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 finally make the Pirates walk the plank

Abbey Hsu led Columbia to a win over Seton Hall Thursday that avenged the Lions’ WNIT loss to the Pirates last season, notching a team-high 19 points, including a 4-for-6 three-point shooting performance. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

It took 234 days, but Columbia women’s basketball got its revenge on Seton Hall, the team that came out victorious in last year’s WNIT Quarterfinal, in a 83-76 victory on Thursday night.

“I’m so proud of our team. We’ve had this game circled on our calendar for a while, since March 28,” head coach Megan Griffith said in a postgame interview. “It was just an opportunity for us to come back and battle with a really great Seton Hall program.”

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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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Columbia women bow out in WNIT Elite Eight loss to Seton Hall, 78-75, ending best season in program history

Columbia sophomore guard Abbey Hsu got off to a hot start in the WNIT Elite Eight after a cold shooting performance in the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 78-75 loss to Seton Hall Monday night. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

The best season in Columbia women’s basketball history is over.

Columbia came up on the low end of a see-saw showdown at Levien Gym Monday night, bowing out to Seton Hall, 78-75, in the Elite Eight round of the WNIT.

The Lions’ appearance in the WNIT national quarterfinals came after wins in each of the tournament’s first three rounds – the program’s first postseason wins since it joined Division I in 1986.

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Ivy women’s weekend: Saturday separation

The Ivy League’s most prolific three-point shooter, Columbia sophomore guard Abbey Hsu ranks second in the Ivy League in scoring and third in minutes and is likely to play a pivotal role in Columbia’s tilt against Princeton Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

As the calendar moves into February, we have reached the midpoint of the Ivy season.  While this weekend brings the first back-to-back games of the season, Saturday night looks to be the more pivotal evening for the women’s division.  Each game pits teams from the four tiers of the conference against one another.

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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 win fifth straight, make big push toward Ivy Madness

Columbia rode its stingy second half defense, Abbey Hsu’s hot fourth quarter shooting and its deep bench to beat Harvard, 62-57, notching its fifth straight win and moving within a game of its first-ever birth in the Ivy Tournament.

Harvard (14-10, 5-6 Ivy) entered Friday night’s contest on a three-game losing streak, including an 89-64 defeat at Columbia (16-8, 7-4) two weeks ago. The Crimson hoped a return to Lavietes Pavilion, where the team was 8-2 on the season, would help turn the tide and return team back to the league’s upper division.

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Columbia defeats Yale, 74-65, moves into third-place tie as Sienna Durr leads the way

After Yale cut a 16-point third-quarter deficit to two early in the fourth quarter, Columbia got four three-pointers from four different players to pull away and grab a 74-65 win over the Bulldogs at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday evening.

The two teams battled evenly through most of the first quarter, when Tori Andrew hit a driving left side layup to put Yale (16-7, 6-4 Ivy) up 13-11. The Lions (15-8, 6-4) responded with a 21-2 run between the last two minutes of the first quarter and the first 3:15 of the second frame to open up a 17-point lead.

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Yale women use dominant second half to defeat Columbia for seventh straight win

Leading by only three at the half, Yale used a 50-point effort over the last 20 minutes to convincingly beat Columbia, 85-60, taking the first leg of its Empire State weekend.

A battle between two of the Ivy’s up-and-coming programs started with the visitors jumping out to a quick 10-0 start.  The Lions (10-6, 1-2 Ivy) battled back to tie the game at 15 by the end of the first quarter, with 12 of those points being scored by Ivy rookies Abbey Hsu, Hannah Pratt (a sophomore who missed all last year), Kaitlyn Davis and Carly Rivera.

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair with four lead changes and four ties, leaving the game knotted at 32 after Rivera nailed a jumper from the right baseline with just under a minute to go.  Yale senior Roxy Barahman calmly sank a shot from the top of the key, beyond the men’s line, to put the Bulldogs up 35-32 to finish the half.

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What each Ivy women’s team’s fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving season

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which means it’s time to take stock of what followers of each Ivy women’s team should be thankful for at this point of the season:

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