BwogSports: Lions Advance in CIT on Buzzer Beater
Written by Max Rettig
Lions super-fan Max Rettig brings you an update on what the Lions have been up to over Spring Break.
This season, the men’s basketball team won 20 games for the first time since 1970, making it Columbia’s best team in four decades. The Lions earned a spot in the CollegeInsider Tournament (CIT). The CIT takes “mid-major” teams, like the Lions, which were deserving of postseason basketball, but denied a bid to the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. In the first round, Columbia drew Valparaiso, a team that just last year competed in the NCAA Tournament. Here’s the scoop:
It was a game of small leads, the largest being Columbia’s first-half 7-point advantage. The Lions and Crusaders tipped the scoreboard in their respective favor several times in the first 20 minutes alone. As has been the case this season, the Lions shot well from downtown, hitting three 3’s in a row to start the game. Valparaiso took the half by a 30-29 score.
In the more exciting second half, the Lions took an early 5-point lead, but any chances to break away were refuted by Valpo. Cory Osetkowski then put the Lions ahead by 4 with a jumper and 2 foul shots inside of 6 minutes. But again, the Crusaders answered, earning themselves a 3-point lead off of a 5-point run with just 3 minutes remaining. After the Lions regained a 1-point lead, they fouled Valparaiso (maybe being in front, even by a small margin, leads to complacency). Valparaiso tied the contest up on a free throw, after which the Lions’ Isaac Cohen took the rebound on the second attempt and set up the scenario that most embodies March Madness. With 28 quickly expiring seconds, Maodo Lo (remember him?) used the waning clock to his advantage, milking 24 seconds before making his move. He shot an 18-foot fade-away that sailed through the net just as the final buzzer sounded, prompting a celebration by Columbia. Check out the game-winner below, provided by an anonymous tip, starting at 3:25.
The 58-56 win is Columbia’s first postseason win since ’68. Maodo Lo had a stellar game, aside from his first career buzzer-beater, racking up 13 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, a block and a steal. Cory Osetkowski had a career-high 21, 15 of which came in the second half. Alex Rosenberg now owns the Columbia single-season record for attempted free throws, and is a mere seven away from the free throws made record.
The team also defeated E. Michigan on Saturday, in the first ever postseason game at Levien, leading the way to this Wednesday’s matchup against Yale. Go support the Lions in the CIT quarterfinals!
Softball had a great weekend, sweeping Iona. In the double-header against Iona, Kayla Shimoda’s walk-off grand slam gave the Lions a 12-9 win. Macy Shrum also hit a 2-run homer to open the scoring in the back-and-forth contest. Emily Kenyon followed that game up by pitching a marvelous 2-hit shutout for a 7-0 Lions victory. Shimoda knocked a 3-run homer, her second of the day. She went 3-4 at night, after her grand slam during the first game, to cap a stellar day at the plate. Alyssa Rodia, Shelby Unger and Liz Caggiano each had two hits. The Lions also swept Rider this past weekend, winning 7-4 and 5-1 during the home double-header. Shimoda continued her hot hitting, and Emily Kenyon again pitched well, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings. The Lions are 7-9 on the season, and play a double-header at Marist on Tuesday.
Men’s fencing had a strong weekend at the NCAA Championships, jumping from 9th place to finish in 7th. Brian Ro enjoyed success in the epee, winning 11 of 15 and tying for 2nd in that category. Geoffrey Loss won 10 of 15 in sabre, placing him just behind 4rd place (he finished 7th, but 3 fencers tied with 11 wins each). The Lions held their place on Sunday, the last day of competition, finishing the season 7th overall for the second year in a row. Will Spear, Brian Ro and Geoffrey Loss each earned All-American honors.
Women’s tennis won their seventh straight match.
Men’s golf shot 13-under, which was good enough for the best performance in program history. They finished 12th at a tournament in Arizona.
Women’s lacrosse lost in a valiant comeback effort against Dartmouth.
Baseball lost 5 straight to Texas, and is just 5-12 on the season.
Movin’ on via gocolumbialions.com