Dartmouth, Harvard Visit Levien Gymnasium This Weekend in Men's Basketball Action
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Herold Roy

NEW YORK – Looking to climb over the .500 mark in Ivy League play, Columbia will take on Dartmouth on Friday, February 18 at 7 p.m. at Levien Gymnasium with a game against Harvard presented by Connect by Hertz on Saturday, February 19, also at 7 p.m.

The Lions are returning from an impressive second-half in their 75-62 win over Penn last Saturday, Feb. 12, in front of a frenzied home crowd of 2,711 fans.  Noruwa Agho had a phenomenal game with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Asenso Ampim added 15 points and nine rebounds and Brian Barbour chipped in with 14.  Columbia improved its record to 13-9 overall and 4-4 in the Ivy League with the victory.

Dartmouth enters the weekend having lost five straight after Columbia dealt the Big Green a 66-45 defeat in New Hampshire on January 29.  Dartmouth is paced by all-around guard David Rufful, who averages nine points and six rebounds in league play.

Harvard stands at 7-1 in the Ivy League after a pair of narrow victories at home last weekend.  The Crimson defeated Yale 78-75 on Friday night before rallying from a 24-point deficit to knock off Brown, 85-78 on Saturday.  Junior big man Keith Wright has stepped up in Ivy play, averaging nearly 18 points a game while pulling down 9.1 rebounds per contest.

Tickets for the game are available online, by calling 888-LIONS-11 or at the Dodge Fitness Center ticket office on game day. All Columbia undergraduate and graduate students are admitted free to Levien Gymnasium with Columbia ID.

Fans who can't make it to Levien Gym can catch all the action live on gocolumbialions.com with Jerry Recco and Dalen Cuff '06 providing the call.  Friday's game can also be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 130.  Fans can follow Dalen on Twitter @DCuff21 throughout the games and during the weekend.

Live stats and game notes are also available.

Columbia has scored 70 or more points 13 times this season, averaging 72.1 points per game. When Columbia has scored 70 points or more, the Lions are 10-3. When Columbia allows fewer than 70 points, the Lions are 6-0.

Columbia has an 8-2 record at Levien Gymnasium this season with four home games remaining this season. Columbia’s most wins at Levien Gym came in the 2006-07 season, when the Lions went 10-4. Columbia has won 11 of its last 15 games at Levien Gymnasium, dating back to last season.

In the latest NCAA rankings, Columbia is represented several times among the top 100 in the nation, out of the 336 Division I teams ranked. Stats are through Feb. 13.

Category   Rank   Actual
Scoring Offense   97th 72.1
Free Throw Percentage   77th 72.4
Rebound Margin 43rd +4.7

Category   Player   Rank   Actual
Free Throw Percentage   Brian Barbour   8th 91.6
Assists Per Game Noruwa Agho 78th 4.5
Assist/Turnover Ratio Brian Barbour 100th 1.9

Dartmouth was the last Ivy League team that Columbia faced in its early years as a program. The series began in the 1905-06 season, when Dartmouth defeated Columbia, 16-10. Columbia has won six of its last nine games against Dartmouth, including three of the last four in New York City.

The Columbia-Harvard series began in Columbia’s inaugural 1900-01 season, when the Crimson won, 11-9. Harvard has won each of the last four games between the two teams. At Levien Gymnasium over the last seven years, Columbia is 5-2 and has won three of the last four meetings in New York.

Columbia junior guard Noruwa Agho enters this weekend as the Ivy League’s leading scorer at 16.0 points per game, is fifth in assists at 4.5 per game and 12th in rebounding at 5.0 per game. Agho recently topped the 1,000 point mark for his career and currently ranks 17th on Columbia’s all-time scoring list with 1,061 career points. He has been named Ivy League Player of the Week three times already this season after earning the award three times during the 2009-10 season. Only a junior, Agho is one of six Columbia players ever to total 1,000 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists in his career.

Player   Points    Rebounds    Assists   
Craig Austin   1998-2002    1,491 417 205
Gary Raimondo   1995-99 1,320 542 236
Heyward Dotson   1967-70 1,266 420 237
Sean Couch 1983-87 1,208 368 247
Noruwa Agho 2008-present   1,061 320 200
Richie Gordon 1979-83 1,003 384 211

Sophomore guard Brian Barbour has emerged as one of the Ivy League’s top point guards in his first full season as a starter for the Lions. During the Ivy League slate, Barbour is averaging 15.8 points per game, which is fourth in the league. Barbour also has made 94.2 percent from the free throw line during Ivy League play.

Columbia holds a +4.7 margin in rebounding, averaging 36.6 rebounds per game to 31.9 rebounds per game for its opponents. Columbia has outrebounded its opponent 15 times this season and outrebounded Penn 35-19 in its victory over the Quakers on February 12.

Sophomore center Mark Cisco has come on strong recently after he was inserted into the starting lineup prior to Columbia’s game at Maine. Cisco is shooting 61.1 percent from the field, which is tops in the Ivy League. The 6-9 big man recently scored a career-high 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three blocks on Feb. 5 at Yale and has posted at least one blocked shot in each of Columbia’s last five games.

Columbia rookie guard Steve Frankoski has scored in double figures nine times this season and leads the team with 41 three-point field goals. In the win at Dartmouth on January 29, Frankoski had a strong game with 13 points on three three-pointers and a number of moves to the basket. He also added four rebounds, a blocked shot and two steals in a strong all-around game.

Senior forward Asenso Ampim has come on strong over the last five games for Columbia, averaging 13.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during that span. Ampim posted a double-double in the game against Yale on February 5 with 16 points and 10 rebounds and pulled down nine rebounds in each of the Lions’ two games last weekend. Ampim nearly had another double-double when he finished with 15 points and nine rebounds in Columbia’s 75-62 win over Penn on Feb. 12.

First-year guard Meiko Lyles stepped into action at Cornell on January 22 in just his second collegiate game and played a huge role in the win, scoring 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench. Lyles followed that by scoring 14 points, a season high for the rookie, at Brown on Feb. 4.

Senior center Max Craig made a big impact in Columbia’s 75-62 win over Penn on February 12. The seven-footer scored nine points on four-of-five shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had an assist in 18 minutes of action off the bench.

Sophomore guard Dean Kowalski has provided a spark off the bench for Columbia over the last three games. In Columbia’s 75-62 win over Penn on Feb. 12, Kowalski had two assists and zero turnovers in 14 minutes, while providing strong defense on Penn’s talented backcourt combo of Zack Rosen and Miles Cartwright.

Sophomore forward John Daniels has also come on strong in recent weeks. In Columbia’s 66-45 win at Dartmouth, Daniels had one of his best games of the season with seven points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Against Brown on Feb. 4, Daniels notched a season high with nine points in just 18 minutes.

Columbia’s game vs. Harvard on Saturday, Feb. 19 is the last of four Columbia games that have been featured as the Ivy League Game of the Week on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Channel 130.

When opponents score 31 or fewer points in the first half, Columbia holds a 10-1 record. The Lions have led 13 times at halftime this season.