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COLUMBIA (4-3) AT ELON (3-4)
SUNDAY, DEC. 1 • 2 P.M.
ALUMNI GYM • ELON, N.C.
Video Stream: ElonPhoenix.com
Audio Stream: Ivy League Digital Network (Jerry Recco)
The Lions topped American, 61-47, on Tuesday night thanks to key contributions from Luke Petrasek, Alex Rosenberg and Maodo Lo. After a slow start, Petrasek and Rosenberg teamed up to score 12-straight to spark a 14-4 run, giving Columbia the lead for good. The Eagles pulled within six with 7:19 to go, but Lo played the role of closer, scoring seven points down the stretch to slam the door on any American comeback bid.
Elon’s high-octane offense was firing on all cylanders against Georgia State as the Phoenix closed the consolation bracket of the NIT Tip-Off with a 90-85 victory. The Phoenix knocked down 15-of-24 shots from downtown and had six players score in double-figures. On the season, all five of Elon’s starters are averaging more than 10 points, led by Lucas Troutman, who pours in 16.7 per contest.
ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Although these teams have met just three times, each contest has gone down to the wire. Elon holds a 2-1 record in the series, winning two games in Levien Gym on buzzer-beaters and by the same score, 70-69. Columbia’s only victory came at Alumni Gym in January of 2012 when they rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to earn a 65-60 game in a back-and-forth affair.
LIONS AGAINST THE SoCON
Columbia is 3-6 all-time against teams currently in the Southern Conference. The Lions have faced Furman and Elon three times, posting a 2-1 record against the Paladins and a 1-2 mark against the Phoenix.
HOT HAND LUKE
First-year Luke Petrasek is coming off the finest game of his young career after posting 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with four rebounds in Collumbia’s 15-point win over American. Petrasek has started all seven games at power forward and has reached double-figures in scoring in each of his last two games.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Columbia has maintained its trend of taking care of the basketball this season, averaging just 12.7 turnovers per game after posting a mark of 10.9 in 2012-13, which was the 17th fewest in the nation.
LO BLAZES THE OREGON TRAIL
Sophomore Maodo Lo was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Nov. 25 after his red-hot shooting in three games at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Portland from Nov. 21-23. Lo averaged 17.7 points and shot .667 (9-of-12) from 3-point range. The Berlin, Germany native posted a career-high 23 points with five treys against North Texas and dropped 20 points, including a pair of triples to spark a first-half run, against Idaho.
After seeing limited action in Columbia’s first four games, first-year Jeff Coby posted career-highs of 10 points and six boards in 23 minutes off the bench against Portland on Nov. 22.
Columbia’s 29.5 field goal percentage against Portland on Nov. 22 was the first time a Lions’ team failed to shoot above 30-percent since a 27.4-percent performance against UMBC, coincidentally, five years to the exact day in 2008.
And it wasn’t just Lo who was red-hot from 3-point range against the Big Green. The Lions drilled 12 treys, 10 in the first half, and converted at a season-best 54.5-percent clip.
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.