Saturday, January 7  | 7 p.m. | Levien Gymnasium

Howard (3-12)
Columbia (5-7)
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• Performance by NYC Dance Arts, a Manhattan-based organization that provides individuals with the opportunity to continue their passion in dancing.
• Scrimmage featuring Mo Motion, a team of 5th and 6th grade boys out of Harlem.


The Lions snapped a mini two-game slide and five-game losing streak against Division I opponents with a 98-73 victory at Maine Monday. Columbia buried a season-high 13 3-pointers and outrebounded the Black Bears, 46-36, in the win. Luke Petrasek netted 22 points, while Mike Smith added 21 for the second consecutive game.

• The Bison dropped its MEAC opener to Florida A&M Wednesday, 78-66, and have lost four consecutive games.
• Howard was selected as the preseason MEAC favorites, but have faced an array of injuries to some of their top players.
• James Daniel, the 2015-16 NCAA leader in points per game (27.1), returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing the team’s first 14 games due to a severly sprained ankle. He netted 24 points in his first game back.
• James Miller, who also came back Wednesday after sitting out seven games due to injury, is averaging 16.4 points to lead the squad.
• Charles Williams has played in all 15 contests and is posting 13.7 points per game. Solomon Mangham chips in 10.8 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds.
• Howard has also faced Harvard, falling to the Crimson 67-46 on Dec. 30 in Cambridge.

The Lions and Bison will square off for just the second time Saturday. Columbia used 16 points and 11 rebounds from Luke Petrasek to claim a 72-59 victory on Dec. 28, 2015.

The Lions are 6-3 against teams currently in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Columbia’s most common foe is North Carolina Central, who they have faced three times (0-3). Columbia went 2-0 against the MEAC last season, topping Howard and Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Columbia is averaging 10.5 steals over its past four games, which now puts them third in the Ivy League for the season (6.6). The Lions tied the program’s single-game record with 14 steals in its win over Manhattanville, on Dec. 11.

Columbia has been one of the strongest offensive teams in the Ivy League this season, leading the conference in field goal percentage (.469) and assists per game (17.0) while placing second in points per game (76.3). The Lions are coming off a season-high 98 points and 13 made 3-pointers at Maine. The point total was the most for Columbia against a Division I opponent since Nov. 15, 2010 when they scored 104 points in a win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.

First-year point guard Mike Smith has recorded 21 points in each of the last two contests and has dished out five assists in his last three games. Smith currently leads all Ivy League rookies in assists (3.6 APG) and 3-point field goal percentage (.455). Smith has started every game for the Lions and played a key role in Columbia’s opening night win. He netted 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and drilled a key 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down and drew a charge on the ensuing possesion to help seal the Lions’ victory.

Nate Hickman’s electrifying dunk against UAlbany was featured on ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt’s segment, “The Best Thing I Saw Today” to lead off SportsCenter following the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30. The highlight was ranked as the No. 3 play on the SportsCenter Top-10 later that night.