NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s basketball team ended its three-game slide with a 58-41 victory over Penn on Saturday, despite being held without a field goal for the final 15:18 of the contest. The Lions (11-13, 3-7) remained aggressive and knocked down 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) attempts from the foul line to hold off the Quakers (7-19, 4-5).
Columbia was just 2-for-20 (10.0 percent) from the field, but Penn did not take advantage, shooting just 4-for-24 (16.7 percent).
First-year Grant Mullins poured in 18 points, going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line and added three steals. Senior Mark Cisco grabbed eight rebounds and was active on the defensive end, drawing a pair of charges.
Columbia actually got off to a strong offensive start and took a 12-6 advantage off a Mullins three with 14:39 left in the first half. The Lions later used a 13-1 run, capped by a triple from Lo, to extend the cushion to 14 at the 7:10 mark of the period.
Penn’s Tony Hicks tried to get his team back in it, scoring seven in a row at one point, to help his team pull within eight with just under three minutes before intermission, but Brian Barbour’s floater in the lane sent Columbia into the locker room with a 35-25 lead.
The Lions finished the frame converting on 52.0 percent from the floor, and were 6-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Neither team could buy a bucket in the second half. Columbia had just two field goals through the first 10 minutes of the frame, but limited the Quakers to just one to remain ahead, 41-27, at the midway point.
Hicks ended a six-plus minute field goal drought for both teams with a traditional three-point play, Miles Cartwright drew Penn within nine at the 4:36 mark. The Lions continued to struggle from the field, but went on a 9-0 run from the foul line to put the game out of reach with 2:09 to go.
Hicks led the Quakers with 19 points.
Columbia will remain at Levien Gym next weekend when they host Yale and Brown on Mar. 1-2. Tip-off for both contests is set for 7:00 p.m.