Women's Basketball Finishes 2010-11 Campaign at Yale, Brown This Weekend
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin
NEW YORK -- The Columbia women’s basketball team finishes up its 2010-11 slate this weekend as it faces off against Yale and Brown on the road. The Lions swept both schools in their home series on Feb. 4-5, and will look to sweep the season series and pick up their first two road victories of the season. Both contests, which will tipoff at 7 p.m., can be heard live on gocolumbialions.com, with play-by-play announcer Lance Medow calling all the action.

Seniors Lauren Dwyer and Kathleen Barry each scored in double figures in their final game at Levien Gymnasium, but it was not enough as Ivy League-leading Princeton downed the Lions, 65-52, on Saturday evening. Dwyer led Columbia with 12 points, while Barry added 11 and five rebounds. Junior Melissa Shafer was the third Lion to reach double figures with 10 points on the night.

Columbia’s win over the Bulldogs on Feb. 5 was the second straight for the Lions in the series. All-time, Yale holds a 34-15 edge.

The Lions won their seventh straight contest against the Bears on Feb. 4, a 72-49 victory at Levien Gymnasium. Despite that streak, Brown still holds a decisive edge in the series, 34-15. A win in Providence would give the senior class a perfect 8-0 record against the Bears.

Yale upended Harvard last Saturday to put them in second place in the Ivy League heading into the last full weekend of games. The Bulldogs are 9-3 in the conference, and 13-13 overall. Megan Vasquez had 23 points and seven rebounds against the Crimson, and leads the team at 14.1 points per game. She was also named the conference’s Co-Player of the Week on Feb. 28. Mady Gobrecht is the only other Bulldog averaging double figures at 12.0 PPG.


Brown is coming off a thrilling 56-55 win over Dartmouth, and stands at 8-18 overall and 4-8 in the Ivy League. Sheila Dixon had 22 points and 14 rebounds en route to being named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week. Dixon leads the Bears in scoring (10.9 PPG), rebounding (6.3 RPG) and steals (47) while ranking second in assists (58). Lauren Clarke averages a team-best 32.5 minutes per game and leads the team with 62 assists.

The Lions swept both Yale and Brown at Levien Gymnasium earlier this season, marking the third consecutive season that Columbia has been able to accomplish the feat. Melissa Shafer averaged 16.5 PPG over the two contests and connected on eight of her 15 three-point attempts. Brianna Orlich averaged 11.5 PPG on the weekend while Kathleen Barry chipped in with 10.5 PPG and 4.5 steals per contest. Sophmore Taylor Ball came off the bench to key the win against the Bulldogs with 10 points in 21 minutes.

Senior Kathleen Barry was named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team, it was announced on Feb. 24 by the College Sports Information Directors of America. With the award, Barry became the first women’s basketball player in Columbia history to be named an Academic All-American. Barry maintains a 3.99 GPA as an Economics/Mathematics and Spanish major, and has been a member of the 4.0 Club (perfect GPA in a semester) in five of her seven semesters at Columbia.

High-pressure defense has become a staple of all Paul Nixon-coached teams, and the 2010-11 edition of the Columbia women’s basketball is no different. The Lions lead the Ivy League at 11.58 steals per conference contest, which is 1.58 more steals the next-best average (10.0 SPG by Penn). Kathleen Barry has led the charge for Columbia, as she averages a conference-best 2.75 SPG in Ivy League contests. First-year Taylor Ward is 10th at 1.67 SPG.

Junior Jazmin Fuller got the first and second starts of her career last weekend against Penn and Princeton. Fuller didn’t score a point in either game, but had two assists and two steals and only turned the ball over once in 26 minutes of action. Sophomore Tyler Simpson also moved into the starting five and averaged 10.0 PPG and 5.0 RPG over two games.

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 closed out its home schedule last weekend and went 5-2 in home Ivy League contests and 6-3 overall in 2011. Two of those losses came by one point (vs. Lafayette and Harvard).