answered the call with a career-high 12 points and six rebounds. In Columbia’s last game at Brown, Staab finished with six points and five rebounds in 22 minutes of action.

CROCKETT ROCKS IT
Senior guard Chris Crockett has provided instant offense off the Columbia bench this season. Crockett had a career game against Brown on Feb. 10, going for a career-high 18 points on six three-pointers. Crockett is averaging 9.7 points over the last six games and is closing out his senior year by playing the best basketball of his career.

EVEN STEVEN
Senior Steve Egee has given the Lions strong outside shooting and leadership off the bench for a majority of the season. Egee has posted career highs in scoring and rebounding this season and is shooting 44.4 percent from long distance this season.

BEYOND THE MATT
Senior Matt Johnson gave Columbia strong minutes off the bench in games at Yale and at Brown last weekend. After seeing more playing time earlier in the season, Johnson has been the consummate teammate and he produced three points and two assists in nine minutes at Brown last Saturday.

GO, JOHNNY, GO
Junior forward John Daniels has continued to be a strong, mobile presence around the rim and is second on the team in rebounding at 5.5 per game. On February 10 vs. Brown, Daniels hauled in a team-high 10 boards.

VAN THE MAN
Sophomore guard Van Green has provided big minutes off the Columbia bench in recent games. In the last eight games, Green has shot 63.2 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from three-point range and added four assists and three blocked shots. In Columbia’s win at Dartmouth on Feb. 3, Green scored a career-high 10 points.

O MY!
Rookie center Cory Osetkowski is second on the squad with 18 blocked shots this season and had a career game at Yale on Friday, February 24. In that game, Osetkowski scored a career-high 10 points, added five rebounds and blocked two shots in 19 minutes of action. Osetkowski made five of his eight field goals.

SPRING FORWARD
Rookie Noah Springwater has provided strong two-way play off the bench this season for the Lions. In Columbia’s game at Cornell on January 28, Springwater played 22 minutes and added five points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THE KYLE SMITH ERA
Over the last two seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 29 games. That is the largest total in a head coach’s first two seasons since Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 39 games over his first two seasons as head coach, including Columbia’s magical 23-1 campaign in 1950-51.

COLUMBIA AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
Through February 26, Columbia was ranked among the nation’s top 100 teams in several different categories:

Category   Rank   Actual
Scoring Defense   51st 61.8
Field Goal Pct Defense   81st 41.2
Three-Pointers Per Game    89th 7.1
Three-Point FG Pct 55th 36.9
Free Throw Pct 28th 74.9
Turnovers Per Game 68th 12.4
Personal Fouls Per Game 78th 16.9

Category   Player   Rank   Actual
Free Throw Pct    Brian Barbour   2nd 90.7

BARBOUR CRACKS TOP 20 ASSIST MEN ALL-TIME
Junior Brian Barbour recently moved into the top 20 in career assists in Columbia history. He currently ranks 13th all-time and has a chance to break into the top ten in career assists after this weekend. Gary Raimondo ‘99 ranks 10th all-time with 236 career helpers.

COLUMBIA CAREER ASSISTS
11.   John Byrnes   1971-74   232
12. Matt Shannon   1985-89 228
13. Brian Barbour 2009-present   227
14. Noruwa Agho 2008-present 226

BARBOUR RANKS AMONG TOP TEN IN ASSISTS IN A SEASON
Barbour also ranks among the top ten in assists in a single season at Columbia.

COLUMBIA SINGLE-SEASON ASSISTS
1.   Alton Byrd   1976-77   210
2. Alton Byrd 1978-79 193
3. Mike Jelinsky    1989-90 153
4. Mike Jelinsky 1990-91 145
5. Elliot Wolfe 1970-71 140
6. Tony Chiles 1987-88 136
7. Dale Smith 1984-85 130
8. Brian Barbour 2011-12 123
  Alton Byrd 1977-78 123
10.   Elliot Wolfe 1969-70 120

CISCO AMONG TOP OFFENSIVE REBOUNDERS
Junior Mark Cisco ranks second all-time in offensive rebounds at Columbia after more than two and a half seasons. Offensive rebounds were kept as a separate stat beginning in the 1990-91 season.

1.   John Baumann   2004-08   189
2. Mark Cisco 2009-pres.   175
3. Chris Wiedemann   1999-03 166
4. Ben Nwachukwu 2004-08 164
5. Jim Tubridy 1992-96 150
6. Boris Piskun 1992-96 145
7. Asenso Ampim 2007-11 144
8. Gary Raimondo 1995-99 143
9. Matt Preston 2001-05 138
10. 
Jason Miller 2005-09 112

CISCO ALSO RANKS IN TOP TEN IN BLOCKS
Not only is Cisco one of Columbia’s top offensive rebounders in recent history, he now ranks among the top ten shot blockers in program history. Blocked shots were first kept as an official statistic beginning in 1984-85.

1.   Chris Wiedemann   1999-03   187
2. Dane Holmes 1988-92 148
3. Tom Casey 1989-93 137
4. Jamal Adams 1990-94 101
5. Joe Case 1998-02  66
6. Ben Nwachukwu 2004-08  62
7. Justin Namolik 1995-99  50
8. Mark Cisco 2009-present      48
  Steve Marusich 1990-94  48
10.   Jim Tubridy 1992-96  47

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