Senior Night Highlights Women's Basketball Home Weekend Against Penn, Princeton
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
NEW YORK -- The Columbia women's basketball team returns home for their final two contests at Levien Gymnasium this season against Penn and Princeton on Feb. 25-26. The game against the Tigers on Saturday will mark the final home appearance for a pair of Columbia seniors: Kathleen Barry and Lauren Dwyer. A brief ceremony will take place prior to tipoff, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on both evenings.

The Lions dropped their fourth straight contest on Feb. 19, as Harvard shot a blistering 60.9 percent from the floor, including 15-for-23 in the second half, to run past Columbia, 77-46, at Lavietes Pavilion. Seniors Kathleen Barry and Lauren Dwyer each had 10 points for the Lions, who connected on just eight of its 27 field-goal attempts in the second stanza and was outrebounded 22-11 over the final 20 minutes.

Penn snapped a two-game losing streak to the Lions on Feb. 12, and improved their record against Columbia to 33-17 all-time. The Lions have won the last two meetings at Levien Gymnasium between the two schools, including last season’s 71-58 win on Feb. 13, 2010.

The Lions fell for the fifth straight time to the Tigers on Feb. 11, and Princeton hold a 34-16 advantage all-time. The series first began in 1985-86, as the Lions (then a Division III school) came out on top, 65-60, on Feb. 11, 1986.

Penn begins the weekend a half-game ahead of the Lions in the Ivy League at 4-5, and is 10-13 overall. The Quakers most recently had their three-game winning streak snapped by Yale on Feb. 19, 66-53. Penn is 4-8 on the road this season, including a 1-4 mark in conference competition. First-year Alyssa Baron is averaging an Ivy League-leading 16.5 points per game, and also paces the squad in assists at 2.5 per game. Baron has won six Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards and one Ivy League Player of the Week. Jess Knapp pulls in a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game and is second on the team in scoring (7.9 PPG).

Princeton comes into its two-game road trip on a five-game winning streak, and sits atop the Ivy League standings with an 8-1 record (19-4 overall). The Tigers are 7-4 away from Jadwin Gymnasium this season and are led by three players averaging at least 11.6 points per game. Senior Addie Micir is one of the top three-point shooters in the conference at 46.0% and leads the team at 12.5 PPG, while junior post Devona Allgood connects on 55.3 percent of her field-goal attempts and averages 12.4 points per game. Classmate Lauren Edwards is the third player averaging in double figures at 11.6 PPG.

The Lions traveled to Princeton and Penn two weeks ago and dropped a pair of road contests. Columbia fell to the Tigers, 57-35, on Friday night, then lost 60-40 to the Quakers the following night. Lauren Dwyer led Columbia with 9.5 PPG over the weekend, and scored her 1,000th point in the second half against Princeton on Feb. 11. Dwyer also grabbed 8.0 boards, as the Lions struggled from the field (26.4%).

The Lions could pick up their fifth Ivy League victory of the season this weekend, which would mark a special accomplishment for the team’s two seniors, Kathleen Barry and Lauren Dwyer. The twosome has accumulated 26 Ivy League victories in their three-plus seasons on Morningside Heights, which is tied with last year's senior class of 2010 (Danielle Browne, Sara Yee and Caitlin Stachon) for the most conference wins over a four-year span in program history.

The Lions haven’t had much success on the road this season, but they’ve enjoyed quite a bit of it at Levien Gymnasium in the 2011 calendar year. Columbia is on a three-game home winning streak and has won five of its last six home games. The Lions only two losses at home in 2011 have come by the slimmest of margins (64-63 loss to Lafayette on Jan. 5, and 69-68 loss to Harvard on Jan. 28).

Against Dartmouth on Feb. 18, junior Melissa Shafer and sophomore Tyler Simpson came off the bench to give the Lions a big lift. Shafer scored a team-high 18 points while Simpson had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. The twosome combined for 32 of Columbia’s 51 points, while the entire bench scored 39 points, marking the second-highest scoring output by the bench this season (41 vs. San Diego).

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 1,019 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. Dwyer also ranks second in program history in blocks (133), sixth in field goals made (403), sixth in field goals attempted (1,042) and ninth in rebounds (513).


Two other Columbia student-athletes have etched their names into the record books this season. Senior Kathleen Barry has cracked Columbia’s top 20 in scoring at 772 points in her career (T-18), and rebounding with 409 (17th). Barry is currently sixth in career steals (140), 11 shy of Megan Griffith for fifth place, and is one blocked shot away from breaking into the top 10 in career blocked shots (46). Junior Melissa Shafer just passed Brittney Carfora ’08CC for sixth place on the all-time three-point field goals made list with 110, ans is five shy of Griffith for fifth place. She also tops all players with 40 or more made three-point field goals in three-point field goal percentage (.367).