CANCUN, Mexico. – The Columbia women’s basketball team faces its toughest test of the season over the Thanksgiving weekend when it battles Green Bay, No. 7/3 Mississippi State and No. 24 Arizona State at the Cancun Challenge. The Lions play the Mayan Division's first game Thursday morning against Green Bay at 11 a.m. Mississippi State follows Friday at 11 a.m. The tournament concludes Saturday vs. Arizona State at 1:30 p.m. All three games are available on CBS Sports Digital.
• Green Bay (3-0), Mississippi State (3-0) and Arizona State (4-0) all enter the tournament will undefeated records. All three also qualified or last year's NCAA Tournament.
• When Columbia and No. 7/3 Mississippi State square off on Friday, it will mark Columbia's first game against a ranked opponent since Dec. 6, 2015, when the Lions fell to then No. 17/19 Arizona State, 70-49, in Tempe, Ariz.
• Senior Camille Zimmerman is Columbia's all-time leading scorer, passing Ula Lysniak (1983-87) on Nov. 12 against Richmond. Lysniak held the previous record of 1,447 points for over 30 years. Zimmerman enters the tournament with 1,499 career points and is one away from becoming the 29th player in Ivy League history to reach 1,500.
• Columbia has scored at least 70 points in each of its first four games for the first time in program history. Columbia is averaging 73.8 points per game, nearly 10 points per game better than last year (64.1). Formerly the Barnard College women's basketball team, the program officially became part of Columbia in 1984-85.
• Each of Columbia's first four games have been decided by less than 10 points.
• Sophomore Janiya Clemmons had a career day on Sunday at Vermont, scoring 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting off the bench. She hit five of her first six attempts and had already bested her previous career scoring high (8) with 10 points at halftime.
• Junior Abby Lee tied a career-high in rebounds (7) vs. Richmond (Nov. 12) and played a career-high 31 minutes against Providence. She is has scored in double figures in two consecutive games and is averaging 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds. Last season, Lee averaged 3.2 points and 1.7 boards.
• Columbia shot 53.1 percent against the Friars to mark its best shooting percentage since February of 2014.
• First-years Riley Casey, Madison Pack, Andrea McCormick and Imani Whittington have all scored their first collegiate points. Casey is averaging 12.8 points and 3.3 assists and has started all four games. Pack averages 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22.0 minutes off the bench.
• Senior Paige Tippet had career-highs of five rebounds, three steals and 32 minutes at UMass Lowell.
• Sophomore Stephanie Flynn scored a career-high five points and had her first two steals against Richmond.
• Columbia has been outrebounded in each of its first four games after ranking 12th in the country last season in rebound margin (+8.8).
ZIMMERMAN STARTS SENIOR YEAR AS IVY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Camille Zimmerman earned her eighth career Ivy League Player of the Week selection in the first week of the season. The senior averaged 23.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steal through the first two games. She shot over 65 percent from the field (15-23) and connected on 15 of her 17 free throws. The highlight of her week came when she passed Hall of Famer Ula Lysniak ‘87BC as Columbia’s all-time leading scorer. Zimmerman, a 6-1 guard-forward, came into the game 15 points away and scored her record-breaking 1,448th career point as part of a 21-point, 11-rebound effort against Richmond. Zimmerman also led the Lions to a thrilling season-opening win over Providence. The Tempe Preparatory Academy product scored a game-high 25 points on 9 of 12 shooting in the 73-64 road victory. She played the final 15 minutes of that game with four fouls and helped the Lions improve to 2-0 all-time against the Friars with seven fourth-quarter points.
ZIMMERMAN BECOMES ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER
• Senior Camille Zimmerman passed Hall of Famer Ula Lysniak '87BC as Columbia's all-time leading scorer last Sunday against Richmond. Heading into the season, Zimmerman was just 40 points away from the record. She scored a game-high 25 in the season-opening victory at Providence, positioning herself just 15 points away heading into Sunday's home opener. Zimmerman's record-breaking points came at the free throw line with 6:55 remaining. She now has 1,499 career points. Last season, Zimmerman broke Columbia's single-season marks in total points (608) and points per game (22.5), which were records that had stood since the 1980s. Should Zimmerman repeat her scoring performance from last season, she would become the fourth player in Ivy League women's basketball history to eclipse 2,000 career points.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
• With 17 points and 10 rebounds at UMass Lowell (Nov. 15), senior Camille Zimmerman passed Tori Oliver (2013-17) for sixth on Columbia's career rebounding list. She now has 683 career rebounds and is seven away from Nora Beck (1979-83) for a spot in the top five. Zimmerman also moved up the Ivy League's career scoring list, entering the top 30 by passing Brogan Berry (2008-12, Harvard). Zimmerman now has 1,499 career points and is one point away from becoming the 29th player in Ivy League women's basketball history to reach 1,500.
BACK-TO-BACK BIG EAST WINS
• Columbia defeated Providence, 73-64, in the season opener to earn its second consecutive victory against an opponent from the BIG EAST. Camille Zimmerman scored a game-high 25 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, to lead the Lions to victory. First-year Riley Casey had a big collegiate debut, earning the start and scoring 14 points on 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Columbia outscored Providence 14-5 over the final five minutes after the game was tied at 59. Last season, the Lions earned their first win in program history against the conference when they downed the Friars, 66-64, in overtime in New York. Prior to last season, Columbia was 0-8 in eight tries against the BIG EAST.
ZIMMERMAN NAMED TO KATRINA MCCLAIN WATCH LIST
• Senior Camille Zimmerman was named to the 2018 Katrina McClain Award watch list on Thursday, recognizing the top power forward in all of women's college basketball. The award is presented by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Zimmerman is one of 20 players nationwide to land on the 2018 Katrina McClain Award watch list. The selection committee for the Katrina McClain Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 Katrina McClain Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. McClain-Pittman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
• Columbia will face five NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. Three of those games come at the Cancun Challenge (Nov. 23-25), where Columbia will meet up with Green Bay, Arizona State and defending national runner-up Mississippi State. A trip to 2017 MEAC winner Hampton (Jan. 3) represents the fourth NCAA Tournament team. The Lions will also go up against Ivy League winner Penn twice during the conference season (Jan. 13, Feb. 16).
SCOUTING GREEN BAY
• Green Bay (3-0) boasts the nation's top scoring defense, allowing just 35.0 points per game. The Phoenix hold the top defensive mark by 11 points per game over Oklahoma State (46.0 ppg). They have held their first three opponents to just 25.5 percent shooting, including just 13.5 percent from 3-point range, also ranking No. 1 in the NCAA in field goal defense and 3-point defense. Senior Jessica Lindstrom leads the team with 13.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Fellow senior Allie LeClaire also averages double figures scoring (11.7). Green Bay was a No. 8 seed in last year's NCAA Tournament and fell in the first round to ninth-seeded Purdue, 74-62.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
• Mississippi State (3-0) is ranked No. 7 in this week's AP Top 25 and No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The reigning national runner-up has outscored its first three opponents by an average of 35.3 points per game, rankings No. 7 in the NCAA in scoring margin. The Bulldogs began the year with a 15-point victory over Virginia before blowing out Georgia State by 46 and Southern Miss by 35. They average 88.3 points per game and hold a +11.33 turnover margin, ranking among the nation's top 10 in both categories. Senior Victoria Vivians and redshirt senior transfer Roshunda Johnson lead the team in scoring, each averaging 18.7 points per game. MSU famously ended UConn's 111-game winning streak by defeating the Huskies in last year's Final Four, 66-64, in overtime. South Carolina stopped the Bulldogs short in the national championship game, 67-55.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE
• Arizona State (4-0) is ranked No. 24 in the AP Top 25 and is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. They boast top-20 marks in scoring defense (50.8), scoring margin (+30.8) and field goal percentage (48.9 pct.). The Sun Devils put up 108 points last Saturday against Sacramento State, but had to dig deep the very next day against Colgate, eventually pulling away in the second half, 65-54. They had 22 assists on 29 made baskets against the Raiders and boast a top-10 mark nationally in assists per game (22.5). Four players average double figures in the scoring column, led by junior forward Kiana Ibis's 14.5 points per game. Charnea Johnson Chapman (10.8), Robbi Ryan (10.3) and Sabrina Haines (10.0) are ASU's other top scorers. The Sun Devils were a No. 8 seed in last year's NCAA Tournament, winning their first-round game over Michigan State before falling in the second round to eventual national champion South Carolina. ASU led the Gamecocks by as many as 11 in the second half, only to lose in the final minutes, 71-68.