The Columbia women’s basketball nonconference schedule was released on July 30 and the league potion of the schedule was finalized on Monday morning. Coach Megan Griffith’s Lions have a 13 game pre-Ivy schedule featuring seven home contests and four games against NCAA Tournament teams.
After starting the season on the road at Albany and opening up the home slate against St. Joseph’s, Columbia faces three straight NCAA teams in an eight day period. First up is Fordham on November 10. The Atlantic 10 champion Rams were 25-9 last season, including a 68-49 victory over the Lions.
Five days later, the Light Blue travel to upstate New York to take on defending MAC champion Buffalo. Two years ago, Felisha Legette-Jack’s Bulls, visited Levien Gymansium and escaped with a buzzer-beating 65-63 win. Buffalo would eventually go on to the Sweet 16 that season. The Lions close the streak at NEC champion Robert Morris on November 17.
Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Columbia opens a four game homestand with games against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Georgetown, Davidson and NJIT. The Hoyas, out of the Big East, defeated Harvard and Providence on its way to last year’s WNIT quarterfinals. The Davidson game will be the program’s first in 25 years against the Atlantic 10’s Wildcats.
Before New Year’s Eve, Columbia will travel to the Volunteer State, home of junior guard Riley Casey, for back-to-back games against Vanderbilt from the SEC and Tennessee State of the Ohio Valley Conference. Right after the start of 2020, the Lions close out the non-conference schedule by welcoming Mercer (and graduate assistant Cy Lippold) to Levien. The Bears, undefeated in the Southern Conference and 25-8 overall a year ago, were upset by the Lions 72-68 for the biggest win of the Griffith era.
Columbia will start league play on January 18 and 25 with back-to-back games against travel partner Cornell. Last year, both teams won at home to split the season series. After home games against Yale and Brown, the Lions will travel south to take on defending regular season co-champions Penn and Princeton.
Following visits from Dartmouth and Harvard on February 14 and 15, the Lions will head out on a crucial four-game road trip that will see the team taking on the Bears, Bulldogs, Crimson and Big Green. Columbia finishes the regular season on March 6 and 7, when the Tigers and Quakers come to New York.
The Lions graduated Abby Lee, who played in 21 games and averaged 5.6 minutes per game. Josie Little and Sarah Elston also finished their four years on Morningside Heights, but both missed the last several seasons due to injury. Three first-years, Kaitlyn Davis, Abbey Hsu, and Carly Rivera arrive to take their places on the roster.
The Lions went 8-19 overall and 4-10 in the Ivy League last season. Despite finishing the year in seventh place, there were plenty of reasons for optimism heading into this season. Columbia had one of the youngest teams in the conference with first-years Sienna Durr, Mikayla Markham and Madison Hardy getting major minutes.
Durr, who averaged 14.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, was named second team All-Ivy and became Columbia’s first-ever Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Markham led the conference with 4.6 points per game and Hardy’s 7.7 points per game was tops for Ivy bench players.
These three will be joined by All-Ivy honorable mention senior guard Janiya Clemmons, who averaged 12 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, and Casey, who added 12.4 points and 2.4 made threes per game, to help the Lions make a run at its first ever bid to the Ivy Tournament.
2019-20 Columbia Women’s Basketball Schedule
11/5 Tue. at Albany
11/7 Thu. vs St. JOSEPH’S
11/10 Sun. vs FORDHAM
11/15 Fri. at Buffalo
11/17 Sun. at Robert Morris
11/23 Sat. at Army
11/30 Sat. vs WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE
12/6 Fri. vs GEORGETOWN
12/9 Mon. vs DAVIDSON
12/21 Sat. vs NJIT
12/29 Sun. at Vanderbilt
12/30 Mon. at Tennessee State
1/4 Sat. vs MERCER
1/18 Sat. vs CORNELL
1/25 Sat. at Cornell
1/31 Fri. vs YALE
2/1 Sat. vs BROWN
2/7 Fri. at Penn
2/8 Sat. at Princeton
2/14 Fri. vs DARTMOUTH
2/15 Sat. vs HARVARD
2/21 Fri. at Brown
2/22 Sat. at Yale
2/28 Fri. at Harvard
2/29 Sat. at Dartmouth
3/6 Fri. vs PRINCETON
3/7 Sat. vs PENN