Columbia women advance to WNIT Sweet 16 after outlasting Old Dominion, 62-59


Columbia’s historic season continues.

The Lions led the entire second half and hung on late to secure a 62-59 win at Old Dominion in the second round of the WNIT Sunday afternoon in Norfolk, Va.

Columbia (24-6, 12-2 Ivy) proved the more opportunistic team in a sloppy defensive struggle, scoring 24 points off 22 turnovers while Old Dominion (24-10, 12-6 Conference USA) managed just seven points off 19 turnovers by the visitors.

Old Dominion had two late opportunities to tie or take the lead late. The Monarchs got the ball with 5.1 seconds left down 61-59, but junior forward Brianna Jackson’s jump hook was short and Columbia junior guard Jaida Patrick drew a foul in the ensuing scrum. Patrick hit one of two free throws, after which ODU graduate student Iggy Allen lost the ball going up to shoot a three-pointer in the game’s final second.

Allen led all scorers with 21 points on 6-for-15 shooting, and sophomore guard Abbey Hsu led Columbia in scoring with 17 points on 7-for-19 shooting.

But it was Patrick who was arguably the most valuable player of the game, notching five steals in the first quarter to keep Columbia in the game amid a slow start and coming up with key rebounds and steals to seize and extend critical possessions down the stretch.

Patrick finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, eight steals and four assists in 35 minutes. Junior guard/forward Kaitlyn Davis contributed 11 points, nine boards and five helpers for the Lions.

Columbia will face the winner of Quinnipiac at Boston College, who go head to head Monday at 7 p.m. The date of Columbia’s game versus the winner is to be determined, though all third-round games are to take place Wednesday through Saturday.

Columbia trailed 12-5 late in the first quarter. The 6-foot-3 Jackson dominated the paint at both ends six points, three boards and two blocks in just the first seven minutes. But Jackson sat after picking up her second foul and Columbia capitalized on ODU turnovers in transition to take a lead it would never relinquish. The Lions led 27-23 at halftime and 45-40 after three quarters.

Prior to this season, the Lions hadn’t won a postseason game since 1986 and had lost 10 or more Ivy games in nine straight seasons prior to last season’s 8-6 finish.