BURLINGTON, Vt. - Columbia women's basketball was edged by Vermont, 46-40, in its first road contest of the season Sunday afternoon at Patrick Gymnasium.
Columbia (0-2), which was making its first visit to Burlington since the 1999-00 season, dropped its fourth straight to Vermont (1-1) in as many meetings as the Catamounts earned their first victory of the season.
The Lions were paced by senior Tyler Simpson, who scored a
game-high 14 points, while Brittany Simmons led the defense with eight boards
and Courtney Bradford recorded a career-high four blocks.
Both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket early on,
as Columbia led 2-0 at the first media timeout with 15:54 on the clock. Tierra
Shumpert knocked down a three-pointer to get things started for Vermont, and
Shanai Hebert hit a layup to put the Catamounts in front, 5-2.
The teams traded the next few baskets, making it 8-7 with
Vermont in the lead, but the Catamounts exploded on an 8-0 run that included
five straight points by Kayla Burchill to make it 16-7 with 7:18 to go.
Columbia fell into as much as a 20-8 deficit until Caitlyn
Unsworth hit two in a row from deep to spark a 10-2 rally for the Lions. Bradford
grabbed a crucial steal and drove it down the court to Simpson for two, making
it 22-18 with just over a minute to go in the first. Two more Columbia fouls brought
the Catamounts back to the line for another three points, sending the Lions to the locker
room trailing by a score of 25-18.
In the second half, Columbia came out with a 7-2 run to once again make it a four-point game at 31-27, but Vermont fought back with seven
unanswered points to push its lead to 12.
After Taylor Ball hit a free throw at the 10:20 mark, both teams went
scoreless for the next three minutes until a Simpson jumper ended the drought.
Two buckets in a row by Ball made it 43-37 at the 2:13 mark.
The Lions nearly made a comeback, as the defense held Vermont to just three points
in the final six minutes, but ultimately came up just short.
Overall, Columbia had more success from the field, hitting
15 of 46 attempts (32.6 percent), while holding Vermont to just 12 of 49 (24.5
percent). The two teams were equal on the glass, pulling down 41 rebounds each.
However it was the charity stripe that made the difference,
as Columbia went just 7 of 19 (36.8 percent) while committing 21 personal fouls,
whereas Vermont finished off 17 of 28 (60.7 percent) and was called for 16
Columbia will look for its first win as the Lions return
home to Levien Gymnasium to take on Wagner on Wednesday, November 14 at 7 p.m.