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VS. NORTH TEXAS (2-1)
Nov. 21 • 5 p.m.
AT PORTLAND (1-2)
Nov. 22 • 7:30 p.m.
VS. IDAHO (2-1)
Nov. 23 • 7:30 p.m.
The Lions gave the now No. 1 team a major scare, but ultimately fell to Michigan State, 62-53, on Friday night in front of a sold out crowd at the Breslin Center. After falling behind, 9-0, Columbia found its rhythm and eventually took control and carried a four-point lead into halftime. The Lions led by as many as seven in the second frame, but the Spartans rallied to tie the game and closed the game on an 11-2 run to escape with the win.
NORTH TEXAS’ STATUS
The Mean Green have alternated wins and losses through three games and most recently knocked off Nicholls State, 92-78, on Nov. 14. NT also played right with Oklahoma on Nov. 11, but utlimately fell, 95-82, in Norman, Okla. Senior guard Alzee Williams led the squad, averaging 20.7 PPG, while junior forward Keith Coleman is pulling down 7.0 RPG.
Like Columbia, the Pilots gave Michigan State a run for its money on Monday night, dropping a 82-67 decision on the road. Portland led 32-31 late in the first frame and tied the game up early in the second, but the Spartans found a way, once again, to prevail. Kevin Bailey is averaging 17.7 PPG, while Ryan Nicholas checks in at 17.3 PPG and 8.3 RPG.
The Vandals coasted to a 78-64 win over Northwest Nazarene on Nov. 16. Idaho has also defeated Western Illinois and fallen to Oklahoma thus far. Stephen Madison leads the club, checking in at 14.7 PPG and 9.7 RPG. Connor Hill and Glen Dean are averaging 11.7 and 11.0 points, respectively.
COACHES VS. CANCER
The Philips Norelco Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic includes 12 teams, with Michigan State, Oklahoma, Seton Hall and Virginia Tech serving as the regional hosts. Regional round action takes place from Nov. 9-18, with the four hosts advancing to the championship rounds, Nov. 22-23, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The remainder of the field will participate in a series of round-robin series at one of two sub-host sites. The Coaches vs. Cancer program (www.coachesvscancer.org) is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (www.NABC.org) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs. Since 1993, the initiative has raised more than $87 million dollars to fund groundbreaking research, provide up-to-date cancer information, advocate for public health policies and deliver services to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
AGAINST THE FIELD
• Columbia is 1-0 all-time against North Texas. The Lions won the only meeting, 72-57, in a round-robin event hosted by Loyola-Marymount on Dec. 3, 2011.
• Columbia is 1-0 all-time against Portland after a 78-67 win at a neutral site on Dec. 2, 1989.
• Columbia has never faced Idaho.
WE GO TO EXTREMES
On Nov. 15, Columbia held No. 2 Michigan State without a 3-pointer (0-for-5) for the first time since 2008, snapping a string of 196 games. It was also the first time a Lions team did not allow a make from downtown since Feb. 21, 2009 against Yale (0-for-6). Ironically, in Columbia’s previous game, Manhattan’s 10-of-12 performance from beyond the arc on Nov. 12 was the best 3-point shooting performance allowed by a Columbia team since Dec. 9, 2002 when Lehigh drilled 7-of-10 from long-range.
COHEN GOES THE DISTANCE
Sophomore Isaac Cohen played the full 40 minutes for the first time in his career at No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 15. The Orlando, Fla., native scored 10 points and tied a career-high of nine rebounds against the Spartans.
Sophomore Grant Mullins went off for a career-best 23 points (21 coming in the second half) in Columbia’s Nov. 12 contest against Manhattan. Mullins has been extremely efficient in the Lions’ first two games, shooting 61.1% from the floor, 5-of-11 (45.5%) from downtown, has knocked down 9-of-9 from the charity stripe and has a 2-1 assist/turnover ratio.