NEW YORK -- Columbia was within 12 points in the second half but Princeton clamped down on defense and stormed past the Lions, 76-46, at Levien Gymnasium on Friday night.
Princeton executed its offense to near perfection and was suffocating on defense, ultimately shooting 56.9 percent from the field while holding Columbia to 27.6 percent from the floor, including just four made field goals in the second half.
The two teams were tied 10-10 after a deliberate first six minutes that featured each team clicking offensively. The Tigers eventually gained a 26-17 advantage on a Kareem Maddox layup at the five-minute mark, but Columbia scored the next points, the last three coming on a Steve Frankoski three ball after a scramble that pulled Columbia within four at 26-22.
Princeton quickly regained momentum and rattled off a crucial 16-4 run over the last four minutes of the first half to take a 42-26 lead into halftime.
Columbia made its living at the foul line over the next few minutes but Princeton was able to maintain a double-digit spread the rest of the way, closing the game out on an 11-0 run.
Noruwa Agho led the way with 16 points and five assists for Columbia, while Princeton's Ian Hummer was tremendous, scoring 25 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Dan Mavraides added 17 for the Tigers, which improve their Ivy League record to 6-0 with the win.
"I thought we competed well early," said head coach Kyle Smith. "We didn't do a good job in transition defense. They got a ton of layups and you can't give those up to any team, especially as good a team as Princeton is."
Now 12-9 overall and 3-4 in the Ivy League, Columbia is back in action Saturday night against Penn, which fell to Cornell in overtime on Friday night in Ithaca.
Noruwa Agho was awarded a commemorative ball in a pre-game ceremony after he scored his 1,000th point in Columbia's January 29th win at Dartmouth ... the loss was just Columbia's second defeat at Levien Gymnasium this season ... Asenso Ampim pulled down a team-high nine rebounds after grabbing 10 in Columbia's previous game at Yale ... Columbia controlled the offensive boards, 14-8 ... a number of Columbia alumni were in attendance on the men's basketball alumni weekend ... the Lions committed just eight turnovers in the game.