NEW YORK – Columbia opened up a 19-point lead midway through the second half and hung on from there to defeat Dartmouth, 67-60, at Levien Gymnasium on Friday night for its second straight win. The Lions are now 14-9 and 5-4 in the Ivy League with the victory.
Each team started off sluggish from the field and Dartmouth held a 12-9 lead at the 12:12 mark. After that point, Columbia went on a 9-0 run to take an 18-12 lead, sparked by an Asenso Ampim trifecta from the top of the key.
Due to in large part to a dominant effort on the offensive glass, the Lions led by as many as 11 points in the first half and carried a 33-24 lead into halftime.
At the start of the second half, each team battled through a slow start from the field and Columbia led by just eight, 38-30, at the 14:41 mark of the second half.
Matt Johnson then nailed a three-pointer on a nice feed by Noruwa Agho to make it 41-30 and that triple sparked an 11-0 Columbia run over the next minute and a half, capped on a dunk by Ampim on another nifty find by Agho.
Leading 49-30, Columbia allowed Dartmouth to chip away at the lead as the Big Green got the deficit to as close as five points on two free throws by R.J. Griffin with 2:18 left in the game.
Agho then converted a tough, driving layup in traffic to make it a seven-point game and Johnson buried another three on the next possession to give the Lions a 64-54 advantage with a minute to play.
Columbia won the battle of the boards 49-32 and pulled down 22 offensive rebounds to just three for Dartmouth. Agho led the Lions with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Ampim posted his second double-double in Ivy League play with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Meiko Lyles added 11 points off the bench.
Dartmouth's Tyler Melville led all scorers with 20 points and added four assists. Ronnie Dixon returned to Dartmouth's lineup after suffering an injury earlier in the season to contribute 14 points for the Big Green.
Columbia is back in action on Saturday, February 19 at Levien Gymnasium when the Lions will face Harvard at 7 p.m. The game is presented by Connect by Hertz.
Columbia has a 7-0 record when holding an opponent under 70 points ... Noruwa Agho moved into 16th place all-time on the Columbia career scoring list, now with 1,080 points ... Max Craig is averaging 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over his last two games ... over the last six games, Ampim is averaging 13.0 points and 7.8 rebounds ... Ampim also had three blocked shots in the game, including a key block late in the game on an apparent layup.