BALTIMORE - Columbia University women's basketball led for part of the first half and trailed by just two points at halftime, but Morgan State pulled away for a 60-51 victory on Friday at the Hill Field House.
Columbia, which was coming off a 54-47 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, fell to 1-4 on the season, while Morgan State improved its record to 3-2.
After Morgan State took an early lead, a steal by Tyler Simpson helped Columbia stay in the game as Brittany Simmons hit a shot to make it 6-4 with 17:19 to go.
Simmons, who scored Columbia's first seven points, continued to put Columbia on the board with an and-one at the 15:02 mark to bring Lions within one, 8-7. The Lions followed up with a crucial stop at the other end, which led to two free throws by Simpson to give the Lions their first lead of the game, 9-8, with 14:28 on the clock.
A 7-0 Bears run pushed Morgan State back in the lead, but the Lions pulled together an 8-0 run of their own. Courtney Bradford stripped the ball and ran it down to Miwa Tachibana to hit one from deep to make it 23-22, Lions down one with 1:09 left in the first. The first half remained close, closing out with a 26-24 lead by the Bears.
The Lions brought it to 34-30 with 16:24 to go in the second half after scoring four unanswered points, including an and-one by Simpson.
Back-to-back baskets by Bradford cut the Bears' lead to 36-34 with 13:04 to play.
Four points by Lizzy Stachon made it 46-42 with 7:18 to go, but Morgan State responded with 8-0 run, including five straight points from the charity stripe, and did not look back in handing Columbia the loss.
The Lions will look to bounce back at Army on Wednesday, November 28 for a 7 p.m. tipoff.