NEW YORK – Winners of three straight and seven of the last eight games, Columbia will hit the road to face Cornell on Saturday, January 22 at 4:30 p.m. Last Saturday, the Lions defeated the Big Red 79-75 in front of a lively crowd at Levien Gymnasium as Columbia started the Ivy League campaign at 1-0 with a win over the defending champions.
With a record of 10-5 this season, Columbia will play on the road for the first time in the Ivy League slate. The Lions have won their last two road games and have been paced lately by the scoring of guards Noruwa Agho (16.9 points per game) and Brian Barbour (12.2 ppg). Big man Mark Cisco also has come on strong lately, averaging 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in his last five games.
In last week's game, Cornell was led by sharpshooting guard Drew Ferry, who totaled 20 of his team-high 23 points in the second half. Chris Wroblewski and Errick Peck each went for 14 points for the Big Red, which defeated Stony Brook 60-52 in its last home game.
The game will be televised regionally on Time Warner Central New York and fans can hear all the action on gocolumbialions.com with Jerry Recco and Dalen Cuff '06 providing the call. Saturday's game will also be broadcast on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 130. Live stats and game notes are available for Saturday's matchup. A live blog will also be available for fans to follow commentary on the game and submit questions throughout the contest.
Columbia has played well for the better part of two months. Since November 23, the Lions have won nine of their last 11 games, seven of their last eight and have won three in a row since January 5.
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
Over the first 15 games of the season, Columbia holds a +6.8 margin in rebounding, averaging 38.0 rebounds per game to 31.2 rebounds per game for opponents. Columbia has outrebounded its opponent 11 times in its first 15 games this season and outrebounded Cornell 40-30 in last Saturday’s victory over the Big Red.
LIFE BEGINS AT 70
Columbia has scored more than 70 points 10 times this season, averaging 74.5 points per game, tops in the Ivy League.
THE HISTORY NOTE – CORNELL
Columbia leads the all-time series with Cornell 119-96 in one of the most played rivalries in college basketball. Columbia is looking to sweep the season series with Cornell for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign. Columbia’s last win at Cornell came on January 21, 2006 in Ithaca when Dragutin Kravic hit a three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to give the Lions a 58-57 win.
ALL THINGS GREAT AND SMALL
Each of Columbia’s last 10 games have been decided by six points or fewer. The Lions have a 8-2 record during that span.
COLUMBIA AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
In the latest NCAA rankings, Columbia is represented several times among the top 100 in the nation, out of the 336 Division I teams ranked. Stats are through January 16.
Category Rank Actual
Win-Loss Percentage 95th 66.7
Scoring Offense 76th 74.5
3-Point Field Goal Pct. 70th 37.1
Rebound Margin 23rd +6.8
Category Player Rank Actual
Scoring Noruwa Agho 93rd 16.9
Free Throw Pct. Brian Barbour 14th 90.3
Assists/Game Noruwa Agho 76th 4.6
Assist/Turnover Ratio Brian Barbour 36th 2.4
AGHO EARNS THIRD IVY LEAUGE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
Junior guard Noruwa Agho was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week on January 17, his third weekly award this season. The honor came after Agho scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds in Columbia’s 79-75 victory over Cornell on Jan. 15 to start the Ivy League season.
NORUWA REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
Noruwa Agho has had a terrific start to the season, taking his all-around game to another level after his All-Ivy and All-Metropolitan sophomore season. A three-time Ivy League Player of the Week this season, Agho leads the Ivy League in scoring. Through 15 games, Agho is averaging team highs in points (16.9 ppg), assists (4.6 apg) and is averaging 5.3 rebounds per contest. Agho has scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games and has done that 20 times during his career. In his last three games, the New City, N.Y. native is averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and is connecting on 51 percent of his field goals.
COLUMBIA CAREER POINTS
24. Juan Mitchell (1976-79) 984
25. Rudy Milkey (1955-58) 978
26. Noruwa Agho (2008-present) 963
27. Dave Newmark (1965-66, 67-68) 953
Sophomore guard Brian Barbour has started every game after the season opener and has played extremely well during his first full season as a starter. Over the last five games, Barbour is averaging 16.6 points and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from three-point range. This season, Barbour has posted a sparkling 2.4:1 assist to turnover ratio.
Columbia rookie guard Steve Frankoski has scored in double figures eight times this season and leads the team with 35 three-point field goals. In the win vs. Cornell on Jan. 15, Frankoski scored 11 points, making three of four from three-point range. He also sank two clutch free throws in the final minute that gave Columbia a three-point lead at the time.
YOU’RE ON THE MARK, CISCO
Sophomore center Mark Cisco has come on strong recently, averaging 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds while making 70 percent of his field goals over the last five games, each of which he has started in the Columbia frontcourt. In his last game vs. Cornell, Cisco scored 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the Lions’ 79-75 win.
A SENSE O’ SOMETHING GOOD
Senior forward Asenso Ampim made his first start of the season on January 2 vs. Elon and had a strong game with 14 points and eight rebounds in a season-high 30 minutes. Ampim made eight of his 10 attempts from the foul line and came down with four offensive rebounds in the effort.
JOHNNY ON THE SPOT
Sophomore forward John Daniels has also come on strong in recent weeks. In Columbia’s 76-73 win at Lafayette on Jan. 5, Daniels pulled down nine rebounds, a season high for the 6-7 forward, who also had two steals, a blocked shot and a thunderous dunk in which he drew a foul midway through the second half.
STARKS SWISHING AND DISHING
Dyami Starks has provided an offensive spark off the Columbia bench all season, especially in the Lions’ comeback win at American on Nov. 28. Starks poured in 15 of his career-high 20 points in the second half, and buried a go-ahead three-pointer with 40 seconds left to put Columbia ahead 62-60. Starks has scored in double figures five times off the bench for the Lions.
Senior center Zack Crimmins returned to action against Maine on Dec. 30, after six weeks on the sideline with an injury. Crimmins came back seamlessly, scoring eight points on four of seven from the field. He also added three rebounds in the win.
First-year guard Van Green has made a big impact off the Columbia bench recently. At Lafayette on Jan. 5, Green provided a first-half spark, helping the Lions to an 11-point halftime lead. In the win, Green finished with six points and a pair of steals.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS
Senior forward Brian Grimes has been solid on the glass this season. Against a physical St. John’s front line on November 17, Grimes grabbed 14 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive glass. The 14 rebounds were a career best for Grimes, who has pulled down at least eight rebounds in four games this season.
Senior center Max Craig has been a force on the interior in the early season. Craig has been extremely efficient from the field in at home this season, shooting 17 of 22 from the field (77.3 percent). In Columbia’s win vs. Bryant on Dec. 11, Craig scored eight points and added two rebounds.
Junior guard Steve Egee made a big impact off the bench in Columbia’s 74-71 win over Maine on Dec. 30, scoring a season-high 10 points, draining all three of his shots from three-point range. Egee’s three-pointer with two minutes left stemmed a Maine rally and gave the Lions a seven-point cushion at the time.
LIONS AT LEVIEN
Columbia has won seven of its first eight home games this season and 10 of its last 13 at Levien Gymnasium. Columbia sports a record of 210-188 all-time at Levien Gymnasium and has posted winning records at home in each of the last seven seasons, including the 2010-11 campaign.
Against Lafayette on Jan. 5, Columbia posted a season-high eight blocked shots. It was the most for a Columbia team since a January 2005 game vs. Cornell. Noruwa Agho had five blocked shots on his own, including a block on the final play of the game, a potential game-tying three-pointer. Agho’s five blocks were the most since Chris Wiedemann ‘03 had six blocked shots against Yale in January 2003.
BLOCK PARTY II
Sophomore center Mark Cisco leads the Lions with 10 blocked shots this season and has registered two blocks in each of Columbia’s last three games.
WALK THE LINE
In the victory over Cornell on Jan. 15, Columbia made 22 of its 26 free throw attempts.