NEW YORK - It took Columbia just over three minutes to score their first points against American University in Levien Gym, but once reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Maodo Lo scored his first points of the game (a 3-pointer) at 16:57, Columbia did not look back.
Luke Petrasek and Alex Rosenberg took over from there, combining to score the next 12 points to give Columbia a 14-4 lead with 13:00 on the clock. The Lions continued to lead comfortably and went up, 31-16, after a great feed from Jeff Coby to Petrasek, who cut to the basket back door, and finished with a two-hand slam with 3:02 before the break.
Facing a 13-point halftime deficit, the Eagles’ Darius Gardner tried to rally his team with six quick points to pull American within 35-29 at the 16:57 mark. However, the Lions held firm and went back up by 10 after a Petrasek triple with the shot clock winding down with 14:44 remaining.
Both teams struggled to score over for nearly seven minutes to keep the Eagles in the game and a tip-in by Tony Wroblicky made it 46-40 with just over seven minutes left. Despite not recording a field goal for nearly 10 minutes, Columbia still maintained a 50-40 advantage after a pair of foul shots by Lo with 3:50 to go.
Lo finally ended the drought with a layup and a pull-up three to make it 55-42 with 2:29 left to put the game away.
Petrasek finished with a career-high 19 points, while Lo dropped 13. Isaac Cohen posted game-highs of six rebounds and six assists.
The Lions head back on the road to take on Elon on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Catch all the action on the Ivy League Sports Network with Jerry Recco and James Buford on the call.