It’s impossible to talk about sports in New York this week without mentioning Knicks point guard sensation, Jeremy Lin. It also turns out it’s impossible to talk about Jeremy Lin without using a LINconcievable number of LINcredibly bad puns. Anyone who has turned on a TV or picked up a New York newspaper in the past week (or, God forbid, watched ESPN) has been LINundated with a myriad of Lin references in headlines and commentaries.
The enthusiasm around Lin has turned into a racially-charged controversy in recent days, which began with the February 15th front page headline of the New York Post that read, “Amasian!” and only escalated when espn.com released a story entitled “Chink in the Armor” after the Knicks lost to the Hornets on Friday night. The employee who wrote the article was promptly fired with an apology from the network, and ESPN anchor, Max Bretos, was suspended for using the same phrase during an interview. SNL parodied the controversy last night during the cold open, playing on the questionably-racist media coverage and overused puns.
The media frenzy surrounding Lin erupted in large part because he is such an anomaly in professional basketball: not only is he one of very few Asian-American in the NBA, but he’s also an Ivy League graduate. The Harvard alum has sent shock waves through the sports world and re-energized the Knicks fan base with his LINcredible performances in the past weeks, leading the Knicks six straight wins and breaking the record for the most points in his first four starts with 109, which is more than MJ or Shaq scored in their debut games. The LINsanity peaked last weekend when Lin sank a game-winning three in the final second against the Toronto Rapters, and only continued with the Knicks win over the Mavericks last night.
Maybe one day we’ll see a Columbia grad in the NBA? Maybe. Read on for the weekly round-up of your Columbia Lions.
Columbia Lions Weekly Round-up:
Men’s Basketball (14-12, 3-7 Ivy League):
Results: Princeton 66-77 L; Penn 59-61 OT L
Highlights: In Friday’s game against Princeton, which was televised on ESPNU, the Lions lost despite leading for much of the game. In the first half, Columbia led the Tigers by five with a minute and a half remaining, but Princeton rallied with a late run and entered the break tied, 27-27. The game remained close for much of the second half, with the Lions still leading with 16 minutes to play, 35-32. The Tigers, however, ran away with the game late in the half as the Lions struggled defensively to shut down Princeton. Brian Barbour led the Lions with 22 points in the loss.
On Saturday, the Lions took on the Quakers in a hard-fought game that went into overtime. Columbia started slow in the first half as Penn went on 10-0 run to start the game, but the Lions rallied to enter the break up by three, 24-21. The Lions led by as many as five in the second half, but the Quakers scored seven unanswered points to take the lead with just over five minutes remaining, 45-43. Alex Rosenberg responded with a three the next possession to put the Lions back on top. The Ivy League rivals continued to trade leads until the final seconds, when Penn’s Zach Rosen missed his first free throw attempt but sunk the second one to tie the game at 54 and send it into overtime. In overtime, Penn came out strong with a pair of free throws and a three-pointer as the shot clock expired. Chris Crockett answered with a three to keep the Lions alive, and Brian Barbour hit both foul shots to level the score at 59 with 4.2 seconds left. With time winding down, the Quakers called a time out and executed an inbound play that resulted in a lay up to give Penn the edge by two. The Lions were unable to convert with just 0.5 seconds left and lost, 59-61.
Women’s Basketball (2-21, 0-9 Ivy League):
Results: Princeton 46-86 L; Penn 41-61 L
Highlights: The Lions dropped both of their home contests this weekend as they continue to struggle this season. The Women’s basketball team has not won a game since December and is winless in the Ivy League. On Friday, the Lions took on Princeton, who are undefeated in the Ivy League. The Tigers lived up to the hype, capitalizing on 17 Lion turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and entering the break up, 45-23. Columbia never got within 17 points of Princeton in the second half and went on to lose the game, 46-86. Against Penn on Saturday, the Lions went up early in the first half, but the Quakers went on a late 8-0 run to enter the break up by seven, 28-21. Penn continued the run after halftime, scoring 13 unanswered points in the first five minutes of the second half. The Lions were unable to overcome the deficit and lost, 41-61.
Up Next: The Lions will be home next weekend, facing Yale on Friday at 7 p.m. and Brown at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Levien Gymnasium.
Wrestling (8-4, 3-2 Ivy League):
Results: Brown 34-4 W
Harvard 30-12 W
#24 Hofstra 9-28 L
Highlights: The Lions hosted three matches this weekend in University Gym to close out the dual meet season, beginning with Brown on Friday. Shane Hughes and Nick Mills led the Lions to 34-4 victory over the Bears. Hughes clinched the victory for Columbia, pinning his opponent in just over two minutes for his ninth win by fall this season, while Mills won by major decision 197-lb. weight class. In Saturday’s match against Harvard, Steve Santos, Erin Civan, Shane Hughes and Kevin Lester all tallied pins, leading the Lions to their second straight Ivy League victory, 30-12. In a brief ceremony today before the Lions final home match of the season against #24 Hofstra, Columbia honored senior wrestlers, Civan, Kyle Gilchrist, Lester, and Shane Strumwasser. Despite Mill’s double overtime victory and a pin from Stephen West, the Lions fell to Hofstra 28-9.
Up Next: The Lions head to Princeton for the EIWA Championships on March 3rd.
#50 Cornell 2-4 L
St. John’s 2-4 L
Brown 2-5 L
Cornell 5-2 W
Highlights: Both Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams dropped their first matches of the season at the ECAC Tournament this weekend. The Men competed in Hanover, NH, while the Women’s tournament was held in New Haven, CT. The Men’s squad fell in the first round to Cornell, despite winning the doubles points, and lost to local rival St. John’s in the consolation bracket. The Women’s team had similar misfortune in the first round against Ivy League rival, Brown, but rallied to beat Cornell on Saturday, 5-2. In Saturday’s victory, the Lions won the doubles points and four of six singles matches.
Up Next: The Men’s team takes on Fairleigh Dickenson on Friday at at home at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center, while the Women’s team will face Maryland at home on Sunday.
Men’s Squash (7-11, 1-5 Ivy League):
Navy 5-4 W
Williams 5-4 W
Penn 1-8 L
Highlights: The Lions concluded their season this weekend at the 2012 CSA Men’s National Team Championships, finishing as runner-up in the Hoehn Cup. In only their second season as varsity program, the Men’s Squash team finished the 2011-2012 season with a 7-11 record and picked up an Ivy League win over Brown. The Lions beat Navy and then Williams in the semi-finals this weekend before falling to Penn, 1-8.
Up Next: Women’s Squash (5-9, 0-6 Ivy League) heads to Cambridge, MA next weekend for Nationals.
LINsation via Wikimedia Commons.