Men's Basketball Rings In New Year Against St. Francis Brooklyn Saturday
COMPLETE GAME NOTES (.pdf)
COLUMBIA (8-6) VS. ST. FRANCIS BROOKLYN
SATURDAY, JAN. 4 • 4 P.M
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK
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Jerry Recco - Play-by-Play
The Lions rallied from seven points down with 2:04 left in regulation to force overtime and ultimately earn a 76-70 win in double OT at Colgate on Dec. 30. Junior Noah Springwater’s lockdown defense on point guard Austin Tillotson and Columbia’s full court pressure forced the Raiders into several key turnovers to spark the rally. Alex Rosenberg led four double-figure scorers with 23 points and Grant Mullins chipped in 17.
ST. FRANCIS’ STATUS
The Terriers have won four-straight and most recently came away with a 60-57 road win at Delaware State on Dec. 30. Down seven in the second half with 6:29 to go, St. Francis ripped off an 8-0 run to take the lead with just over three minutes to go and knocked down clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Columbia and St. Francis will meet for the 18th time on Saturday with the Lions holding a slim 9-8 advantage in the series. This will be the first meeting between the schools since a 59-53 Terriers win in January of 2010.
LIONS AGAINST THE NEC
Columbia is 32-22 all-time against schools currently in the Northeast Conference. The Lions’ most common foe is the Terriers, who they have faced 17 times previously. Earlier this season, Columbia dispatched FDU, 82-59, in Levien Gym.
After not playing overtime once in 2012-13, Columbia has needed at least one extra session twice this season. On Dec. 1 at Elon, Columbia overcame a 15-0 deficit and forced overtime. The Lions rallied from seven down late in the second half to come away with a 76-70 double overtime win at Colgate on Dec. 30. That victory marked:
• Program’s first overtime win since an 88-79 double OT win against Yale on Mar. 6, 2004.
• Kyle Smith’s first overtime win (1-3).
• First road overtime win since Jan. 22, 2000 (69-66 at Cornell).
COMING UP ROSES
After coming off the bench in the Lions’ first 13 games, junior Alex Rosenberg made the most of his first start of the season at Colgate on Dec. 30. Rosenberg scored a season-high 23 points and pulled down nine boards in 43 minutes of action in a double-OT win. The Short Hills, N.J., native has reached double-figures in scoring in his last nine games and is averaging 15.0 points per game and shooting 52-percent from 3-point range and 81-percent from the foul line during that stretch.
Columbia changed its starting lineup for the first time this season on Dec. 30 after center Cory Osetkowski was forced to miss the game due to illness.
SPRINGING TO ACTION
It may not have shown it on the box score, but junior Noah Springwater proved to be a key factor in Columbia’s come-from-behind win at Colgate on Dec. 30. Springwater’s denial defense of Raiders point guard Austin Tillotson allowed the Lions full court pressure to force six turnovers late in regulation and overtime to help Columbia erase a seven-point deficit with 2:04 remaining, forcing the extra frame. Additionally, his one block came on Tillotson’s game-winning step-back jumper as time expired in regulation.
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long, shooting .407 from long-distance to lead the Ivy League and is in the top-20 in the nation. If Columbia continues its current pace (8.0 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. 30, Columbia was ranked 13th in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 60.7 (prior to Monday’s game at Colgate). The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .419/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .335/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.