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Taylor Ward scored a game-high 16 points.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike Kowalsky

Women’s Basketball Edged Late by Stony Brook, 57-54

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 01/05/2014
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NEW YORK – In a back-and-forth affair Sunday at Levien Gym, Stony Brook edged the Columbia women’s basketball team, 57-54. Senior Courtney Bradford paced the Lions’ offense with her first double-double of the season, posting 11 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Taylor Ward scored a game-high points for Columbia.

Scoring for both teams was limited through the first 10 minutes of action, with Stony Brook holding a two-point edge, 11-9, with 9:49 left in the opening stanza. With the Seawolves up 3-0, Bradford got the Lions on the board with a layup at the 17:47 mark. On Columbia’s next offensive trip down the court, Ward knocked down a triple from the left wing to even the score at 5-5.

Stony Brook took its largest lead of the half with 5:49 left when Alyssa Coiro converted a layup in transition to put the Seawolves up, 17-11. Columbia charged right back with a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to take its first lead of the contest. Good free throw shooting aided the run, with Devon Roeper hitting a pair to start it off and Ward sinking two after Stony Brook’s bench was charge a technical foul.

Kristie Constantino ended the run with a basket in the paint for Stony Brook, but the Lions continued to score, going on an 8-0 surge that put them ahead 26-19 with 1:33 remaining before the intermission. Miwa Tachibana kicked off the run with a trey and Ward sank her second from long range along the way. Stony Brook was able to close the gap before halftime, scoring the next five points to make it a 26-24 game as the teams headed to the locker room.

Columbia hit the boards well in the first half, outrebounding Stony Brook, 26-17. Bradford reeled in seven rebounds, while Mbionwu corralled five. Bradford led all scorers at the break with nine points.

The Seawolves’ offensive found its stride during the early minutes of the second half, going on a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead. Stony Brook went ahead by seven four minutes into the second half, before the Lions began to chip away at the lead.

Tachibana proved to be the offensive catalyst for the Lions, scoring seven points over the next four minutes, as Columbia cut the deficit to just two, 41-39. Out of the under-12 minute media break, Carolyn Gallagher knocked down a jumper to even the game and Bradford swung the scoreboard back in Columbia’s favor with a layup on the next possession.

The game went back-and-forth over the next five minutes, with a successful Tachibana free throw knotting the score at 48-48 with 5:20 left. Brittany Snow gave Stony Brook the lead back on its next possession, a lead that they would not relinquish despite not leading by more than five the rest of the way. Mbionwu, Ward and Tori Oliver each tallied buckets in the final minutes to keep the Lions within striking distance, but the Seawolves were able to hold off the valiant Lions, 56-54.

Bradford’s double-double was her first since Jan. 26, 2013 at home against Cornell when she scored 12 points and pulled down 11 boards. Tachibana also reached double figures, scoring 13 points, while Mbionwu, Oliver and Gallagher all grabbed seven rebounds, as the Lions held a 47-36 lead on the boards over Stony Brook.

Columbia will next be in action on Jan. 18 when it begins the Ivy League slate at 4:30 p.m. at Levien Gym.

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