NEW YORK - The Lions will continue on the road this weekend as they face Dartmouth on Friday, February 3 and 23rd-ranked Harvard on Saturday, February 4. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Columbia is returning from a 65-60 loss at Cornell last Saturday in Ithaca. Although 1-3 in the Ivy League, Columbia’s three league losses have come by a total of 11 points.
Friday's game at Dartmouth can be seen live via SideLION Pass, courtesy of Dartmouth's video service. Fans also can listen live to both games via SideLION Pass with Jerry Recco (@JerryRecco) and Dalen Cuff (@DCuff21) on the call.
Away from home, Columbia is 6-4 on the season, including two neutral-site victories.
Junior guard Brian Barbour has scored in double figures in each of the last six games and is averaging 20.8 points per game during Ivy League action, which is tops in the league. In Columbia’s last game at Cornell, Barbour scored 19 points, including 16 in the second half, when the Lions rallied from a 14-point deficit to tie the game. Barbour currently leads the squad in scoring, assists, steals, free throw percentage and minutes played.
Junior center Mark Cisco has posted double-doubles in three consecutive Ivy League games, including 10 points and 11 rebounds at Cornell on Saturday, January 28. A week earlier vs. the Big Red, Cisco matched his career high with 18 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 61-56 Columbia win. The 20 rebounds are a Levien Gym record, breaking a mark that stood for nearly 35 years. In Ivy League play, Cisco is averaging 13.0 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, tops among Ivy players in league action so far.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
Columbia’s defense ranks 21st in the nation in scoring defense. The Lions yield an average of 59.3 points per game to opponents and are allowing teams to shoot 39.4 percent from the field. That number ranks 31st in the country, out of 345 Division I schools. Columbia has also improved at defending the three, as teams shoot 32.4 percent from long distance against the Lions, a number that also ranks in the top 100 in the country.
THE HISTORY NOTE - DARTMOUTH
Columbia has won seven of the last ten games against Dartmouth, including a season sweep last year. The Lions defeated the Big Green 66-45 in Hanover last January and Columbia won the rematch in New York City, 67-60 in February. Dartmouth was the last Ivy League team that Columbia faced in its early years as a program, in a series that began in the 1905-06 campaign.
THE HISTORY NOTE - HARVARD
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 five games between the two teams but the Lions had won five straight games before that. At Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard has won five of the last eight games on its home court.
COLUMBIA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Ranked 23rd in the latest USA Today/ESPN poll, Harvard is the second ranked team Columbia will face this season. In their season opener, the Lions fell to then fourth-ranked UConn, 70-57.
LIFE BEGINS AT 60
The number 60 has been a significant one during Columbia’s 2011-12 season. The Lions are 10-0 when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer. Columbia also has an 10-1 record when scoring more than 60 points.
Columbia’s senior class has won 50 games during its four years on the court. The group has a chance to combine for the most wins over a four-year period since the class of 1979, headlined by Alton Byrd and Ricky Free, which won 56 games from the 1975-76 season to 1978-79.
COLUMBIA CONTROLLING THE GLASS
In 13 of its first 20 games, Columbia has totaled more rebounds than its opponents. In the game at Cornell on January 28, the Lions outrebounded the Big Red 37-33 and 12-8 on the offensive glass.
Columbia’s last six games have been decided by seven points or fewer.
THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THE KYLE SMITH ERA
Over the last two seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 27 games. That is the largest total in a head coach’s first two seasons since Buddy Mahar won 27 games over the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 37 games over his first two seasons as head coach, including Columbia’s magical 23-1 campaign in 1950-51.
BALL DON'T LYE
Sophomore guard Meiko Lyles ranks second on the team in scoring this season with 10.0 points per game, leads the team in three-point percentage at 40.9 percent and is tied with Brian Barbour for the team lead in steals with 22. Over his last eight games, Lyles is averaging 12.6 points per game despite being held scoreless last week at Cornell.
THE BLOOM IS ON ROSENBERG
Rookie Alex Rosenberg has had a strong start to his first collegiate campaign. Named Ivy League Rookie of the Week earlier this season, Rosenberg is averaging 8.6 points per game over the last eight games and has scored in double figures in three of the last six games. He also has contributed at least two assists and at least two rebounds in each of those contests.
GO, JOHNNY, GO
Junior forward John Daniels has provided a big lift recently in Columbia’s frontcourt. In the game at Cornell on January 28, Daniels finished with six points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes of action. He currently ranks eighth in the Ivy League in rebounding, pulling down 6.2 boards per game.
BLAISE OF GLORY
Senior forward Blaise Staab provided a boost in the game vs. Princeton on January 14. In 21 minutes, Staab pulled down seven rebounds, tying a team high.
Senior Steve Egee made his first start of the season last Saturday at Cornell and scored five points in 20 minutes of action.
CROCKETT ROCKS IT
Senior guard Chris Crockett has provided instant offense off the Columbia bench early this season. In the win against North Texas on Dec. 3, Crockett scored a career-high 12 points on four three-pointers. A day later vs. La Sierra, Crockett matched his career best with four assists and added eight points.
Rookie Noah Springwater has provided strong two-way play off the bench this season for the Lions. In Columbia’s game at Cornell on January 28, Springwater played 22 minutes and added five points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Junior Dean Kowalski has given Columbia solid minutes off the bench recently. For the season, Kowalski has dished out 11 assists with just three turnovers. In the January 21 game at home vs. Cornell, Kowalski played a season-high 11 minutes.
OSETKOWSKI’S BLOCK PARTY
Rookie center Cory Osetkowski leads Columbia with 15 blocked shots this season. In the game at Elon, Osetkowski scored five consecutive points in the second half, helping Columbia tie the game and eventually hold a lead.
VAN THE MAN
Sophomore guard Van Green gave the Lions big minutes off the bench last week at Cornell. In the game, Green played 16 minutes, mostly during Columbia’s second-half rally to tie the game with eight minutes left. Green posted a career-high four steals and grabbed four rebounds in the contest.
CISCO AMONG TOP OFFENSIVE REBOUNDERS
Junior Mark Cisco ranks fourth all-time in offensive rebounds at Columbia after more than two and a half seasons. Offensive rebounds were kept as a separate stat beginning in the 1990-91 season.
CISCO ALSO RANKS IN TOP TEN IN BLOCKS
Not only is Cisco one of Columbia’s top offensive rebounders in recent history, he now ranks among the top ten shot blockers in program history. Blocked shots were first kept as an official statistic beginning in 1984-85.
COLUMBIA AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
Through January 29, Columbia was ranked among the nation’s top 100 teams in several different categories:
|Field Goal Pct Defense||31st||39.4|
|Three-Pointers Per Game||95th||7.0|
|3FG Pct Defense||98th||32.4|
|Free Throw Pct||48th||73.1|
|Personal Fouls Per Game||39th||16.3|
|Free Throw Pct||Brian Barbour||15th||89.3|
COLUMBIA ON TV
Columbia will have two upcoming games shown on national television. The February 17 game at Princeton will be shown live on ESPNU and the February 24 game at Yale will be televised on the YES Network.
COLUMBIA BASKETBALL ON THE AIR
For the sixth straight season, every Columbia men’s basketball game will be broadcast live on gocolumbialions.com with a professional broadcast team. Jerry Recco will call the play-by-play while former men’s hoops standout Dalen Cuff ‘06 provides color commentary. WKCR 89.9 FM will also call every Columbia home game and select road games.