Bwog Sports: Heart-Breakers and History-Makers
Written by Bwog Staff
‘Tis the season for broken hearts, and the Columbia Lions were no exception this weekend. The Lions lost several painfully close matchups in the weekend leading up to Valentine’s Day, highlighted by a heartbreaking loss in the final minutes of the Men’s Basketball game on Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd in Levien Gymnasium. The Women’s Basketball team suffered a similar fate, losing to Brown in overtime, while the Wrestling team fell short of Penn by just one point. Despite those disappointments, there were also a number of historic moments. Freshman track star Waverly Neer broke the school record in the 3000 m at none other than the Valentine Invitational at Boston University. The Women’s Swimming & Diving team beat Princeton for the first time in program history and later crushed Dartmouth to clench 2nd place in the Ivy League Dual Meet title – also a program first. Read on for the weekly round-up of Columbia Athletics.
Men’s Basketball (14-10, 3-5 Ivy League):
Latest Result: The Lions downed Brown, 86-60, on Friday before falling to Yale in the final minute, 58-59.
Overview: The Lions took on Brown on Friday at home in one of the team’s best performances of the season. Columbia was on fire from the start, taking a 36-13 lead in the first 15 minutes. The Lions found success from behind the arc early on, and didn’t let up the perimeter attack, tying a program record of 16 three-pointers in the double digit win. In the second half, Columbia continued the offensive pressure, opening up a game-high 33-point lead with eight minutes left on the clock. The Lions went on to win, 86-60, with senior guard Chris Crockett leading both teams with a career-high 18 points. Columbia carried the momentum of Friday’s win into Saturday’s game vs. Yale in front of a sell-out crowd. For much of the game, the Lions appeared to be headed towards another double digit victory, leading by 21 points at one point in the second half. The lead, however, was not enough to take the team to win over the 2nd place Bulldogs in the Ivy League. With ten minutes to go and the Lions leading 53-33, Yale’s Austin Morgan scored five straight points to cut the lead to 15. As time winded down, Yale began a full court press, forcing a number of turnovers and resulting in 10 unanswered points. Apart from a three-pointer from Meiko Lyles with 4:20 remaining, the Lions appeared stunned at the Yale comeback, allowing seven straight points to bring the game within one, 58-57. After yet another turnover, Yale took the first lead since the opening minutes, and the game came down to a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds on the clock. Columbia missed both, a heartbreaking ending to an exciting game in front of over 2,400 fans.
Upcoming Contest: The Lions hit the road next weekend, taking on Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live nationwide on ESPNU.
Women’s Basketball (2-19, 0-7 Ivy League):
Latest Result: The Lions lost a heart-breaker to Brown in OT, 63-72, before dropping 9th straight game on Saturday vs. Yale, 59-73.
Overview: In Providence on Friday, the Women’s Basketball team took on Brown in a closely fought game between two Ivy League rivals. Despite trailing by eight early in the first half, the Lions entered the break up by two, 31-29, marking only the third time this season they have led at the half. In the second half, the game remained close, only opening up to a lead of five for the Bears, 44-39, with 13 minutes remaining. The Lions made up the difference late in the half, going up by two after junior Tyler Simpson made a fast break layup with just over a minute left on the clock. The Bears quickly tied the game, and Columbia missed a buzzer-beater opportunity with one second left, sending the game into overtime. Brown came out strong in OT, stunning the Lions and going on to win, 72-63. Like the Men’s team, the Women started strong on Saturday against Yale, leading by as many as 12 in the first half. With just minutes remaining in the half, however, the Bulldogs rallied to cut the lead to 32-29 going into the break. Columbia held onto the lead for much of the first half, but at the 10:35 mark, Yale took the lead and would not lose it for the rest of the game. In the final minutes, the Bulldogs widened the gap, winning 73-59 and handing the Lions their ninth straight loss.
Upcoming Contest: The Lions will face Princeton on Friday in Levien Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
Men’s Swimming & Diving (7-4, 4-3 Ivy League):
Latest Result: The Lions beat Dartmouth on Saturday, 174-123, after falling to Ivy League-leading Princeton on Friday, 120-172.
Overview: The Lions closed out their dual meet season this weekend, first on the road against Princeton and then at home vs. Dartmouth. At Princeton on Friday, the Lions tallied four event wins, three of which came from freshman. Alex Ngan took the 50 free, while Micha Rembrandt took the top spot in the 1m diving event. To add to the freshman success, a team of all first-years won the 200m free relay in the loss. Returning home on Saturday, the Lions faced Dartmouth in the final dual meet of the season. Columbia rose to the occasion, winning 11 of 16 events on the day. Among many notable performances, the Lions were led by junior Jason Collazo, who won both diving events, and freshman Omar Arafa, who finished first in 100 yard backstroke and helped a Lions win in the 200 medley relay. Congratulations to seniors Chester Dols, Rob Eyckmans, John-Howard Sidman, and Alex Smith, who swam their final meet in Uris Pool on Saturday.
Upcoming Contest: The Lions return to Princeton on March 1st for the Ivy League Championships.
Women’s Swimming & Diving (8-1, 6-1 Ivy League):
Latest Result: The Lions took down Princeton in an historic win on Friday, 173-127, and added another win over Dartmouth on Saturday, 183-117.
Overview: The Women’s squad continued their dominant season this weekend, making history on Friday by beating Princeton for the first time in program history. The Lions won 11 of 16 events on the day, solidifying their place as a top team in the Ivy League. A number of freshman contributed to an early lead in the meet, including Chacha Bugatti, Salena Huang, and Mikaila Gaffey, who won the 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, and 100 yard breaststroke, respectively. The star of the meet, however, was junior Katie Meili, who took the top spot in three events, starting with the 50 free followed by the 200 yard breaststroke and finally the 200 yard IM, which clenched the meet for the Lions. On Saturday, the Lions road the momentum of the historic win, beating up on Dartmouth with 12 event wins. The Lions took the top three spots in the 400 IM, 100 yard butterfly, and 200 yard freestyle in the win, and a number of Lions tallied two first place finishes or more on the day. The victory over the Big Green represents Columbia’s sixth straight win, positioning them in second place in the Ivy League dual meet title for the first time in program history, boasting a 6-1 conference record. Congratulations to seniors Casey Bresee, Stephanie Foster, Isabelle Vandenbroucke, Caitlin Rogers, Erin Kampschmidt, and Dorothy Baker, who swam their final meet in Uris Pool.
Upcoming Contest: The Lions head to Cambridge, MA on February 23rd for the Ivy League Championships.
Track & Field:
Latest Result: The Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams both took third at the Millrose Collegiate Invitational.
Overview: At the Armory on Saturday, the Men’s and Women’s teams both had strong performances, earning third place overall. The Women’s squad had five top-3 finishes, including a first place finish from Emily Lanois in the 3000m and a second place finish from Monique Roberts in the high jump. On the Men’s side, Columbia enjoyed eight top-3 performances, highlighted by a dominant showing in the 3000m event where Columbia took four of the top five places. The Men’s 4×800 team of Brendan Donley, Matthew Casey, Daniel Nestor, and Denzel Woode took second with a time of 7:52.93.
Upcoming Contest: The Lions head to Ithaca, NY on February 25th for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships.
Latest Result: Both Men’s and Women’s Tennis remained undefeated this weekend. The Men’s team improved to 4-0 on Saturday with a 7-0 win over Marist, while the Women took down Binghampton 7-0 in their third consecutive win.
Overview: The Women’s squad dropped only one set on Friday as they swept Binghampton to improve to 3-0. The Lions dominated in singles and doubles alike, with especially commanding performances in the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. Crystal Leung and Katarina Kovacevic shutout their opponents 8-0, while Tiana Takenaga won in similar style, 6-1, 6-1. The Men’s team had an equally strong performance on Saturday, sweeping Marist in their fourth straight win. The Lions lost only one match on the day in the No. 2 doubles spot, and only dropped one set in all six singles matches.
Upcoming Contest: Both teams head to the ECAC Tournament next weekend.
Wrestling (5-3, 1-1 Ivy League):
Latest Result: The Lions went 2-1 this weekend, crushing Princeton on Friday, 28-6, before losing narrowly to Penn, 18-19. The Wrestlers finished off the weekend with a win over Rider on Saturday, 31-10.
Overview: Against Princeton on Friday, the Lions won eight of ten bouts, with four Lions winning by major decision. Columbia dominated from beginning to end in the match, tallying their first Ivy League win of the season over the Tigers. In their second Ivy League contest of the weekend on Saturday, the Lions fell just short against Penn. Robert Dyar, Jake O’Hara, and Stephen West all won by major decision and Shane Hughes notched his seventh pin of the season, but Penn still came out on top on the day, 19-18. Despite the frustrating loss, the Lions rallied Saturday night with a dominant performance against Rider. Columbia won seven bouts in the match, including pins recorded by Shane Hughes and Nick Mills.
Upcoming Contest: The Lions return home to close out their dual meet schedule next weekend against Brown, Harvard, and Hofstra.
Bwog is happy to report some club team results from Columbia skiers and snowboarders this weekend. At the USCSA New Jersey Conference Finals, male skiers placed 3rd and women placed 4th, each out of nine teams. In individual categories, senior Spencer Seconi placed 2nd overall for men. Junior Polly Evans placed 2nd overall for women. Junior Alison Palmintiere took home gold for women’s freestyle snowboarding. All members (male and female skiers and boarders) qualified for Regionals, which will take place on February 24-26 in West Virginia.
Tertiary predator via Wikimedia Commons.