Columbia women show how to take care of business against Fairleigh Dickinson

Junior guard Abbey Hsu led all scorers with 25 points in Columbia’s WNIT opening-round win over Fairleigh Dickinson Friday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Postseason wins are never to be taken for granted.

Columbia women’s basketball was expected to prevail in its WNIT opening-round matchup against Fairleigh Dickinson at Levien Gym Friday, and it did just that in a ho-hum 69-53 victory.

But as the Knights fell to the Lions Friday night, their No. 16-seeded men’s counterparts shocked the basketball world by toppling No. 1 Purdue in the Round of 64 in a 63-58 triumph.

It says a lot about the advancement of Columbia (24-5, 12-2 Ivy) under coach Megan Griffith that the Lions have transitioned from going without a postseason win for its first 36 years in Division I to being well-positioned to make a deep WNIT run for the second season in a row.

And the Lions made history of their own against Fairleigh Dickinson (24-8, 14-2 NEC) Friday night.

Seniors Kaitlyn Davis and Sienna Durr joined the 1,000-point club in the win, Griffith’s 95th in six seasons at Columbia, putting her at the top of the program all-time wins list above Nancy Kalafus, who helmed the program from 1984 to 1991.

The Lions will host Fordham Monday at 7 p.m.

Columbia didn’t get it done against Fairleigh Dickinson with hot shooting. The Lions shot a woeful 6-for-33 (18.2%) from three-point range and 27-for-75 (36%) overall from the field. But Columbia’s defense carried the day, with the visitors committing 16 turnovers and struggling to convert inside throughout.

The Lions were never seriously threatened after a 21-point second quarter resulted in a 40-29 halftime edge.

Junior guard Abbey Hsu led all scorers with 25 points on 10-for-22 shooting, eight rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes.