|Score by Quarter|
|Points||Camille Zimmerman (10)||Karly Murphy (13)|
||Camille Zimmerman (6)
Madison Pack (6)
|Jessica Lindstrom (12)
||Camille Zimmerman (2)
Paige Tippet (2)
|Allie LeClaire (3)
||Three tied (1)
||Jen Wellnitz (3)
Allie LeClaire (3)
|Blocks||Josie Little (2)||Laken James (3)|
CANCUN, Mexico —The Columbia women’s basketball team played its first of three games in three days at the 2017 Cancun Challenge on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions faced a tough test against Green Bay, one of the top mid-major programs in the country, and were defeated, 61-43.
Josie Little returned to Columbia’s lineup for the first time since suffering a season-ending injury last January. The junior scored nine points with five rebounds and two blocks in her first action in over 10 months. Little connected on her first shot attempt of the game, draining a 3-ball near the end of the first quarter to cut Green Bay’s lead to five.
Columbia (2-3) was held to just five first-quarter points against the nation’s top scoring defense and never fully recovered. Green Bay (4-0) came into the contest allowing 35.0 points per game, a mark which led the NCAA by 11 points. The Lions were able to put up 43, the most Green Bay has allowed all season, but the Phoenix shot 46 percent to pull away with the victory.
“I’d play Green Bay every year if I could. They teach you so much about what you need to do and expose you in ways to help you understand what you need to work on,” Columbia head coach Megan Griffith stated. “We had a great opportunity to play the best mid-major team in the country and I was really excited for this game. We have to be the aggressors from the start. We can’t let a team like this set the tone and expect to battle back.”
The Lions cut the lead to single digits with a 7-2 spurt in the second quarter. Little began the scoring with a mid-range jumper and junior Abby Lee connected from long range a few possessions later to make it a 22-14 game with 5:53 before halftime.
Green Bay answered with the next seven points and outscored Columbia 15-5 the rest of the quarter to take a 37-19 lead into the locker rooms. Senior Camille Zimmerman led all Lions with eight points at the intermission.
Columbia battled hard the rest of the game and played level with the Phoenix, 24-24, through the second half, The Lions held their opponent to just eight fourth-quarter points, but the hole was too large to dig out of. Green Bay led by as many as 24 before eventually earning the 18-point victory.
Zimmerman led Columbia with 10 points and six rebounds. Rookie Madison Pack also grabbed six boards, but Green Bay finished with a 37-29 advantage on the glass.
Three Phoenix scored in double figures, led by Karly Murphy’s game-high 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting. Jessica Lindstrom earned a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Green Bay scored 50 of its 61 points in the paint.
Columbia takes on defending national runner-up No. 7/3 Mississippi State on day two of the Cancun Challenge. Friday’s tip is scheduled for 11 a.m. from the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
- Josie Little returned to action for the first time since last January and scored nine points with five rebounds and two blocks.
- Thursday marked the first ever meeting between the two programs.
- Camille Zimmerman became the 29th player in Ivy League women’s basketball history to score 1,500 career points.