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BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The Columbia men's basketball team dropped a 70-61 decision at LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Senior Mark Cisco had his best game of the season, leading the Lions (4-3) with 18 points, tying a career-high to go with 13 boards.
First-year Grant Mullins added 15 points, while senior Brian Barbour chipped in 12 to push his career total to 978 as he marches toward the 1,000-point club.
The Blackbirds (1-4) shot a scorching 61.1 percent from the floor in the second half, including a 5-of-6 mark from downtown to preserve a five-point halftime lead. LIU also shot 20-of-36 from the free-throw line, while Columbia went 6-of-9.
The Blackbirds' Julian Boyd lifted his team to an early 8-2 lead with a pair of dunks, but Barbour got Columbia going with a trio of three-pointers to put the Lions on top, 11-10, at the 11:25 mark of the opening stanza.
From there, the first half was a defensive struggle with both teams working hard to get off quality shots until a 7-2 run in the final 3:39 by LIU gave the Blackbirds a 24-19 advantage at the half.
Columbia's frontcourt of John Daniels and Cisco set the tone in the second half, working the high-low game and getting after it on the glass. Cisco scored eight points in the first five minutes to erase the deficit and give the Lions a 31-30 lead with 15:18 to go.
However, LIU scored seven unanswered to regain the momentum, but Columbia was able to break off the next five to pull within 38-36. After a Cisco tip-in closed the gap to one point, the Blackbirds knocked down a pair of free-throws and received a clutch three from the left wing by Jason Brickman to make it 47-41 at the 9:25 mark.
LIU extended the cushion to 53-44 after Brickman converted on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with 6:10 left. Columbia pulled within six on several occasions over the next several minutes, but LIU's attacking offense drew a plethora of fouls to keep the Lions at bay, and remain in front the rest of the way.
The Lions will return home to Levien Gymnasium to face Bucknell in conjunction with Blue Zone - Prostate Cancer Awareness night on Saturday, Dec. 1. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or calling (888) LIONS-11.