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.

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Abbey Hsu makes history as Columbia women shoot past Holy Cross, 80-69, in first round of WNIT

Abbey Hsu etched her name all over the record books in Columbia’s first-round WNIT win Wednesday night, setting the Ivy League record for three-pointers in a season and a program career record for threes. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

It was a historic night for Columbia women’s basketball.

The Lions won their first non-Ivy League Tournament postseason game since joining Division I in 1986 Wednesday night by topping Holy Cross at Levien Gym, 80-69, in the first round of the WNIT as All-Ivy first-teamer Abbey Hsu made a lot of history of her own.

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No. 1 Princeton women declaw No. 2 Columbia, 77-59, to win Ivy League Tournament and earn NCAA Tournament berth

Princeton celebrates its Ivy League Tournament title and automatic NCAA Tournament berth secured via a 77-59 win over Columbia at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday evening. (photo by Rob Browne)

The Princeton women showed off all the things that make them the cream of the Ivies Saturday as they declawed the No. 2 Columbia Lions, 77-59, in the Ivy Madness final.

The Tigers (24-4) head to the NCAA tournament undefeated in Ivy play, having won all but one league game — the dramatic semifinal against Harvard, this year’s tournament host — by double digits.

“The Tigers were just locked in to the game plan, to the scouting report, what we needed to do, what we thought would make us successful out there,” Princeton coach Carla Berube said. ”

Guard Kaitlyn Chen — in her first year of college play, like other Ivy sophomores — scored a career-high 30 points for the Tigers on 9-for-13 shooting plus 11 of 14 free throws and was named the tournament MVP.

Chen was just listening to her teammates.

“It definitely helps knowing my teammates have my back and they’re always there for me, and they keep telling me to shoot,” Chen said.

“I’m just glad, coach, thank you, that we got Kaitlyn Chen, because she’s an absolute baller at both ends of the court,” Ivy Player of the Year Abby Meyers said.

Meyers and Julia Cunningham had 16 points apiece, and Grace Stone had 12. The Tigers shot 48% from the field and collected 23 points on free throws as the Lions struggled to catch up.

Coach Megan Griffith’s Columbia team (22-6, 12-2 in the regular Ivy season) managed to come back twice. After facing an early deficit, they finished the first quarter tied at 16 and pushed to a three-point lead early in the second. And after Princeton built a 17-point lead in the third quarter, Columbia’s Abbey Hsu and Jaida Patrick combined for key baskets to make things interesting. Hsu finished with 16 points and Patrick with 13, and Columbia had a more than respectable 42% shooting night. That included 36% on threes — but the Tigers were more efficient there, too, at 46%.

What Columbia couldn’t do for any stretch of time was evade Princeton’s relentless defense, and frustration also seemed to contribute to the Lions’ 20 turnovers (to just eight for the Tigers). Princeton blocked six shots and committed nine steals.

“I’m not happy with that effort. They shouldn’t be either,” Griffith said of her players. “We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight. That’s not good enough against a good program. You’ve just got to want it more and you’ve got to show up, and we didn’t do that today.”

Meyers was the game’s only starter not expected to return next season, positioning Princeton and Columbia well for future matchups with more Ivy hardware on the line.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of great competitions between Columbia and Princeton in the future,
Griffith said. “I’m personally looking forward to that. I love a good rivalry … Penn and Princeton kind of had that in the last decade or so, but I do think that we are right there and you will see us in this rivalry for a long time to come.”

“They really have a great nucleus that [was] out there,” Berube said. ” … Yeah, I think it could be a really good rivalry for a lot of years.”

For now, though, the Tigers are top cats in the Ivy League, and they now turn their attention to the Big Dance.

“I’m just thinking about all these pieces that have been so monumental to get us at this place and it’s been such a great journey,” Berube said. “And I just don’t want it to end.”

 

“We’re not done”: Columbia throttle Yale in Ivy League Tournament women’s semifinal

Columbia junior forward Hannah Pratt and the Lions savored their Ivy League Tournament semifinal romp over Yale at Lavietes Pavilion Friday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)
The time-honored expression that it is difficult to beat a team three times in a season was debunked by Columbia Friday night in the second Ivy League Tournament semifinal at Lavietes Pavilion.
The high-flying Lions completed the season sweep with a 67-38 wire-to-wire win.
“I hope you all enjoyed watching Columbia play today,” Columbia coach Megan Griffith said to open the Lions’ postgame press conference. “We’re not done.”

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Princeton women clinch share of Ivy League title with dominant win at Columbia

Princeton sophomore guard Kaitlyn Chen scored a career-high 27 points and committed no turnovers in 40 minutes in the Tigers’ Ivy League title share-clinching win at Columbia Wednesday night. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Congratulations to Carla Berube and her Tiger quintet upon clinching at least a tie for the Ivy League regular season championship, her second in two seasons. The Tigers achieved their goal by soundly thumping their closest pursuers, the Columbia Lions, 73-53, at a delightfully packed Levien Gym on Wednesday afternoon. Can Kyrie’s return to Brooklyn be far behind?

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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 outlast Yale, 65-57

Abbey Hsu played all 40 minutes in Columbia’s win over Yale Saturday, posting 18 points and six rebounds. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

It was a big game for both teams, but it was arguably even bigger for Yale.

The inconsistent Bulldogs sat at 6-3 and Columbia at 7-1 in Ivy play entering Saturday’s fray. Yale very much wanted to separate from Harvard and avoid the Columbia season sweep.

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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 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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