NEW YORK - Columbia women's basketball will hit the road once again for rematches with Ivy League foes Princeton and Penn. The Lions will first face Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. contest on Saturday at Penn.
LAST TIME OUT
Columbia opened the second half with an 18-2 run to nearly make a comeback from a 21-point halftime deficit but dropped a 62-43 decision to Yale Saturday night in Levien Gym. Yale started off with an opening 8-0 run to take an early lead. Back-to-back baskets by Sara Mead got the Lions on the board. Miwa Tachibana knocked down a three-pointer followed by an old-fashioned three-point play and Courtney Bradford added a free throw to bring the Lions within three, 14-11, at the 13:48 mark. But Yale embarked on 20-0 run over a 10-minute span to take a commanding 36-11 advantage. Tachibana ended the drought with an and-one opportunity with 2:01 to go. The Lions opened the fresh half with a commanding 18-2 drive, including 10 points by Tyler Simpson. Yale halted the run with a three-pointer by Megan Vasquez, but Tachibana had an answer as the sophomore knocked one down from deep to bring the Lions within five and the crowd to its feet. Yale halted Columbia's comeback with a 16-1 run of its own and did not look back the rest of the way in posting the victory. Tachibana led the Lions in scoring for the second straight game, posting 15 points to go with three rebounds. Tyler Simpson w
#FOLLOW COLUMBIA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ON TWITTER
Columbia fans can now follow the women's basketball team's new Twitter account, @CULionsWBB. In addition, be sure to follow the main Columbia Athletics Twitter handle, @GoColumbiaLions, and use the hashtag #RoarLionRoar
STEALER SIMMONS & THE LIONS
Brittany Simmons grabbed a career-high eight steals against Cornell on Jan. 19, and currently ranks second in the Ivy League with 2.2 steals per game. As a team, the Lions also stand in second place in the conference, averaging 9.6 steals.
Tyler Simpson is averaging 9.9 points per contest this season, good for 14th in the Ivy League. The senior has reached double figures in 12 of the Lions' contests, scoring a season-high 22 points vs. Iona on Dec. 7.
Miwa Tachibana exploded at Cal State Fullerton with a 12 point game that included a trio of three-pointers, and she's been hot behind the arc ever since. The sophomore recently set a career high of 16 points and seven field goals made in Columbia's win over Brown on Feb. 15. She is currently shooting 33.9 percent from deep, good for 10th in the conference.
Write it down; Sara Mead is one Lion you won't want to forget. The first-year has slowly but surely moved her way into the starting five for the Lions, and she's been a force ever since. Hot from deep, Mead is averaging 31.3 percent (20-of-64) from beyond the arc, and has knocked down a trio of three-pointers on three occasions so far this season.
Courtney Bradford has been a monster on defense, leading the Lions with 6.3 rebounds per game and 15 blocks to date this season. The junior currently ranks fifth in the conference in rebounds, including fourth in offensive rebounds (2.5 per game), and seventh in defensive rebounds (3.9 per contest). Largely thanks to recording a career-high four blocks earlier this season at Vermont, Bradford checks in ninth in the Ivy League, averaging just under one block per game (0.7).
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.
Once again, Columbia brings back two seniors who will be crucial to Columbia's success in the 2012-13 season. Senior co-captains Brittany Simmons and Tyler Simpson will lead the Lions into the year. Simpson earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy recognition following a breakout junior season last year and led Columbia in scoring, averaging 12.6 points per game, including a career-high 26 points against Brown. Simmons bounced back from an injury in 2010-11 to see action in 18 games, during which she posted a season-high nine points against Vermont in the season opener and again vs. Morgan State.
HALL OF FAME GAME
Former Barnard basketball player Nora Beck was inducted into Columbia's most recent Hall of Fame class. Only one of two all-time All Americans in the history of Columbia women's basketball, Beck stands among the best women's hoops players to step foot on the Levien Gym hardwood. A three-year team captain, second team All-American, Jewish All-American and first team Seven Sister women's basketball standout for Barnard College, Beck held 32 of 36 Barnard College's records upon graduation and was named MVP following her senior year in 1983. After graduation, Beck's number "32" was retired in honor of her success as a Lion. Still today, Beck ranks fourth overall for the Lions after averaging 17.6 points per game during the 1982-83 season. Also dominant on the glass, Beck finished her career with 690 rebounds, ranking fifth overall in program history.