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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Women's Basketball Set to Face Lehigh

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LIONS SET TO FACE LEHIGH
Columbia women's basketball will look to start fresh in the new year as the Lions travel to Lehigh to take on the Mountain Hawks at Stabler Arena on Jan. 7 at 11:30 a.m.

NEW TWITTER HANDLE
Fans can now follow Columbia women’s basketball on their new twitter account, @CULionsWBB #RoarLionRoar

LAST TIME OUT
Coumbia recently wrapped up 2012 with two games in California.

Against Cal State Fullerton, Columbia dominated the second half, outscoring the Titans 31-19, but could not overcome a big halftime deficit as the Lions dropped a 61-49 decision on New Year's Eve at Titan Gym. Columbia was led by Miwa Tachibana, who set a new career-high with 12 points that included a trio of 3-pointers and a 3-of-3 effort from the charity stripe. The Lions started off strong, taking an 11-9 lead after a second-effort bucket by Tyler Simpson with 12:26 left in the first half. Fullerton responded with a 22-3 run over the next several minutes to take control, 31-14, at the 7:47 mark and led by 24 at the break. Columbia methodically chipped away in the second half, and pulled within 59-49 after a pair of Simpson free-throws with 2:43 on the clock, but the Titans held the Lions off the scoresheet for the final duration of the contest. The Lions were pesky on the defensive end, forcing 23 turnovers which led to 21 points. The Titans shot 42.9 percent from the floor, while holding Columbia to 28.0 percent. Simpson pitched in 10 points and four rebounds for the Lions.

At Long Beach State, the Lions fought hard but ultimately fell by a 79-50 score at the Walter Pyramid. First-year Sara Mead reached a new career benchmark with 11 points to lead the way for Columbia. The 49ers scored nine unanswered points to start the game, and built a 34-18 lead at halftime. Bailey Ott cut the deficit to 14 just 2:35 into the second frame, but that would be as close as the Lions would come, and Long Beach State went on for the victory.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. LEHIGH
Lehigh owns a 9-3 all-time record over Columbia, with the most recent matchup dating back to the 2005-06 season, when the Mountain Hawks overcame the Lions 67-38.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
The Mountain Hawks most recently took a 46-45 victory against NJIT last Saturday. Katie O'Reilly sunk the front end of a pair of free throws with four seconds to play to give Lehigh the final advantage. The two teams traded leads throughout the afternoon, but in the end, Lehigh's free throw shooting proved to be the difference as the Mountain Hawks knocked down countless clutch free throws down the final stretch.

COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS
Senior Brittany Simmons earned College Sports Madness Ivy League Women's Basketball Player of the Week honors after lifting the Lions to a 49-45 victory over St. Francis Brooklyn. Simmons tied her career best with a game-high 11 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 effort from the charity stripe. The McIntosh, Ala. native also led the way with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in an all-around impressive performance.

(N)OTT JUST A ROOKIE
Columbia first-year Bailey Ott was selected as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on November 19. Ott stepped it up in a big way to help lift Columbia to its first win of the season against Fairleigh Dickinson. The 5-11 forward/center scored a game-high 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field while grabbing eight rebounds in the 54-47 victory. Earlier that week, Ott finished one point and one rebound shy of her first career double-double as she recorded nine points and nine boards in the loss to Wagner.

STEALER SIMMONS & THE LIONS
Brittany Simmons grabbed a career-high six steals against Colgate on Dec. 4, and currently leads the Ivy League with 2.8 steals per game. As a team, the Lions also lead the conference, averaging 10.4 steals this season.

ON THE AIR
Today's game can be heard live via webcast on gocolumbialions.com. Calling all the action will be Lance Medow, who has done work for MLB.com, Giants.com, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and MTV Networks. Medow is currently in his seventh season as the play-by-play personality for Columbia women's basketball games.

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