NEW YORK - Columbia will welcome Cornell to Levien Gym on Saturday, January 21 at 7 p.m. for the first of two home-and-home games over the next two weekends. The Lions are seeking their first Ivy League win after two narrow losses last weekend to Penn and Princeton.
Cornell split with Princeton and Penn last weekend, winning against the Tigers in its league opener before falling to Penn 64-52 in Ithaca.
Students are admitted free with Columbia or Barnard ID. Tickets to the game are available online or by calling 888-LIONS-11.
Fans can also watch or listen live to the game via SideLION Pass with Jerry Recco (@JerryRecco) and Dalen Cuff (@DCuff21) on the call. WKCR 89.9 FM, Columbia's student radio station, will also call the game. Live stats and game notes are available.
BARBOUR WITH TWO 25 SPOTS IN TWO GAMES
Junior guard Brian Barbour had arguably the two best games of his career in back to back nights last weekend against Penn and Princeton. On Friday vs. Penn, Barbour scored a career-high 25 points and handed out six assists with just two turnovers. A day later vs. Princeton, Barbour matched that career high, scoring 25 again. The 25 points are the most so far during Ivy League play. He was even more efficient against the Tigers, hitting 7-of-11 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and 9-of-11 from the foul line. Barbour has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games and is averaging 23.3 points and 3.7 assists over the last three contests.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
Columbia’s defense has been its calling card early this season. Columbia’s opponents are averaging 59.2 points per game and are shooting 39.6 percent from the field. Columbia’s scoring defense of 59.2 points per game currently ranks 25th in the nation and the field goal percentage defense of 39.6 percent ranks 50th overall.
LIFE BEGINS AT 60
The number 60 has been a significant one during Columbia’s 2011-12 season. The Lions are 9-0 when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer. Columbia also has an 9-1 record when scoring 60 points or more.
THE HISTORY NOTE - CORNELL
Columbia leads the all-time series with Cornell 120-96 in one of the most played rivalries in college basketball. Last season, the Lions swept the season series with Cornell for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Columbia won 79-75 in New York City on January 15 of last year and then captured a 70-66 victory in Ithaca on January 22. Brian Barbour averaged 22.0 points in both wins and Mark Cisco had 14 points, seven rebounds in the home win last year vs. the Big Red.
YOU’RE ON THE MARK, CISCO
Junior center Mark Cisco has extremely well recently, averaging 14.0 points and 6.7 rebounds over the last three games. In Columbia’s last game vs. Princeton, Cisco posted his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He made four of six from the field, grabbed six offensive rebounds and also blocked a shot. A day earlier vs. Penn, Cisco made all five of his field goals for 10 points.
BALL DON'T LYE
Sophomore guard Meiko Lyles ranks second on the team in scoring this season with 10.2 points per game and is first in steals with 1.2 per game. Lyles is shooting 43.8 percent from three-point range this season and earlier this month, he scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Lions to a 15-point victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.
GO, JOHNNY, GO
Junior forward John Daniels has provided a big lift recently in Columbia’s frontcourt. In the game vs. Penn on January 13, Daniels had eight rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal despite being held scoreless. He ranks second on the team in rebounds at 6.1 per game.
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 8.3 points per game over the last six games. He also has contributed at least two assists and at least two rebounds in each of those contests.
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. Last 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.
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.
|10. ||Jason Miller||2005-09||112|
CISCO ALSO NEARING BLOCKED SHOTS TOP TEN
Not only is Cisco one of Columbia’s top offensive rebounders in recent history, he is approaching the top ten in career blocked shots in his junior season.
COLUMBIA AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS
Through January 15, Columbia was ranked among the nation’s top 100 teams in several different categories:
|Field Goal Pct Defense||50th||39.6|
|Three-Pointers Per Game||77th||7.3|
|Free Throw Pct||58th||72.8|
|Turnovers Per Game||71st||12.7|
|Personal Fouls Per Game||42nd||16.2|
|Free Throw Pct||Brian Barbour||18th||89.1|
Columbia’s senior class has won 49 games during its four years with 12 games remaining during the regular season. 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.
THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF THE KYLE SMITH ERA
Over the last two seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has already won 26 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.
LIONS AT LEVIEN
Despite two losses last weekend, Columbia holds a 15-8 record at Levien Gymnasium during the past two seasons.
COLUMBIA CONTROLLING THE GLASS
In 11 of its first 18 games, Columbia has totaled more rebounds than its opponents. Against Princeton on Jan. 14, the Lions held a 36-22 advantage on the glass, including a 14-5 edge in offensive rebounds.
Columbia’s last four 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 more than 80 percent in each of their last five games. During that span, Columbia has made 75 of 90 free throw attempts (83.3 percent).
In the last five minutes of games, Columbia shoots 76.1 percent from the free throw line, an upgrade over its average of 72.8 percent this season.
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.