Women's Basketball Heads North For Ivy League Weekend Series With Dartmouth, Harvard
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK -- The Columbia women’s basketball team will close out its four-game road swing as it travels to Dartmouth and Harvard for a pair of Ivy League contests this weekend. The Lions will look for their second straight season sweep of the Big Green on Friday evening, and will seek revenge on the Crimson the following night, after a gut-wrenching 69-68 loss at Levien Gymnasium on Jan. 28. A live audio broadcast of both games can be accessed live on gocolumbialions.com, with play-by-play announcer Lance Medow calling all the action.

The Lions found the rims away from Levien Gymnasium quite unkind last weekend, dropping a pair of road games to Princeton and Penn. The Lions fought through their offensive miscues in the opening half against the Quakers, and headed into the locker room tied with Penn at 25-25 at halftime. But the Quakers used a smothering defense and relentless offensive rebounding to take home a 60-40 win over Columbia at the Palestra on Feb. 12. The Tigers downed the Lions, 57-35, the previous night in Princeton, N.J.

Columbia has won its last three games against the Big Green, the longest streak against the winningest Ivy League program in school history. Overall, Dartmouth holds a 39-10 advantage in wins over Columbia. Last season’s 13-point victory over the Big Green at Leede Arena was the largest margin of victory for the Lions in a game at Hanover, N.H.

The Lions nearly got their third victory against the Crimson, and their first at home, earlier in the season but fell just short. Harvard leads the all-time series by an impressive 48-2 margin, with those two losses coming at Lavietes Pavilion.

Dartmouth is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and is 5-16 overall, 1-6 in the Ivy League. The Big Green has been tougher at home than it has been on the road, garning a 4-3 record in games held at Leede Arena. Faziah Steen leads the squad in scoring at 13.0 ppg, while Cassie Cooper pulls in a team-best 6.4 rebounds per contest while averaging 8.6 ppg. Cooper also paces the team in assists at 2.3 apg, while Sasha Dosenko has a team-high 45 blocks to top the Ivy League. Dartmouth leads the league in blocked shots at 4.29 bpg and ranks second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (.284).

Harvard dropped a pair of road games last weekend to Brown and Yale, falling out of first place in the Ivy League in the process. The Crimson stands a game behind Princeton in the standings at 5-2, and is 13-8 overall. Brogan Berry is the catalyst offensively for Harvard, as she leads the team at 14.3 ppg and also averages a league-best 4.71 assists per game. Berry ranks eighth amongst NCAA Division I players in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.48. Victoria Lippert is knocking down an impressive 51.4% of her shots and is tied for second on the squad with Emma Markley in scoring at 13.6 ppg. Markley averages a team-best 5.9 rebounds a game and has 39 blocks on the year.

The Lions split their Harvard-Dartmouth home weekend series at the end of January, falling to the Crimson by the slimmest of margins (69-68) before downing the Big Green, 67-61. Columbia pounded the offensive boards against Harvard, pulling down 19 and converting the second-chance opportunities into 17 points. The Lions nearly got their first win at Levien Gym against the Crimson, falling on a jumper by Christine Clark with 3.5 seconds remaining. Four players scored in double figures the following night against Dartmouth, with Lauren Dwyer and Kathleen Barry leading the charge with 19 and 14 points, respectively. Barry also pulled down 11 rebounds, while Tyler Simpson added 14 points and Melissa Shafer chipped in with 11.


The Lions have shown capable of knocking down the three-point shot, but have had their ups and downs from distance in 2010-11. Columbia set a single-game program record for three-point field goals made against Brown with 15, and also knocked down nine three-pointers on three separate occasions against San Diego, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Manhattan. Conversely, the Lions went 0-for-17 from deep in a loss to Wagner and 1-for-17 against Princeton this past weekend.

Senior Lauren Dwyer became just the ninth player in program history to score 1,000 points in a career against Princeton on Feb. 11. Dwyer converted on a short jumper in the second half against the Tigers to reach the mark, and currently sits in 8th place all-time with 1,009 points. The Reno, Nev. native also became just the second player in program history to record 1,000+ points, 500+ rebounds and 100+ blocks  in a career the following evening against Penn.

Junior Melissa Shafer has moved into seventh place on the all-time three-point field goals made list in Columbia history. Shafer has connected on 107 three-pointers in her 2+ seasons with the Lions, and is just two three-pointers behind Brittney Carfora ’08CC for sixth place.

Senior Kathleen Barry had four steals against Penn on Feb. 12, and has moved into sixth place on Columbia’s all-time career steals list at 131. Barry stands 20 steals behind Megan Griffith ’07CC for fifth place.