The Columbia men's basketball team will head to Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 19 to open up Ivy League play. The game will be televised nationally beginning at 3:00 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network, with Randy Moss and former Lions' standout Dalen Cuff on the call.
Fans can also catch the action on www.gocolumbialions.com or through the Columbia Athletics app on mobile devices. Jerry Recco and Sal Licata will bring you all the action.
Columbia has had an 11-day layoff since a 78-69 loss at Holy Cross on Jan. 8. The Crusaders’ Justin Burrell scored 17 first-half points to give his team a nine-point lead at the break, while Dave Dudzinski poured in 24 in the second frame to hold off the Lions. First-year Grant Mullins led the way for Columbia with 16 points and five rebounds.
BIG RED’S STATUS
Cornell comes into Ivy League play winners of two-straight after topping Old Westbury, 103-84, in a shootout on Jan. 12. The Panthers took a seven-point lead early in the second half before the Big Red went on a 22-1 run to take firm control of the contest. Cornell shot 63.1 percent from the field and .591 from beyond the arc. Johnathan Gray scored 24 points, with six 3-pointers, and added seven rebounds to lead five double-figure scorers.
HISTORY NOTES - CORNELL
Columbia leads the all-time series with Cornell, 121-97, in one of the most played rivalries in college basketball. The Lions have won three of the last four meetings between the squads. Columbia and the Big Red split the season series last year.
COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE OPENERS
The Lions are 25-31 all-time in Ivy League openers, and are 1-1 under the direction of Kyle Smith. Columbia is beginning the conference slate against Cornell for the fourth time in five years. The Lions have not won a road game to begin Ivy League play since a 74-64 win against the Big Red on Jan. 16, 1993.
COLUMBIA IN IVY LEAGUE ROAD OPENERS
Columbia has an 18-38 record in Ivy League road openers and are winless since a 69-66 overtime victory at Cornell on Jan. 22, 2000.
The Lions had five players score in double-figures at Holy Cross on Jan. 8, marking the first time they have achieved that feat since Feb. 24, 2012 against Yale.
FIRST THREE SEASONS OF THE SMITH ERA
Over the last two-plus seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 38 games. That is the largest total since Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 56 games in his first three seasons on the bench.
FRANKIE SAYS RELAX
Steve Frankoski has found the range, scoring in double-figures in each of the last five games. He has knocked down 20-of-35 (57 percent) of his attempts from downtown during that span.
TIS THE SEASON
Senior Brian Barbour was a giving mood during the holiday season this year. On Dec. 22 vs. Elon, Barbour handed out a career-high 12 assists, and has back-to-back games of six assists. The Alamo, Calif., product is second in the league, averaging 5.3 dimes per game. He now has 304 career assists, to put him for sixth on the all-time list and is the first Columbia player to record 1,000 career points and 300 assists.
Sophomore Noah Springwater has come off the bench in the second half the Lions’ wins against Manhattan and Colgate, providing a defensive lift in key spots. His strong on-ball defense has helped weather late runs by opponents. In addition, he is a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range during the stretch.
SKY IS THE LIMIT
Sophomore forward Skylar Scrivano made his collegiate debut against Manhattan on Dec. 29 after missing all of last year and the first 10 games this season due to injuries. Scrivano provided strong defense in his 13 minutes of action and a ferocious dunk.
YOU CAN CALL ME AL
Sophomore Alex Rosenberg continued his steady play after posting 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-high four steals against Manhattan on Dec. 29. He is averaging 10.4 points and 4.7 boards per game. The Lions are also 5-2 when Rosenberg scores in double-figures this season.
Senior Brian Barbour became just the 25th player in Columbia history to eclipse 1,000 career points in the first half of the Lions’ win at American on Dec. 9. He is the first player to join the prestigious club since Noruwa Agho accomplished the feat during the 2010-11 season.
NOT BAD FOR A ROOKIE, EH?
First-year Grant Mullins earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after his career-high 20-point effort at American on Dec. 10. Mullins’ first accolade came on Nov. 26 after averaging 14 points in three games and shooting a scorching 11-for-19 (57.8%) from beyond the arc.