Women's Basketball Concludes Homestand With Brown, Yale This Weekend
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Herold Roy

NEW YORK -- The Columbia women’s basketball team will host its annual Pink Zone Night on Saturday evening against Yale at Levien Gymnasium at 7 p.m. Pink Zone Night is a nationwide initiative sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) that brings attention to breast cancer awareness. Half of all ticket proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research. Columbia has raised over $12,000 for breast cancer research over the past three years.

Also, 100 percent of donations given at the Levien Gymnasium entrances on game night will also be given to the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Columbia University Medical Center. Fairway Market, a sponsor of Columbia Athletics, is proud to participate in the event by matching all game-night donations.

On Friday, the Lions will look for their second straight Ivy League victory against Brown at Levien Gymnasium. Associate Athletics Director Alex Oberweger will call the action all weekend.

Senior Lauren Dwyer tallied a team-best 19 points and classmate Kathleen Barry notched her second straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Columbia women’s basketball team overcame a poor shooting second half to defeat Dartmouth, 67-61, at Levien Gymnasium on Jan. 29. The Lions connected on just 24.1 percent of their shots in the second stanza but forced the Big Green into 13 turnovers and got to the line 26 times.

The Bears have a 34-14 edge in the series dating back to 1986-87, but Columbia has won the last six meeting between the two schools, including last season’s finale, 54-41, on Mar. 5, 2010. The current senior class is 6-0 against the Bears.

Yale has a decisive 34-14 lead all-time, but over the past three seasons the Lions and Bulldogs have split the six contests. Last season, Columbia nearly came back from an 18-point deficit but fell, 81-74, in New Haven before downing Yale, 64-47, at Levien Gymnasium.

Brown enters the game on Friday with a 4-14 record overall and an 0-4 mark in Ivy League play. The Bears picked up one of the biggest wins in the Ivy League this season when they defeated Florida on Dec. 5. Brown ranks first in the Ivy League in three-point field goal defense, forcing opponents to shoot just 27.7 percent from long range. Sheila Dixon leads the team in scoring at 10.9 PPG, while Lauren Clarke and Hannah Passafuime average just under 10 points per game. Dixon also paces the team and ranks seventh in the Ivy League at 6.0 rebounds per contest, and 10th in the Ivy League at 2.44 assists per contest.

Yale will make the trip to upstate New York to take on Cornell on Friday before traveling south for a clash with the Lions on WBCA Pink Zone Night. The Bulldogs are 7-11 overall, but 3-1 in Ivy League play after sweeping the home-and-home series with Brown and downing Penn last Friday. Yale’s lone loss in league play came against Princeton. Megan Vasquez leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 13.0 PPG, while senior Mady Gobrecht averages 11.8 per game.

After notching her second and third straight double-doubles against Harvard and Dartmouth over the weekend, senior Kathleen Barry was named Ivy League Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Jan. 30. Barry averaged 14.0 points and 11.5 rebounds over the weekend, and is currently leading the Ivy League in rebounding both overall (7.6 RPG) and in conference-only games (12.3 RPG). Barry currently ranks 20th on the Columbia all-time rebounding list (379) and is 24 rebounds shy of 17th place (Trisha Suggs ’90CC - 403).

Senior Lauren Dwyer is on the verge of becoming the ninth player in Columbia women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. After scoring 33 points over the past two games, Dwyer needs 28 points to hit the 1,000-point mark. She currently stands in 10th place on the all-time scoring list at Columbia, 10 points behind Charlene Williams ’90CC.

In addition to leading the Ivy League in rebounding, Kathleen Barry ranks 11th in the conference at 11.3 points per game. Classmate Lauren Dwyer ranks 15th in scoring at 10.3 PPG, while first-year Brianna Orlich is 18th at 9.2 PPG. Dwyer joins Barry in the Ivy League top 10 in rebounding at 5.4 (10th), while Orlich and Barry ranked 9th and 10th, respectively, in free throw percentage (72.7 and 72.5 percent). The duo flip-flop spots in the steals category as Barry ranks 9th at 1.53 SPG and Orlich stands in 10th at 1.50 per game. Dwyer and first-year Courtney Bradford are 5th and 6th in the conference in blocked shots per game.

Sophomore forward Tyler Simpson came off the bench to provide a huge spark to the Lions in both contests this past weekend. Simpson tallied 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Harvard, then backed that up with a 14-point performance against Dartmouth the following day. Simpson connected on a career-high eight free throws against the Big Green and tied a career high with four steals in 20 minutes of play.