NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s basketball team clinched its first winning Ivy League season since the 1992-93 season after a 74-55 victory over Penn in front of a packed crowd at Levien Gymnasium on Friday night. The Lions, who led for all but 57 seconds, improve to 19-11 overall and 8-5 in the Ancient Eight.
Junior Alex Rosenberg reached double-figures in scoring for the 25th straight game, recording 22 points to put him 30 shy of joining the 1,000-point club. Classmate Cory Osetkowski had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Maodo Lo went 3-of-3 from downtown to finish with 12 points.
The Quakers’ (7-19, 4-8) Fran Dougherty opened the scoring with a layup just 22 seconds in, but Rosenberg scored seven in a row for Columbia to cap an 11-4 run to give the Lions a five-point cushion with 15:46 left in the first half.
Penn pulled within 16-13 at the 11:44 mark of the period when Columbia stepped on the gas. The Lions a trio of three’s during an 11-3 spurt to extend the advantage to 11 with 8:09 remaining in the half.
With Columbia still holding a comfortable lead, the Lions came up with the play of the game. Meiko Lyles grabbed a defensive rebound, threw a baseball pass to Isaac Cohen, who flipped it back to Zach En’Wezoh for a two-hand slam, giving Columbia 30-19 lead with 5:14 before the intermission.
A Steve Frankoski 3-pointer put the Lions up by 15 a few moments later, but Tony Hicks hit an off-balance triple from the right wing as time expired to make it, 40-30, at the half.
Hicks began the second half scoring with a layup, but Lyles answered with a trifecta with 18:49 to go and Columbia led by double-digits the rest of the way.
After getting outshot and outrebounded at the Palestra, the Lions flipped the script on the Quakers on their home floor. Columbia shot 44.7 percent and went 12-of-25 (48.0 percent) from beyond the arc, while holding Penn to 37.0 percent overall and 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from 3-point land. The final numbers on the glass favored the Lions, 38-27.
Dougerty paced the Quakers with 16 points and seven boards.
The Lions end the regular season against Princeton on Saturday, Mar. 8 at 7 p.m.. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by clicking here. Fans can also catch the action on the Ivy League Digital Network.