Columbia’s Carly Rivera, held scoreless through regulation, hit three straight triples late in the second overtime to help the Lions break away from Georgetown and secure a hard-fought 66-56 victory Sunday.
With the win, the Light Blue move to 5-0 for the first time in program history.
In a game where the defenses were key, Columbia finished the first frame up 8-4. The Lions held a 12-8 lead five minutes later when sophomore guard Abbey Hsu hit a pair of treys and first-year forward Noa Comesaa added two layups to spark the visitors on a 10-2 run. Down 12 with under a minute remaining, the Hoyas’ Graceann Bennett and Yasmin Ott made a pair of buckets to make it a 22-14 game at the half.
The Lions’ offensive struggles continued in the third quarter, when they were held to only six points on 14% shooting. The Hoyas (2-2), meanwhile, opened up the second half scoring the first seven points and using a 10-2 run to knot the game at 24 with only two minutes remaining. A Kelsey Ransom layup at the buzzer gave Georgetown its first lead of the day, 28-27.
A layup by junior guard/forward Kaitlyn Davis seconds into the fourth quarter reclaimed the lead for Columbia and a pair of three pointers by Hsu and junior guard Jaida Patrick made it 36-31 with seven minutes left in regulation. The Lions still clung on to a five-point advantage at the three-minute mark, but the Hoyas used a late 8-3 run to tie the game at 42 and send it into overtime.
In the first extra session, Columbia was ahead 47-46 when Rivera hit a triple, her first points of the day, to make it 50-46 with three minutes to go. Georgetown’s Milan Bolden-Morris immediately returned the favor with a three of her own to make it a one-point game. A jumper by first-year guard Kitty Henderson extended the Lions’ lead to three before Ransom hit back-to-back layups to give the home team a 53-52 lead with 36 seconds left.
With 24 seconds remaining on the clock, Davis was fouled by Bennett, her fifth of the day, sending her to the line for two. Davis sank the first but missed the second, giving the home team a chance to finish the game. Ariel Jenkins missed a layup and Rivera grabbed the rebound to send the game into overtime number two.
The lids on both baskets were sealed over the first two minutes before Rivera hit the first of her back-to-back-to-back shots from the outside. When the junior point guard finished her 9-2 run, the Lions were ahead 62-55 with a minute to go. There would be no more comebacks, as the Hoyas missed their last three shots and three of four free throws.
The victory is Columbia’s second over a high-major conference opponent this season and its fourth straight over a member of the Big East. In addition to the team’s best start, the fourth consecutive season-opening road win extends a program record.
Despite entering the weekend with the Ivy League’s top scoring offense, the Lions managed only 42 points and 30% shooting over the game’s first 40 minutes. Columbia moved back towards the mean in the additional 10 minutes, putting up 24 points and hitting 73% of its attempts. Defensively, they held Georgetown to 36% from the field for the entire game, including 16% in the final frame.
A native of nearby Arlington, Va., Rivera finished with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals, while Hsu ended up with a game-high 18 points and four assists. Davis, meanwhile, was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Bolden-Morris and Bennett had 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the losing effort, while Ransom ended up with 11 points, six assists and five steals.
Megan Griffith’s squad, one of two remaining Ivy women’s teams (the other is Penn) will look to make it six in a row when they take on Stony Brook (5-0) at Levien Gymnasium on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The game, which features a matchup between last week’s CollegeInsider.com’s No. 14 and 15 teams, can be viewed on ESPN+.