Columbia women’s basketball will face stiff tests in the 2023-24 nonconference slate.
The Lions will host Duke and Seton Hall at Levien Gym next season in addition to making a previously announced trip to Bahamas to join the Baha Mars Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship 10-team field in November.
After a historic season for Columbia women’s basketball in which the Lions earned their first ever Ivy League regular season championship and WNIT Final appearance, coach Megan Griffith has signed a five-year extension that will keep her in Morningside Heights through the 2027-28 season.
Griffith, a King of Prussia, Pa. native, played point guard for Columbia from 2003 to 2007 and captained the team for her last three years. Over that time, she twice earned All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy accolades. Following three years of professional basketball in Europe, she joined Courtney Banghart’s staff at Princeton, where she was director of basketball operations, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
When Columbia athletic director Peter Pilling tabbed the then-30-year-old to be the team’s head coach in March 2016, the Lions had just finished a five-year period in which they went 34-107 (.241) overall and 10-60 (.142) in the Ivy League.
“This is my home and I can’t thank Peter Pilling enough for taking a chance on me seven years ago. The buy-in and investment from our administration are unmatched in the history of our program and the Ivy League in general,” the coach told Columbia Athletics. “We’ve created something special for our community, our campus, our alumni and our fans, and I know we will continue to build on that.”
The deepest run for an Ivy League team in WNIT history ended in defeat in the tournament final Saturday as Columbia fell at Kansas, 66-59, before an Allen Fieldhouse crowd of 11,701.
Horrid shooting and a disadvantage in the paint doomed the Lions in a defensive struggle they slowly but steadily lost control over in the second and third quarters, requiring a comeback effort that came up short.
Columbia women’s basketball’s second straight historic WNIT run will continue after a wire-to-wire win at Bowling Green in the tournament semifinal setting up the Lions for a shot at the title Saturday.
Columbia held off host Bowling Green in a 77-70 victory Wednesday night before a sold-out crowd of 4,155 at the Stroh Center. The Lions will play for a WNIT championship as the visiting team at Kansas (24-11, 9-9 Big 12) Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Columbia becomes the first team in Ivy League history to reach the WNIT championship game.
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.
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Harvard Crimson put an abrupt end to anticipation of a rubber match between regular-season co-champions Princeton and Columbia by defeating the latter in the second of two Ivy League Tournament semifinal games played at Jadwin Gym in an overtime thriller, 72-65.
The No. 3 Crimson advance to face No. 1 Princeton, which defeated Penn earlier Friday, 60-47. The tournament final will be played Saturday at 5 p.m. at Jadwin Gym.
Ivy League Tournament V officially started on Thursday afternoon, with the four women’s teams taking part in press conferences and shootarounds for “Live from Ivy Madness.”
This year’s edition, the first-ever tournament to take place in a suburban setting, takes place at Jadwin Gymnasium on the campus of Princeton University. While the campus is incredibly picturesque, and the athletic complex has a lot of beautiful modern buildings that fit in well with each other, the basketball arena continues to be its own unique entity.
The previous locations at Penn, Yale and Harvard had much more intimate environments, whether in the press conference room or the actual arena. This year, everything feels much larger and more spacious. I’m sure most people would see that as a positive, but I liked it more when the reporters and fans were closer to the coaches and players.
As usual, the Ivy League staff and their partners at ESPN are doing a great job getting everything organized. The campus staff are also incredibly helpful.
I can’t explain why, but there seems to be a greater security presence inside the arena than past years. There were several guards going through the media room and arena, even though there was an incredibly small crowd this afternoon. Officials have also limited access to the stairwells and have rotating staff members operating the elevator for everyone. Feels a bit odd that we aren’t allowed to press our own buttons, but I’m sure they have good reasons for doing this.