...Columbia also travels for its rematch with Cornell this weekend. It’s hard to say that any game is a must-win with 10 games remaining in the conference season, but the loser will find itself at 1-3 and three games out of first in a league where 11-3 probably won’t be good enough to win. It’s no exaggeration to say that either the Lions or the Big Red will be effectively eliminated from the title race before the end of January...
• Mark Cisco was selected Ivy League Player of the Week for his efforts in Columbia’s 61-56 victory over Cornell. The junior center set a Levien Gym record with 20 rebounds against the Big Red, and he tied his career high with 18 points. Two of those points came when he went to the line with 21 seconds left in a game the Lions led by two and knocked down both ends of a one-and-one.
• Cornell was in search of its outside shooting stroke. Through its first three Ivy League games, the Big Red was 9-for-47 from 3-point range in conference play.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Key Games To Watch:
Columbia at Cornell
The Lions won the opener between these teams behind a huge game from Mark Cisco and a poor shooting night from the Big Red. One of those will have to change for Cornell to take the rematch.
• Sophomore G Meiko Lyles continued his every-other-game streak when he scored 15 points in the Lions’ victory over the Big Red. He had scored four points in his previous game against Princeton, and that came a day after he scored 11 against Penn. The same pattern held true in his previous two games, when he scored 21 against Colgate and followed that out with four against Elon.
• One red flag for the Lions against Cornell was their lack of poise against pressure defense. The Big Red forced 18 Columbia turnovers, 12 in the second half, including a pair in the final two minutes that got Cornell within two points with less than 30 seconds to play.
• Freshman G Noah Springwater got 20 minutes off the bench against Cornell, by far his most in Ivy League play. He finished with three points and a steal, and he only turned the ball over once against the Cornell pressure.
• Junior G Brian Barbour made all four of his free-throw attempts against Cornell, putting him at 89.6 percent for the season. Though that’s impressive, it’s actually worse than he managed last season, when he shot 91.7 percent from the line.
• Freshman F Shonn Miller had a brilliant opening weekend in Ivy League play, scoring 12 points against Princeton and 19 against Pennsylvania. However, the freshman had more trouble finding his shot against Columbia, missing all four shots from the field against the Lions.
• One thing Cornell will have to do in its rematch with Columbia is find an answer for Lions big man Mark Cisco. In the first meeting between the teams last weekend, Cisco dominated to the tune of 18 points and 20 rebounds. The Big Red as a team managed just 29 boards to Columbia’s 45.
• Senior G Chris Wroblewski entered the week in a tremendous shooting slump. He went 3-for-13 from the floor in the loss to the Lions, including an 0-for-7 performance from 3-point range, though he did make all eight free-throw attempts. Over the past three games through Jan. 22, he was shooting 6-for-25 from the floor.
• Junior G Jonathan Gray was a bright spot off the bench against Columbia. He scored 12 points and also added four rebounds and a steal.