Princeton (12-9) at Columbia (10-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 22, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gymnasium (3,408) -- New York, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Princeton 7-4, Columbia 4-3. Away Record: Princeton 5-4, Columbia 5-7. Neutral Record: Princeton 0-0, Columbia 0-1. Conference Record: Princeton 5-2, Columbia 2-6. Series Record: Princeton leads, 145-84.
GAMES NOTES: The Columbia Lions will begin a season-long homestand on Friday with a battle with the Princeton Tigers in Ivy League action at Levien Gymnasium.
This is the third contest in a four-game road trip for the Tigers who will face Cornell on Saturday before playing back-to-back home games next weekend. Princeton has been one of the better teams in the Ivy League this season with a record of 5-2 in league action and a 12-9 mark overall. The Tigers have lost two of their last three bouts but are still sitting in second place in the conference standings.
As for Columbia, losses in six of its last seven outings have dropped it below .500 overall (10-12), while sinking the Lions into a last-place tie with Dartmouth in league play (2-6). Columbia is just 4-3 at Levien Gymnasium this season where it will be in the next three games as well with matchups against Penn, Yale and Brown.
A matchup earlier this month resulted in a 72-66 victory for Princeton, its seventh straight against the Lions. The Tigers now own a 145-84 edge in the all-time series.
In a battle of the top two teams in the conference last Saturday, Princeton succumbed to Harvard, 69-57. After shooting 52.4 percent from the field in the first half, the Tigers cooled to just 31 percent in the second half, while registering only nine field goals. Princeton did manage to outscore the Crimson, 30-24, in the paint.
Leading scorer Ian Hummer (15.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.4 apg) is as versatile as they come in the Ivy League as he shoots 52 percent from the field, while ranking in the top five in assists and rebounds. Denton Koon (10.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg) is the only other consistent double-figure scorer, while Will Barrett (9.1 ppg. 4.7 rpg) and T.J. Bray (9.0 ppg, 3.9 apg) are solid complementary pieces. Princeton won't run by anyone but it can certainly play efficiently on that end. The Tigers lead the league in assists (14.6 pg) and are second in field-goal percentage (.462).
The Lions were absolutely routed by Yale, 75-56, on the road last time out. They committed 19 turnovers in the contest but the real story was on the interior. Columbia was on the short end of a 33-20 difference in rebounds, while being outscored 34-8 in the paint.
Brian Barbour (12.4 ppg, 4.5 apg) is the top scoring option on the roster for Columbia as well as the team's main facilitator. The Lions' offense runs through Barbour as other than him only Steve Frankoski (10.6 ppg) is scoring in double figures, doing so primarily as a reserve. Three other players are hovering around the double-digit point mark led by Alex Rosenberg (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg). Also putting forth decent efforts in scoring are Mark Cisco (9.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Grant Mullins (9.3 ppg). Columbia is closer to the middle of the Ivy League in offensive efficiency, ranking fourth in points (64.6 pg), assists (13.4 pg) and field-goal percentage (.429).
Recent stumbles have exposed some weaknesses for the Tigers who may have some trouble on the road against Columbia.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 68, Columbia 66
02/22 10:35:06 ET