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GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Columbia men's basketball team started its season with a convincing 68-47 victory at Furman on Saturday night. Senior Brian Barbour picked up where he left off last season, posting a game-high 19 points, eight assists, and six rebounds.
Steve Frankoski was strong in his return to the floor after missing last season with an injury. The sophomore guard poured in 16 points on 4-of-10 shooting from downtown. Sophomore Alex Rosenberg chipped in 14 points, converting on 5-of-7 attempts, and led the squad with eight boards.
The Lions came out with great energy on the defensive end, playing a stifling 2-3 zone and raced out to a quick 9-2 lead. Columbia continued to apply the pressure, turning eight Paladin turnovers into 13 transition points, and took its largest lead of the half, 37-13, after a three by Grant Mullins from the right wing with 2:46 before the break.
Foul trouble plagued both teams in the second half and put a damper on the tempo of the game. Despite the slower pace, Columbia remained in control and went ahead, 49-24, after a Barbour triple with 12:08 remaining. Furman pulled within 18 on a layup by Larry Wideman with 9:54 on the clock, but the Lions would not let the Paladins creep any closer.
Columbia shot 49.1-percent from the floor and was 8-of-19 (42.1-percent) from beyond the arc. Furman never found an answer to the Lions' zone and mustered just 30.8-percent shooting, and was just 1-for-17 (5.9-percent) from three-point range.
The Lions will host Haverford College for their home-opener on Tuesday, November 13, in Levien Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available and can be purchased by clicking here or calling (888) LIONS-11.