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HAMILTON, N.Y. – Trailing by seven with just over two minutes remaining, Columbia stormed back to force not one, but two overtimes, to claim a thrilling 76-70 victory at Colgate on Monday night to wrap up 2013. The Lions (8-6) picked up their first road win of the season and first overtime victory since a Mar. 6, 2004 triumph over Yale, which also took two extra sessions.
Junior Noah Springwater came off the bench to help key the rally, playing relentless defense on the Raiders’ (6-5) top scorer Austin Tillotson which changed the complexion of the game. With Springwater denying Tillotson, Colgate struggled to run its offense and Maodo Lo came up with a steal and score to start the Lions last push.
On the ensuing possession, Rosenberg picked off a pass with under a minute left in regulation, leading to Grant Mullins being fouled with 56 seconds to god. Mullins made the first, missed the second, but Rosenberg secured the offensive rebound to give Columbia another chance and Maodo Lo made a nice move to the rim to even things up, 62-62.
On the other end, Tillotson tried to end the game as time wound down, but Springwater blocked the shot to send the game to overtime.
Both teams dug in defensively in the first overtime and neither team scored for the final 3:31 of the frame. Rosenberg had a chance to win it as the clock expired, but his step-back 15-footer rolled off the rim and five minutes were added to the clock.
The contest remained deadlocked until Mullins slipped a pass to Luke Petrasek on a pick-and-roll to give the Lions the lead for good with 2:56 to go. After a missed 3-pointer by Colgate, Mullins essentially iced the game with a trey from the right win and Columbia knocked down free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Rosenberg scored a season-best 23 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead four players in double-figures. Mullins notched 17 points to go with five rebounds, Lo finished with 14 points, five boards and a pair of steals.
After a back-and-forth start, the Lions pushed ahead 19-14 after a mini 5-0 spurt capped by a left wing trey by Meiko Lyles with 9:45 left in the first half before the Raiders’ center Ethan Jacobs caught fire.
Jacobs scored eight points during a 10-0 run, including a step-back three with the shot clock winding down, to put Colgate on top, 30-22, at the 4:24 mark of the period. However, Columbia answered back with a pair of triples of their own and Mullins capped a 9-2 surge with a nifty hesitation move to lead to an and-one to make it 32-31 at the break.
The second half started nearly identical to the first with both teams stringing together short spurts and trading the lead. Eventually, the Raiders extended the margin to 56-49 with 8:10 on the clock, but the Lions would not go away.
Petrasek cut the deficit to three with 4:43 on the clock before Colgate brought the lead back up to 62-55 with 2:04 to go in regulation before the late-game theatrics.
Tillotson led the Raiders with 22 points and four assists. Luke Roh recorded a game-high 13 rebounds.
Columbia turned the ball over just four times and forced nine, turning those miscues into 18 points which was the difference.
Columbia returns to the friendly confines of Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they host St. Francis Brooklyn at 4 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by clicking here. Fans can also catch all the action on the Ivy League Digital Network.