Columbia earned a berth in the CIT semifinals with a hard-fought 69-67 win over Ball State at Levien Gym Wednesday.
Junior forward Luke Petrasek hit the game-winning free throws for the Lions, breaking the 67-67 tie with 48 seconds left and registering a crucial block six seconds later. Petrasek also got the game-winning rebound off an intentional missed free throw from Ball State’s Sean Sellers with two seconds left after Sellers missed the free throw.
A Maodo Lo three tied the game at 65-65 with 2:11 remaining after the Lions trailed for most of the second half after the Cardinals broke a 32-32 halftime tie with a 6-0 run and made four three-pointers in the second half.
Columbia senior forward Alex Rosenberg led all scorers with 18 points, 11 of which came from the free throw line. Lo shot 4-for-9 from beyond the arc for 16 points.
The Lions’ win is Columbia’s 23rd of the season, which ties a program record set in 1950-51.
Columbia will play in the semifinals of the CIT on Sunday, March 27 at 6 p.m. at Levien, opponent to be determined Thursday.