NEW YORK - The Columbia women's basketball team played a strong first half, shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor to take a 31-27 halftime lead before Penn ultimately got hot in the second frame and topped the Lions, 52-40.

Columbia (2-15, 0-3) was led by sophomore Miwa Tachibana, who reached a new career high after a dominating first-half performance that included two three-pointers in a 5-of-5 effort from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. Tyler Simpson reached her 10th double-figure performance of the year with 11 points, while Brittany Simmons led the defensive effort with eight rebounds and three steals.      

Leading the way for Penn (8--8, 1-1) was Alyssa Baron, who posted 14 points and six assists, and Katy Allen, who pulled down 11 of the Quakers' game-leading 41 boards.

It was a tale of two halves in Levien Gymnasium as the Lions took their first lead of the night thanks to two consecutive baskets by Simpson.

A 7-0 Columbia run gave the Lions a six-point with 10:10 remaining in the first half, but Penn chipped away to make it a 31-27 halftime score.

Penn shot just 23.1 percent (6-of-26) from the floor in the first half, but converted 13-of-19 tries from the free throw line, compared to 46.4 percent (13-of-28) and 3-of-4 from the line by the Lions.

The second half began as a defensive battle, as both teams were plagued with missed opportunities in transition.

Penn took over using an 11-0 run beginning at the 13:05 mark with back-to-back Baron layups.  Simpson took care of business by converting both free throw attempts to cut off the run, but Penn stayed hot and scored seven more unanswered points.

Sara Mead knocked down a three-pointer with just under two minutes remaining after a 17-minute field goal drought for Columbia, but the clock ran out before the Lions could capitalize.

Columbia will look to bounce back tomorrow night against Princeton in a 7 p.m. tip in Levien Gym.