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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia Treks to Washington to Face American Sunday


Columbia will look to snap a three-game losing skid when they travel to our nation's capital to take on American on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2:00 p.m. will provide a live video stream (subscription required) and fans can listen to the action on or by using the Columbia Athletics app on their mobile device.

Columbia has had more than a week to recover from its 65-57 loss to Bucknell last Saturday. The Lions led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but the Bison rallied, keyed by a 29-point, 19-rebound effort from Mike Muscala. Columbia shot a perfect 15-for-15 from the foul line. Brian Barbour led the Lions with 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe.

American is coming off a 73-70 double overtime win over UMBC on Thursday night. The Eagles led by eight heading into the half, but the Retrievers shot 50-percent from the floor in the second half and forced the extra sessions. Down by one with 2:06 remaining in the second OT, John Schoof hit a pair of free-throws to give American a 71-70 lead. The score would remain that way until two more foul shots by Schoof, who led the team with 19 points, with 10 seconds remaining, to ice the game.

This will mark the sixth straight year these two teams have met and seventh overall meeting. After dropping the first three games, Columbia pulled off two straight during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. Last year, the Eagles used strong shooting in the second half (59%) to top the Loins, 66-58, in a back-and-forth affair.

With 997 points coming into the Ameican game, Brian Barbour is poised to become just the 25th player in Columbia history to eclipse 1,000 career points and the first since Noruwa Agho accomplished the feat during the 2010-11 season.

Senior Mark Cisco became Columbia’s all-time leader in offensive rebounds after grabbing four against Bucknell on Dec. 1. Cisco, who now has 192 offensive boards, passed the mark of 189 previously held by John Baumann (‘08CC).

Columbia went a perfect 15-for-15 from the free-throw line against Bucknell on Dec. 1. It was the first time a Lions team has gone perfect from the line while shooting 10 or more foul shots in a game since Columbia was 13-for-13 against Princeton on Feb. 5, 1994. In addition, Columbia has made 19 straight free-throws dating back to the LIU game and is shooting .748 from the line this season to lead the Ivy League.

Against some formidable competition, senior Mark Cisco has posted his best two games of the season against LIU and Bucknell. Against the reigning NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd, Cisco poured in 18 points, tying a career-high, with 13 rebounds for Columbia’s first double-double of the season and the sixth of his career. Cisco racked up 10 points and seven boards against the Bison’s standout big-man Mike Muscala.

Through eight games this season, the Lions’ bigger lineup and 2-3 zone defense has resulted in 3.4 blocks per game after averaging 2.3 in 2011-12. Sophomore Cory Osetkowski, senior Mark Cisco and first-year Zach En’Wezoh have combined for 19 of the team’s 21 rejections.

Another area of improvement for Columbia is in the steals department. The Lions have posted double-figure steals in two games (Haverford and Villanova) and are averaging 7.8 steals per game this season, which ranks fourth in the Ivy League. In 2011-12, Columbia averaged 6.1 steals per game.


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