No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn! Men's Basketball Takes on St. John's at Barclays Center Saturday
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GAME NOTES (.pdf)
COLUMBIA (7-5) vs. ST. JOHN'S (8-3)
SATURDAY, DEC. 28 • 2:30 P.M.
BROOKLYN HOOPS WINTER FESTIVAL
BARCLAYS CENTER • BROOKLYN, N.Y.
Justin Kutcher - Play-by-Play
Jerry Recco - Play-by-Play
The Lions cruised to an 82-59 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 21. Five players scored in double-figures, led by a career-best 20 points from Luke Petrasek. Columbia shot 50-percent from the floor and dished out 17 assists on 23 made field goals, while holding a 35-25 edge on the glass.
ST. JOHN’S STATUS
The Red Storm have won four of their last five after a 96-87 win over Youngstown State on Dec. 21. D’Angelo Harrison scored 29 points, knocking down 5-of-6 from downtown, to lead St. John’s and establish himself as the program’s all-time leader in 3-point makes (156). Harrison leads the squad, averaging 19.9 points per game. The Red Storm boast the nation’s best shot blocker in Chris Obekpa, who averages 4.8. As a team, they are rejecting 9.6 shots per contest, also tops in the country.
ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Columbia and St. John’s will meet for the 25th time on Saturday, dating back to the 1916-17 season. The squads have not met since Nov. 17, 2010, a 79-66 Red Storm win at Carneseca Arena. St. John’s has won 12-straight in the series, dating back to the 1979-80 season.
LIONS AGAINST THE BIG EAST
Columbia is 27-43 against teams currently in the BIG EAST. The Lions knocked off Villanova on the road, 75-57, last November, marking the program’s first win over a member of the BIG EAST since the 1985-86 season. St. John’s is Columbia’s most common foe within the league, having met 24 previous times and Columbia has seen the most success against Seton Hall, who they hold an 11-8 mark against.
HOT HAND LUKE
First-year Luke Petrasek established new career-highs of 20 points and three blocks against Farileigh Dickinson to earn Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 23. Petrasek, who has started all 12 games at power forward, broke his previous personal best of 19 points set in Columbia’s 14-point win over American on Nov. 26.
For the second time this season, the Lions went on a stretch of eight-plus minutes without missing a shot from the floor. Against FDU on Dec. 21, Columbia knocked down seven-straight in the final 8:46 of the first half to put away the Knights. In their season opener against Maryland-Eastern Shore, the Lions drilled 10 in a row (including seven from beyond the arc) to begin the second half in a blowout win.
SHARING IS CARING
Columbia was in the Holiday spirit against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 21, dishing out 17 assists on 23 made field goals. Although they only average 11.5 dimes per game, four players have recorded five or more assists this season for Columbia (Osetkowski - 5 vs. UMES, Cohen - 6 vs. American, Lo - 7 vs. Army, Mullins - 7 vs. FDU).
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long, shooting .413 from long-distance to lead the Ivy League and ranks 16th in the nation. If Columbia continues its current pace (7.9 makes per game), the team will have 248 treys, shattering the single-season mark of 218 set in 1996-97.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In the latest NCAA rankings that came out on Dec. 23, Columbia is now 10th in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 59.7 points per game. The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .412/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .331/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.
THE LIONS’ DEN
Through six games, Levien Gymnasium has been an intimidating place to play for opposing teams. Columbia has posted a 5-1 mark and has won each game by double-figures and by an average margin of 23.6 points.