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NEW YORK - Columbia is in the midst of a four-game home streak that includes three teams from the West Coast. Up next for the Lions is the University of San Diego. The Toreros will come to Levien Gymnasium to take on the Lions, Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m.


The Lions are coming off their first win of the season, and looking to make it a winning streak of two. Columbia beat Army, Sunday, November 27, 63-58. The Lions led from the 17-minute mark in the first half, and never relinquished the lead. The win by the Lions snapped Army’s four game winning streak. Prior to the win over Army, Columbia had its best shooting performance of the season in a 70-61 loss to Long Beach State, as the Lions shot 46.8% overall, including 40% from behind the arc.


All home women’s basketball contests can be seen and heard live via webcast on A total of 13 women’s hoops games will be broadcasted in ‘11-12, with play-by-play announcer Lance Medow calling all the action. Medow, who has done work for,, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and MTV Networks, is in his sixth season as the play-by-play personality for Columbia women’s basketball games.


The University of San Diego comes east, looking to improve its 4-1 overall record against Columbia and Fordham. San Diego is coming off a 75-73 overtime win against Colgate Monday. Thus far, the team is 1-1 on the road. The Toreros are an offensive-minded team, as they are averaging 79.4 points per game with a 43.8 team field goal percentage. Senior Dominique Conners leads the offense, averaging 16.2 points per game, and has 1,320 career points so far, fourth overall on San Diego’s all-time list. She is one of three Toreros averaging in the double figures, as Morgan Woodrow is averaging 14.6 points per game, and Amy Kame is averaging 13.4 points per game. Kameron Knutson leads the Toreros on the boards, as she has a 7.0 rebounds per game average.


San Diego leads the all-time series between the two teams, 2-0. The last meeting came in California in 2010, as the Toreros beat the Lions, 91-87. Prior to 2010, the last time the two teams met was 1994, when San Diego edged the Lions, 72-49. This will be the first time the two teams meet in Levien Gymnasium, as both previous match-ups had been played in San Diego. 


Sophomore Courtney Bradford is coming off a career-best game in Columbia’s win over Army. Bradford had a double double, only her second ever, as she hit a career-high 17 points, and a season-high 12 rebounds. 


Columbia first-year Amara Mbionwu was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the week ending November 13. She became the first Lion to earn Rookie of the Week honors since Lauren Dwyer took home the award on Feb. 18, 2008. The Bowie, Md. native averaged 6.5 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds in two games for the Lions, who fell to Vermont, 63-52, and Sacred Heart, 60-42. Mbionwu grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to go along with 11 points against Vermont. She shot 5-of-8 from the field. In the Lions’ next game, Mbionwu set a new personal-best with a game high nine boards against Sacred Heart. After the first week of action, she led all Ivy League freshmen in rebounding and ranked tied for third overall.


Columbia notched its second-straight Ivy League Rookie of the Week nod, as first-year Miwa Tachibana was named the Rookie of the week for the week ending November 18. Tachibana led the Lions in scoring that week, as she was 4-for-7 against Wagner, scoring 11 points, a new collegiate career high for the Los Angeles native. She went 3-of-4 from the free throw line, and recorded two assists, one rebound and a steal.


The Lions battled under the basket for rebounds in each of their first two games, and both times, the two teams came up dead even in rebounds. In the season opener against Vermont, both the Lions and the Catamounts had 38 total rebounds, while in the second game of the year, both Columbia and Sacred Heart had 33 rebounds apiece. Both times, the Lions had more defensive rebounds than their opponents (27 to 25, and 22 to 19, respectively).


Columbia has six away games in November and December, and all are within a two-hour drive of New York City, with three of the six games within the five boroughs. Columbia kicked off the away season at Sacred Heart in Connecticut, followed by games at Wagner (Staten Island), St. Francis (N.Y.) (Brooklyn), Fairfield (Conn.), Long Island (Brooklyn) and Fairleigh Dickinson (New Jersey). 


Once again, Columbia brings back two seniors, who will be crucial to Columbia’s success in the 2011-12 season. Senior co-captains Melissa Shafer and Jazmin Fuller will lead the Lions into the year. Shafer returns as a starting guard for Columbia, and one of the top five all-time three point shooters in Columbia history. Fuller saw action in 22 games last year for the Lions, including four starts to close out the season. 


The Lions exceeded the expectations of last season’s Ivy League preseason poll, as the team finished tied for fourth in the conference, after being projected to finish fifth. This year, the Lions will look to do the same as the media has picked them to finish tied for sixth in the Ivy League. Princeton, who went 13-1 in Ivy League play last year, garnered 14 of the 17 first-place votes to come in atop the poll while Harvard (three first place votes), Yale and Penn round out the top four. 



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