Behind a balanced attack, Columbia tops Colgate

Columbia used a strong second half to recover from a halftime deficit and hold off Colgate, 69-64, this afternoon in Morningside Heights.

Four Lions scored in double digits — Maodo Lo (15), Cory Osetkowski (14), Steve Frankoski (13) and Kyle Castlin (12) — while Isaac Cohen contributed 10 assists. Cohen became the first Lion to post double-figure assists since Brian Barbour did it against Elon in 2012.

Check out our two-minute recap, with audio from Kyle Smith.

Colgate suffered an injury to their leading scorer on the season, Alaska native Damon Sherman-Newsome, midway through the first half, but that didn’t stop the visitors from putting a scare into Columbia. In particular, the Light Blue struggled to stop the shooting of senior center Ethan Jacobs, who posted a career-high 26 points. On the afternoon, the Raiders shot 52 percent from the field and 53 percent from long-range.

The Lions put together an unusually dominant performance on the glass, picking up 33 boards to Colgate’s 16. Columbia’s 13 offensive boards — led by Osetkowski with three — led to 10 second-chance points, and helped to outlast the strong shooting performance by the Raiders.

The final 90 seconds were unnecessarily dramatic for the surprisingly strong crowd of more than 1400 in Levien. The Lions expanded their lead to 12 on a set of free throws from Jeff Coby, and the win seemed assured, but a string of Raider buckets and Lion turnovers saw the lead cut to 3 with just 17 seconds left. With a chance to tie, Jacobs missed an extremely optimistic three-point attempt, and Lo sank two free throws to see the win.

The Lions improve to 7-4, including 6-1 in the friendly fortress of Levien – they’re now 20-5 there over the past two seasons. The Light Blue next take the court on Tuesday in a road derby against cross-borough rival St. Francis Brooklyn.

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