Big Weekend On Tap for Men's Basketball; Brown Visits Friday Before NBCSN Showdown with Yale Sunday
COLUMBIA (15-10, 4-4) VS. BROWN (13-9, 5-3)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21 • 7 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK
|Video & Audio Stream||
Jerry Recco - Play-by-Play
COLUMBIA VS. YALE (13-9, 7-1)
PRESENTED BY MELBA'S
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23 • 1:30 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK
Scott Graham - Play-by-Play
Jerry Recco - Play-by-Play
The Lions were inches away from a weekend sweep, but a go-ahead basket by Alex Rosenberg was waved off with 2.3 seconds left in overtime, and Harvard escaped with an 88-84 win on Valentine’s Day. Columbia used a 17-4 second half run to pull away from Dartmouth the next night, as they bounced back with a 69-59 triumph.
The Bears were tripped up at Princeton, 69-65, on Friday night after a 26-point effort by the Tigers’ TJ Bray. Brown was outscored 44-28 in the paint, but pulled within a possession in the final minute before Princeton iced the game at the foul line. Cedric Kuakumensah’s double-double propelled the Bears to a 62-55 comeback win over Penn on Feb. 15. Down 50-45 with 5:29 on the clock, Brown went on a 14-1 to put the game away.
The Bulldogs are riding high after their dramatic 66-65 overtime win over Princeton on Saturday, extending their win streak to six. Justin Sears’ putback with 4.4 seconds left in the extra frame secured the victory after Yale trailed by 11 points at the break. The night before, the Elis overcame another slow start and used a 12-2 run to propel them in the second half as they went on for a 69-54 victory over Penn.
ABOUT THE MATCHUPS
Columbia and Brown face off for the 133rd time on Friday with the Bears winners of four straight after a 64-56 win at the Pizzatola Sports Center to begin February. Sunday’s contest will mark the 225th meeting between the Lions and Elis. Yale has won nine of the last 10 contests.
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 10 times. The biggest difference in his game after the break has been from the foul line. He has gone 51-of-57 from the foul line in second halves, compared to 7-of-11 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.
BALL DON’T LIE
On the heels of setting a single-season program record for free throw percentage (.745) in 2012-13, Columbia has shot even better from the charity stripe this season. They Lions are currently eighth in the nation and lead the Ancient Eight, converting at a .763 clip.
• Sophomore Grant Mullins leads the squad and the conference, and he checks in at No. 12 in the NCAA, knocking down 89.9 percent of his attempts. Mullins has a two-year percentage of 88.7 (126-142) and ranks fourth on the Ivy League career list.
• Maodo Lo is third in the Ivy League, converting at an 85.3 rate, while Alex Rosenberg is shooting 80 percent from the charity stripe.
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long as they are converting on 38.2 percent, ranking 37th in the nation. If the Lions continue their current pace (7.8 makes per game), the team will have 241 treys, shattering the single-season mark of 218 set in 1996-97.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In the latest NCAA rankings that came out on Feb. 17, Columbia was ranked 26th in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 62.9 PPG. The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .419/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .333/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.
THE LIONS’ DEN
Through 12 games, Levien Gymn has been an intimidating place to play for opposing teams. Columbia has posted a 10-2 mark on its home floor and has won those games by an average margin of 18.1 points (eight by double figures) and its two losses have come by a combined five points (70-71 vs. Manhattan - 84-88 vs. Harvard - 2OT). The 10 wins at home matches the most since 2010-11 (Kyle Smith’s first season) and 2006-07 campaign. The Lions have not won 11 home games since 1968-69 and the record for most wins on Morningside Heights is 16 set by the 1950-51 squad.
MOST COLUMBIA HOME WINS IN A SEASON
1. 16 (1950-51)
2. 13 (1947-48)
3. 12 (1949-50)
4. 11 (1968-69), 11 (1967-68), 11 (1935-36)
7. 10 (2013-14), 10 (2010-11), 10 (2006-07), 10 (1946-47), 10 (1931-32)
THE GIVING TREE
Cory Osetkowski (affectionately known as “Tree” to teammates and coaches) has been one of the premier shot blockers in the Ivy League since conference play began, averaging 1.8 rejections per game which ranks second in league games only. His strong play has moved him all the way up to seventh on the all-time list with 65 blocks and trails Joe Case ‘02CC by just one for the sixth spot. 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.
First-year forward Jeff Coby has earned his way into the rotation and provided solid energy off the bench in the last four games. During that stretch, he has been averaging 4.0 points, 4.3 rebounds in just 12.8 minutes.
EXORCISING THE DEMONS
Thanks to Meiko Lyles game-winning trey with 28 seconds remaining in regulation and stifling defense in the second half (particularly in the waning moments), Columbia secured a 53-52 win over Princeton marking the first win at Jadwin Gymnasium since Feb. 13, 1993. The victory also snapped an eight-game skid against the Tigers, dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Winning away from home has been difficult during the 14-game tournament, but Columbia has picked up two road victories in Ivy League play in five games. Along with the Lions, only Harvard (3-0) and Yale (2-1) have multiple wins on the road in league play.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Lions started Ivy League play 2-0 for the first time since 2011 and just the second time since 2000. The last time Columbia won three straight to start the 14-game tournament was in 1994-95 when they began 4-0 with Jack Rohan patrolling the sidelines.