Columbia women gathering momentum after taking Miami Thanksgiving Tournament title

A double-double from Jaida Patrick helped propel Columbia past Miami to win the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

“I love any buzz about our team,” coach Megan Griffith said at her weekly media availability.  “Anytime somebody’s talking about our program, it’s a good thing.”

After crushing Arkansas-Pine Bluff by 38 and outlasting Miami in front of its home fans en route to winning the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament title Sunday, there’s definitely positive buzz about Columbia women’s basketball.

Just since this weekend’s games, the team has moved up to No. 9 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25. ESPN has listed the Lions as the automatic Ivy League qualifier and a No. 12 seed for the NCAA Tournament.

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Columbia women take down Memphis on opening night

Returning over 96% of the team’s points, rebounds and minutes from last year’s WNIT quarterfinal team, expectations are high for the Columbia women this season.  The Lions took their initial step toward the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament bid with a 77-69 victory over Memphis at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Monday night.

The game was knotted at seven halfway through the opening frame, but the Tigers finished the quarter on a 11-2 run.  Down eight with just over a minute to go, the Lions returned the favor and ended the half on 8-2 run to cut the deficit to two.  Memphis extended the lead to four, 54-50, after three quarters.

But the game would quickly turn in Columbia’s favor.

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2022-23 IHO Women’s Preseason Poll

It’s still Princeton’s conference until another Ivy proves that it isn’t. Our contributors are united in believing that the Tigers will stay on top in 2022-23, with Megan Griffith’s ascendant Columbia program again placing second.

But there wasn’t consensus on how the rest of the top half of the league will fill out.

Penn could break back into the Ivy League Tournament after missing it for the first time last season, but we expect the Red & Blue to draw stiff competition from Harvard and Yale in their first years under new coaches.

Will #2bidivy happen in the league for only the second time in conference history? It very well could, and the bottom half of the conference is likely to be substantially stronger this season as Brown and Dartmouth return more experienced rosters under coaches that now have a year of Ivy play under their belts.

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Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Days 1 & 2

Ivy Madness became Ivy Gladness for Princeton women’s basketball after its 72-67 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.”  Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing.  The opposite is true.  It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this.  It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there.  There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go.  It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton

Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:

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Columbia women defeat Harvard, punch ticket to Ivy Madness

Jaida Patrick scored a season-high 20 points and Abbey Hsu set the program record for three pointers in a season, as the Columbia women (18-4, 9-1 Ivy) held off a determined Harvard (12-11, 6-5 Ivy), 74-70, to earn a spot in the 2022 Ivy League Tournament.

The victory not only ensured the Lions their second straight ticket to the league’s postseason party, but it also tied the school record for wins in a Division I season and an Ivy League campaign (2009-10).

For the first time in the calendar year, the Lions welcomed the general public to Levien Gymnasium and 1,000-plus members of the campus community came out to cheer them on in the team’s annual Play4Kay game to support the Kay Yow Foundation’s fight against cancers that affect women.

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Columbia women stop Penn again, stay unbeaten in Ivies

Columbia junior Kaitlyn Davis posted 17 points, 15 rebounds and five steals in 38 minutes as the Lions swept their season series with Penn Friday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Just nine days after snapping an 18-game losing streak against Penn, the Columbia women on Friday stretched their winning streak against the Quakers to two, this time in Philadelphia, 66-57.

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Columbia women outlast Cornell, 57-46, for best start to Ivy play in program history

After running out to a 24-point lead over the first 7:30 of the game, the Columbia women surprisingly found themselves in a battle with Cornell on Thursday night.  In a typically intense physical battle between the Empire State rivals, the Lions used the offense of Kitty Henderson and the rebounding of Kaitlyn Davis to come away with a 57-46 victory at Levien Gymnasium.

With the win, the Light Blue are 3-0 in league play (12-0 overall) for the first time in program history and remain tied with Princeton for first place.  For the Red, the defeat was their first of the year when holding an opponent to 60 points or less and they are now 1-3 in the conference (6-9 overall).

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Columbia women defeat Georgetown in double overtime, 66-56, to remain unbeaten

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.

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Columbia women cruise past Hampton in season opener

Fresh off a program-high third-place selection in the 2022 Ivy preseason poll, the Columbia women looked ready for even greater heights as they took down Hampton, 78-56, in the season opener at Levien Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

The Lions (1-0), as usual, were led by their dynamic All-Ivy duo of Abbey Hsu and Sienna Durr.  Hsu led all scorers with 22 points on 50% shooting and five three-pointers.  Durr finished with 14 points with 57% shooting and a pair of treys.  Kaitlyn Davis and Duke transfer Jaida Patrick, added 14 and nine points, respectively.

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