NEW YORK - Columbia will meet Cornell for the second straight weekend on Saturday, January 28 in Ithaca, N.Y. Game time is at 7 p.m. The Lions have won five of their last seven games and are winners of 12 of the last 15.
The Lions won the first game 61-56 at Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, January 21, behind a monster game by junior Mark Cisco, who totaled 18 points and 20 rebounds, a gym record. The Lions held Cornell to 33.9 percent shooting and made clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Fans can listen live to Saturday's game via SideLION Pass, no subscription required, with Jerry Recco (@JerryRecco) and Dalen Cuff (@DCuff21) on the call. Columbia's student radio station, WKCR 89.9 FM, will also broadcast the game. Live stats and game notes are also available.
CISCO NAMED IVY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Mark Cisco earned his first career Ivy League Player of the Week honor after he posted 18 points and 20 rebounds last time out vs. Cornell. Cisco set a Levien Gym record for rebounds in a single game and the 18 points also matched Cisco’s career high. It was Cisco’s second straight double-double and his third of the season. He was dominant in the game, playing a season-high 36 minutes, shooting five of nine from the field and eight of nine from the foul line. Two of those free throws came with Columbia ahead by two points and with 21 seconds on the clock. Stepping to the line in a one-and-one situation in a two-point game (56-54) with 21 seconds remaining in the game, Cisco calmly sank both free throws to give the Lions a four-point advantage and two-possession lead.
BARBOUR RUNNING THE SHOW
Junior guard Brian Barbour has scored in double figures in each of the last five games and is averaging 21.3 points per game during Ivy League action, which is tops in the league. In Columbia’s last game vs. Cornell, Barbour scored 15 points and added six rebounds, five assists and two steals. The weekend before, Barbour scored 25 points in each of Columbia’s games against Penn and Princeton to begin Ivy League play. Barbour currently leads the squad in scoring, assists, steals, free throw percentage and minutes played.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
Columbia’s defense ranks 18th in the nation in scoring defense. The Lions yield an average of 59 points per game to opponents and are allowing teams to shoot 39.3 percent from the field. That number ranks 36th in the country out of 345 Division I schools. Columbia has also improved at defending the three, as teams shoot 32.2 percent from long distance against the Lions.
THE HISTORY NOTE - CORNELL
Columbia leads the all-time series with Cornell 121-96 in one of the most played rivalries in college basketball. The Lions have won three straight games in the series after Cornell had won the previous nine meetings. Columbia has a chance to sweep the season series for the second straight year.
COACHES VS. CANCER SUITS AND SNEAKERS
The Columbia coaching staff, along with all the other coaching staffs around the Ivy League, will participate in Coaches vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers® Weekend, Jan. 27-29. The Columbia coaches will wear sneakers with their suits to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Away from home, Columbia is 6-3 on the season, including two neutral-site games. The Lions won their last two road games, at Colgate and at Elon, to end their non-conference schedule.
LIFE BEGINS AT 60
The number 60 has been a significant one during Columbia’s 2011-12 season. The Lions are 10-0 when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer. Columbia also has an 10-1 record when scoring 60 points or more.
Columbia’s senior class has won 50 games during its four years on the court. The group has a chance to combine for the most wins over a four-year period since the class of 1979, headlined by Alton Byrd and Ricky Free, which won 56 games from the 1975-76 season to 1978-79.
COLUMBIA CONTROLLING THE GLASS
In 12 of its first 19 games, Columbia has totaled more rebounds than its opponents. In the game vs. Cornell on January 21, the Lions outrebounded the Big Red 45-29.
Columbia’s last five games have been decided by seven points or fewer.
THEY WALK THE LINE
The Lions have been getting it done at the free throw line lately, shooting better than 78 percent in each of their last six games. During that span, Columbia has made 90 of 109 free throw attempts (82.6 percent).
In the last five minutes of games, Columbia shoots 76.3 percent from the free throw line, an upgrade over its average of 73.2 percent this season.
THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THE KYLE SMITH ERA
Over the last two seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 27 games. That is the largest total in a head coach’s first two seasons since Buddy Mahar won 27 games over the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 37 games over his first two seasons as head coach, including Columbia’s magical 23-1 campaign in 1950-51.
BALL DON'T LYE
Sophomore guard Meiko Lyles ranks second on the team in scoring this season with 10.5 points per game and is second in steals with 21. Lyles has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 14.4 points per game during that span.
THE BLOOM IS ON ROSENBERG
Rookie Alex Rosenberg has had a strong start to his first collegiate campaign. Named Ivy League Rookie of the Week earlier this season, Rosenberg is averaging 8.4 points per game over the last seven games. He also has contributed at least two assists and at least two rebounds in each of those contests.
GO, JOHNNY, GO
Junior forward John Daniels has provided a big lift recently in Columbia’s frontcourt. In the game vs. Cornell on January 21, Daniels had six rebounds, two assists and a big basket during the second half after Cornell had made it a one-point game. He ranks second on the team in rebounds at 6.1 per game.
BLAISE OF GLORY
Senior forward Blaise Staab provided a boost in the game vs. Princeton on January 14. In 21 minutes, Staab pulled down seven rebounds, tying a team high.
CROCKETT ROCKS IT
Senior guard Chris Crockett has provided instant offense off the Columbia bench early this season. In the win against North Texas on Dec. 3, Crockett scored a career-high 12 points on four three-pointers. A day later vs. La Sierra, Crockett matched his career best with four assists and added eight points.
Senior Steve Egee has given Columbia a boost off the bench in recent games. In the league-opening weekend vs. Penn and Princeton, Egee averaged 5.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. The 13 total rebounds were the most by a Columbia player during the two-game weekend.
Rookie Noah Springwater has seen increased court time in recent games and stepped up in Columbia’s 66-59 win at Colgate on January 4. In that game, Springwater made a number of terrific defensive plays and hit two big three-pointers in the game. He played a season-high 26 minutes vs. the Raiders.
Junior Dean Kowalski has given Columbia solid minutes off the bench recently. For the season, Kowalski has dished out 11 assists with just three turnovers. Last time out vs. Cornell, Kowalski played a season-high 11 minutes.
OSETKOWSKI’S BLOCK PARTY
Rookie center Cory Osetkowski leads Columbia with 15 blocked shots this season. In the game at Elon, Osetkowski scored five consecutive points in the second half, helping Columbia tie the game and eventually hold a lead.
CISCO AMONG TOP OFFENSIVE REBOUNDERS
Junior Mark Cisco ranks fourth all-time in offensive rebounds at Columbia after more than two and a half seasons. Offensive rebounds were kept as a separate stat beginning in the 1990-91 season.
CISCO ALSO RANKS IN TOP TEN IN BLOCKS
Not only is Cisco one of Columbia’s top offensive rebounders in recent history, he now ranks among the top ten shot blockers in program history. Blocked shots were first kept as an official statistic beginning in 1984-85.
COLUMBIA AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
Through January 22, Columbia was ranked among the nation’s top 100 teams in several different categories:
|Field Goal Pct Defense||36th||39.3|
|Three-Pointers Per Game||87th||7.2|
|Three-Point FG Pct Defense||93rd||32.2|
|Free Throw Pct||50th||73.2|
|Turnovers Per Game||92nd||13.0|
|Personal Fouls Per Game||43rd||16.2|
|Free Throw Pct||Brian Barbour||18th||89.6|
COLUMBIA ON TV
Columbia will have two upcoming games shown on national television. The February 17 game at Princeton will be shown live on ESPNU and the February 24 game at Yale will be televised on the YES Network.
COLUMBIA BASKETBALL ON THE AIR
For the sixth straight season, every Columbia men’s basketball game will be broadcast live on gocolumbialions.com with a professional broadcast team. Jerry Recco will call the play-by-play while former men’s hoops standout Dalen Cuff ‘06 provides color commentary. WKCR 89.9 FM will also call every Columbia home game and select road games.