NEW YORK - The five seniors of the Columbia women's basketball team went out in style Saturday night at Levien Gymnasium as the Lions celebrated Senior Night with a convincing 48-39 Ivy League victory over Dartmouth.
Columbia (5-22, 3-9) handed Dartmouth (6-22, 4-10) its eighth consecutive loss while finishing the home slate with a 4-9 mark. The Lions also snapped a three-game losing skid in to Dartmouth dating back to the 2010-11 season.
Sophomore Miwa Tachibana stole the show as the only player to score in double figures on the night as she posted 15 points, including a career-high four three-pointers. Senior Brittany Simmons had a big night as well with seven points, seven rebounds, four steals and a career-best three blocks. Senior Tyler Simpson and junior Courtney Bradford contributed another seven points apiece, while Bradford led the Lions with a team-high nine rebounds.
Dartmouth's Tia Dawson pulled down a game-high 12 boards to go with four assists on the night. Lakin Roland led the Big Green in scoring with nine points as the Lions held Dartmouth to 26.2 percent (16-of-61) from the field.
The Lions got off to a slow start while the Big Green jumped out to as much as an 11-point lead at the 6:04 mark in the first half. However Columbia rallied with an 11-0 run using timely shooting, strong rebounding and crucial steals to tie it up, 19-all with just under two minutes to go. Dartmouth regained some momentum to push back ahead, closing out the half with a 25-21 advantage.
The Big Green went ahead by seven early in the fresh half, but Columbia chipped away at the deficit with another big rally, scoring 12 unanswered points while holding Dartmouth scoreless for over 10 minutes. Simmons went coast-to-coast to once again even the score, 31-31, Bradford slowly rolled in a layup to put the Lions back in the lead, and Tachibana added the exclamation points with a three-pointer to make it 36-31 midway through the frame.
A final change of score put Dartmouth ahead with 3:15 to play, but Columbia stayed hot and finished off the victory, holding the Big Green to 18.8 percent (6-of-32) from the floor in the second half.
Dartmouth went back ahead with two free throws, but Tachibana drained one from deep and followed with a block on the other end to get the stop. Simpson added another basket to make it 41-39 with just over two minutes remaining. Shortly after Simpson dished one to Bradford, who rattled it in as she drew a foul. Bradford made it an old-fashioned three-point play with under two minutes to go as Columbia took a 44-39 lead and led the rest of the way.
Columbia will conclude the season with a rematch at Harvard on Tuesday, March 12 at 6 pm. The game was rescheduled from its original date due to the inclement weather conditions of Snowstorm Nemo.