NEW YORK - Columbia men's basketball will play its first of six weekends of back-to-back Ivy League contests when they travel to Penn on Friday, Feb. 1 and Princeton on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Friday night's showdown with the Quakers will begin at 7:00 p.m. and can be viewed live on www.gocolumbialions.com, courtesy of www.pennathletics.com.
Saturday's game will be televised nationally beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network, with Randy Moss and former Lions' standout Dalen Cuff '06CC on the call. Click here to find your local listings.
Fans can also hear all the action on both days on www.gocolumbialions.com or through the Columbia Athletics app (click here for more information) on mobile devices. Jerry Recco, James Buford and Sal Licata will bring you all the action.
Despite finding themselves in a 15-point hole midway through the second half, Columbia used a furious late rally to pull within one possession down the stretch before ultimately falling to Cornell, 66-63, on Saturday. The Lions held an early lead in the contest, but a 13-0 run by the Big Red gave the visitors control and a 12-point halftime cushion. Senior Brian Barbour led the way with 15 points, while Alex Rosenberg contributed 13 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Penn has lost 10 of its last 11 decisions, including a 76-69 defeat to Big 5 foe Temple on Jan. 23. The Quakers led by as many as nine points in the second half, but could not hold on. Miles Cartwright led the charge with 21 points and added six boards. Penn has played the last eight games without top scorer Fran Dougherty, due to a bout with mononucleosis, but is expected to return to action on Friday.
Princeton will have played just once in the last 20 days before facing Cornell on Friday night. The Tigers most recently dispatched TCNJ, 71-33, on Jan. 27 to stretch their win-streak to three games. Princeton is led by do-it-all standout Ian Hummer. Hummer averages 15.5 points (on .514 percent shooting), 6.5 boards, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals.
A LOOK BACK - PENN VS. COLUMBIA 2012
At Levien Gym, Penn overcame a halftime deficit to take a nine-point lead, but the Lions stormed back and made it a one-possession game in the closing moments. With five seconds remaining and the score 66-63, Chris Crockett went to the line and made the first free-throw and purposely missed the second. Mark Cisco tipped out the offensive rebound to Brian Barbour, who’s off-balance three missed just long as time expired.
The second game of the series was another back-and-forth battle that saw the score tied eight times to go with 16 lead changes. Columbia bounced back from the slow start to take a three-point halftime lead. The Quakers used a 7-0 run to get back into the game and Zach Rosen made 1-of-2 foul shots with 2.2 seconds in regulation to force overtime.
Penn took a five-point lead early in the extra session, but Columbia would not quit, tying the game on a pair of free-throws by Barbour with 4.9 seconds. After a timeout, the Quakers set up a perfectly executed lob play in the frontcourt to Fran Dougherty at the rim, who sank the game-winning layup with 0.5 seconds on the clock to lift Penn to the win.
A LOOK BACK - PRINCETON VS. COLUMBIA 2012
After its tough loss the night before to Penn, Columbia played a solid first 30 minutes against Princeton, holding a six-point advantage before an 11-0 run by the Tigers put them in control. The Lions pressure defense and erratic free-throw shooting by Princeton gave Columbia a chance late, but ultimately came up short, 62-58.
In the second meeting, the Lions hung around with the Tigers for most of the way at Jadwin Gym, but Princeton’s 60.9-percent shooting in the second half proved to be too much for Columbia as it fell 77-66.
COLUMBIA LOOKS TO SNAP SKID AT JADWIN
Columbia has dropped 19 consecutive games at Jadwin Gymnasium, dating back to Feb. 13, 1992 when the Lions overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to edge the Tigers, 71-69.
First-year Maodo Lo played arguably his best game in his brief career, scoring a career-high 11 points on a trio of three’s to go with two steals against Cornell on Jan. 26. Lo has started the last seven games for the Lions.
Senior John Daniels sparked a furious late rally against Cornell on Jan. 26 with a thunderous two-handed jam over a Big Red player. The play was featured as the No. 3 play on SportsCenter’s Top-10 that evening.
DID YOU KNOW?
Prior to the Lions’ conference-opening win at Cornell on Jan. 19, Columbia had not won a road game to begin an Ivy League season since a 74-64 win against the Big Red on Jan. 16, 1993.
After an 18-point, nine-rebound effort at Cornell, senior Mark Cisco earned Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors. Coincidentally, Cisco was named POTW last season after recording 18 points and 20 rebounds against the Big Red.
I LIKE IKE
First-year Isaac Cohen made a huge impact at Cornell on Jan. 19 for a player that did not attempt a shot in 25 minutes of action. Cohen dished out a career-high seven assists and added four rebounds off the bench in the win.
COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions improved to 26-31 all-time in Ivy League openers, and are 2-1 under the direction of Kyle Smith after a Jan. 19 win at Cornell.
The Lions had five players score in double-figures at Holy Cross on Jan. 8, marking the first time they have achieved that feat since Feb. 24, 2012 against Yale.
FIRST THREE SEASONS OF THE SMITH ERA
Over the last two-plus seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 39 games. That is the largest total since Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 56 games in his first three seasons on the bench. Smith is also the first coach to post back-to-back 15-win seasons since the 1977-78, 78-79 seasons, when Tom Penders patrolled the Lions’ bench.
FRANKIE SAYS RELAX
Steve Frankoski has found the range, scoring in double-figures in six of his last seven games. He has knocked down 23-of-41 (56.1 percent) of his attempts from downtown during that span. His torrid stretch has him converting at a 45.3 clip for the year, which puts him 11th in the NCAA.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Columbia has done a tremendous job taking care of the ball this season, averaging 10.4 turnovers per game, which is the eighth fewest in the nation. Additionally, the Lions 1.33 assist/turnover ratio puts them 23rd in the country.