NEW YORK - First-year Maodo Lo scored a career-high 20 points to guide the Columbia men's basketball team to a 59-46 victory over Yale on Friday night. The win for the Lions (12-13, 4-7) was their first against the Bulldogs (11-17, 5-6) in their last eight tries, dating back to Jan. 30, 2009.
Lo was outstanding in all facets of the game, knocking down 9-of-15 of his attempts, and added three blocks to go with two steals. Sophomore Alex Rosenberg pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds and senior Brian Barbour dished out six assists with no turnovers.
Columbia shot 65.2 percent in the second half and held a 30-16 advantage in points in the paint.
Down 36-31 at the break, Columbia came out in the second half looking to attack the basket. Lo scored the first points of the half for the Lions, all on penetration, to kick-start the offense, but Columbia only trimmed its deficit to 33-29 four minutes in.
The Lions stuck to the game plan and it eventually paid off. Senior John Daniels scored all of his five points in a span of 1:43 to put Columbia in front, 38-36, with 11:11 on the clock and the home team never looked back.
Senior Mark Cisco capped the 13-0 rally with a reverse layup to extend the margin to 11 at the 5:53 mark. Lo put the exclamation point on the win with a fall-away three as the shot clock wound down to give the Lions a 19-point lead with 1:12 on the clock.
The teams traded baskets over the first six-plus minutes until Yale's Matt Townsend completed an and-one play to give the Bulldogs a 12-8 advantage with 9:28 left in the period.
The Lions quickly erased the deficit with a pair of triples by Steve Frankoski and Lo to spark a 9-0 run to put the home team on top, 17-12, at the 6:12 mark. However, Yale answered with a spurt of its own.
A 10-2 outburst gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the half, 26-19, with 1:24 left in the first half. Lo finished the frame with a nice drive to the basket, but Columbia still trailed by five heading into the locker room.
The difference in the first half was foul shooting, as Yale converted on 11-of-13 tries, while Columbia got to the line just twice, hitting 1-of-2.
The Lions will play their final home game of the season on Saturday, March 2, when they host Brown at 7 p.m. Columbia will honor its four members of the senior class prior to the game.