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COLUMBIA (7-6) AT COLGATE (6-4)
MONDAY, DEC. 30 • 7 P.M
COTTERELL COURT • HAMILTON, N.Y.
The Lions are coming off a 65-59 defeat to St. John’s on Saturday at Barclays Center. Columbia rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to take a 51-50 lead with 7:25 remaining, but the Red Storm responded with a 9-0 run to regain control and hold on for the win. Grant Mullins scored a game-high 17 points, while Luke Petrasek chipped in 12 points, five boards and four assists.
The Raiders have had eight days off since a 79-51 dismantling of Ursinus on Dec. 22. Colgate has won two-straight and three of its four losses have come to high-major opponents (Wake Forest, Syracuse, Georgetown). Austin Tillotson leads the Raiders, averaging 14.1 points, is shooting 67-percent from the floor and is dishing out 4.8 assists per contest. Colgate is one of the top offensive teams in the nation, converting at a 50-percent clip from the field and 42-percent from downtown.
ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Columbia and Colgate will meet for the 25th time on Monday with the Lions holding a 15-9 edge in the series. Columbia opened the calendar year against the Raiders on Jan. 2 and will coincidentally play its final game of 2013 at Cotterell Court.
LIONS VS. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
Columbia has a rich history playing teams in the Patriot League. The Lions are 122-96 against teams currently in the conference. Columbia’s most common opponent is Army, who they defeated, 81-64, on Dec. 4 in the 57th meeting between the schools. The Lions also topped American on Nov. 26 and fell to Bucknell, 57-52, on the road on Dec. 7.
MULLINS SHINES IN BROOKLYN
Grant Mullins continued his fine sophomore campaign with 17 points against St. John’s at the Barclays Center. The Burlington, Ontario also knocked down 4-of-4 from the foul line and has knocked down 16-straight attempts. Mullins currently leads the Ivy League in free throw percentage, converting at a 89.4-percent rate.
HOT HAND LUKE
First-year Luke Petrasek continued his strong play against St. John’s with 12 points, including a highight-reel dunk, five boards and four assists. The East Northport, N.Y., native established new career-highs of 20 points and three blocks against Farileigh Dickinson to earn Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 23. Petrasek, who has started all 13 games at power forward, broke his previous personal best of 19 points set in Columbia’s 14-point win over American on Nov. 26.
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
The Lions’ 3-point shooting has been a strength all season long, shooting .419 from long-distance to lead the Ivy League and ranks 16th in the nation. If Columbia continues its current pace (7.9 makes per game), the team will have 248 treys, shattering the single-season mark of 218 set in 1996-97.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In the latest NCAA rankings that came out on Dec. 23, Columbia was ranked 10th in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 59.7 points per game (now 60.7 after its Dec. 28 game vs. St. John’s). The Lions have also improved their field goal (2013-14 - .417/2012-13 - .435) and 3-point percentage defense (2013-14 - .333/2012-13 - .368) from a year ago.
COMING UP ROSES
Junior Alex Rosenberg is finding his stride as the Lions’ sixth man, reaching double-figures in scoring in his last eight games and averaging 14.0 points on 50-percent shooting during that span. Rosenberg notched 13 points vs. St. John’s on Dec. 28 netted 17 points in a win over Idaho on Nov. 23 and scored 19 at Elon on Dec. 1, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left to force overtime.
For the second time this season, the Lions went on a stretch of eight-plus minutes without missing a shot from the floor. Against FDU on Dec. 21, Columbia knocked down seven-straight in the final 8:46 of the first half to put away the Knights. In their season opener against Maryland-Eastern Shore, the Lions drilled 10 in a row (including seven from beyond the arc) to begin the second half in a blowout win.
SHARING IS CARING
Columbia was in the Holiday spirit against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 21, dishing out 17 assists on 23 made field goals. Although they only average 11.5 dimes per game, four players have recorded five or more assists this season for Columbia (Osetkowski - 5 vs. UMES, Cohen - 6 vs. American, Lo - 7 vs. Army, Mullins - 7 vs. FDU).