NEW YORK - Columbia women's basketball fought to the final seconds Wednesday night but was outlasted by Lafayette, 49-47, in Levien Gymnasium.
The Lions (2-12) were led by an impressive performance in senior Brittany Simmons, who recorded a double-double with a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, and junior Courtney Bradford, who pulled down 11 boards on the night.
Two players scored in double figures for the Leopards (7-8), including Emily Homan, who had a game high-tying 16 points to go with 13 boards.\
The teams traded the first baskets before Columbia embarked on an 8-0 run that featured back-to-back three-pointers by Sara Mead to take an early 10-4 lead.
The Leopards answered with six straight points, but the Lions came right back, putting up their own six consecutive points to pull away, 17-11, with 10:46 to go.
The Leopards knotted the score 27-all until Simpson hit a jumper in the paint to end the first half with Columbia on top, 29-27.
Lafayette opened the second half by outscoring the Lions 11-3. Columbia responded with a 7-2 run that included six points by Simmons to come with one, 41-40, with 10:16 to play.
Amara Mbionwu showed some range with a 15-foot jumper, and Diana Lee went coast-to-coast with a steal and fast break layup to put the Lions back in front, 46-43 while holding Lafayette scoreless for over four minutes.
The Leopards scored the next four points to regain the lead, 47-46, but Lee evened the score once again by sinking a free throw at the 2:09 mark.
With 1:53 to go, Danielle Fiacco hit a layup to put Lafayette ahead for good, 49-47. The Lions fought to the end, gaining possession with 2.4 seconds on the clock. Simmons threw up a shot at the buzzer from nearly half court, but it fell just short as the ball bounced off the rim and the buzzer sounded.
Columbia will look to get back into the win column when the Lions open Ivy League action at Cornell on Jan. 19 in a 12 p.m. tipoff.