BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Columbia University women's basketball team dropped a 58-33 decision to Lehigh at Stabler Arena Monday afternoon in non-league action.
Columbia (2-11) had nine players score and senior Tyler Simpson led the way with a team-best 10 points in her seventh double-digit effort of the season. Lehigh (8-7) had a trio of players reach double figures, including Katie O'Reilly who posted a game-high 15 points.
Despite the loss, the Lions were hot from the line, shooting 80 percent on an 8-of-10 effort, compared to 75 percent (18-of-24) by the Mountain Hawks.
Columbia took an early 4-2 lead after back-to-back buckets by Simpson, but Lehigh stole the ball on three consecutive Columbia possessions and ran away with an 11-0 run to pull ahead, 15-6, with 14:10 to go.
Both teams were held scoreless for the next five minutes until Alexandra Yantzi hit a free throw at the 9:47 mark. Columbia ended its drought minutes later with a free throw by Sara Mead.
Continuing to fight, Columbia nailed two consecutive baskets to cut Lehigh's lead to 24-11 with 3:57 to play in the first half.
Diana Lee then knocked down both tries at the line to reduce the Lions' deficit to 28-17 as part of a 6-2 run with 1:30 remaining.
Amara Mbionwu drew a foul with 47 seconds on the clock and sank both attempts to further tighten the score, but O'Reilly hit a halftime buzzer beater from deep to send the Lions into the locker room trailing 33-19.
Simpson started off the second half with a layup for the Lions before the Mountain Hawks embarked on a 6-0 run and did not look back the rest of the way.
Columbia will look to bounce back as the Lions close out non-conference play this Wednesday, Jan. 9 at home against Lafayette. Tipoff is slated to begin at 7 p.m. in Levien Gymnasium.