Columbia (9-8) at Princeton (9-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) -- Princeton, New Jersey. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Columbia 3-4, Princeton 5-3. Away Record: Columbia 5-4, Princeton 4-3. Neutral Record: Columbia 1-0, Princeton 0-0. Conference Record: Columbia 1-2, Princeton 2-0. Series Record: Princeton leads, 143-84.
GAME NOTES: The Princeton Tigers will try to stay perfect in the early Ivy League season, as they welcome the Columbia Lions to Jadwin Gymnasium for a conference clash on Saturday evening.
Columbia opened up its Ivy League slate with a 67-58 victory at Cornell, but it lost to the Big Red by three points a week later in its second taste of conference play. The Lions suffered a slightly surprising loss to Penn by a score of 62-58 on Friday night, which left it just a single game over .500. Coach Kyle Smith guided the team to a marquee, 75-57, win over Villanova at The Pavilion in the early part of the non-conference schedule, but the loss at The Palestra put Columbia at 5-4 in true road tests.
The Lions could not find their touch against Penn and finished 19-of-56 (.339) from the field with a 3-of-17 mark from distance. Meanwhile, the Quakers hit 40.5 percent of their field goal tries and outscored Columbia, 26-17, at the free throw line. Senior guard Brian Barbour had a strong showing in the losing effort, pouring in a team-high 21 points with the help of a 10-of-12 showing at the charity stripe. Mark Cisco chipped in 15 points and Isaac Cohen grabbed nine boards. Barbour is the leader of the squad with 14.1 points and 4.6 assists per outing, while freshman guard Grant Mullins (10.8 ppg) and sophomore forward Alex Rosenberg (10.2 ppg) also carry double-digit scoring averages into this contest. Cisco and Steve Frankoski are both contributing just under 10 ppg each to the team's average of 65.3 points per outing.
The Tigers have won their last six matchups against Columbia to raise their lead in the all-time series to 143-84. Princeton logged a 77-66 decision the last time the Lions visited Jadwin Gym (Feb. 17, 2012).
Mitch Henderson's second year at the helm of his alma mater got off to a rocky start, as Princeton managed only three wins in its first nine games. The Tigers have rattled off six victories in seven games since, including decisions over Bucknell (79-67), Rider (62-45) and Penn (65-53). Princeton notched its fourth triumph in a row on Friday with a 76-59 rout of Cornell at home. Senior forward Ian Hummer tallied 22 points and nine boards as the team converted 52.9 percent of its shots from the floor, including 16-of-26 (.615) in the second half.
Denton Koon also contributed 22 points for Princeton against Cornell, which finished with 14 turnovers to eight assists, and 41.5 percent from the field in the contest. Hummer, who was a First-Team All-Ivy League selection a season ago, paces the club in scoring (15.9), rebounding (6.7) and assists (4.3). Koon and Will Barrett chip in 9.3 ppg apiece as part of the team's average of 62.9 ppg.
The Columbia/Penn game on Friday indicated anything can happen in these heated rivalry matchups taking place in the Ivy League. The Lions will need to keep an eye on Barrett, T.J. Bray and Clay Wilson, who are all deadly from beyond the arc for the Tigers. The hosts have the edge as Columbia will be fatigued from its down-to-the-wire bout with the Quakers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 70, Columbia 62
02/02 10:37:23 ET