The Lions made a stunning showing with a decisive 78-56 win over the Hampton Lady Pirates to officially start their 2021–2022 season.

As with the exhibition game against NYU last week (aside from a brief and minor Hampton lead in the first few minutes of play), Columbia took complete control on the court, earning a cushioned lead by the end of the first quarter (8-20) and keeping Hampton from ever getting too close for comfort. Hampton’s Nylah Young and Madison Buford did their best to keep the game respectable, scoring 21 and 17 points for the game, respectively, but Columbia proved to be a force to be reckoned with. This was supported by particularly strong performances by Abbey Hsu (CC ’24), Kaitlyn Davis (CC ’23), and Sienna Durr (CC ’23). It was an upbeat game despite the excessive foul calls made by referees, a source of frustration for both coaches, with the attending audience of 412—up over 60 attendees from the 2019-2020 season opener—serving as a spirited and at times rowdy crowd, cheering the Lions on to victory.


The Lions started off strong, easily winning the tipoff and passing it to Abbey Hsu for a three-pointer to open the game. After another three-pointer by Hsu, Hampton was forced to call a timeout to stop an early game defensive breakdown. Hampton came back early in the quarter and held their biggest and only lead of the game (two points) before Columbia went on an almost unanswered 14-point run to end the quarter. 

End of Q1: 20-8 Columbia


Hsu dominated the second quarter, starting off with a clean three-pointer 15 seconds in. A few seconds later, her ankle-breaking crossover led to an enthusiastic swell of cheering from the crowd, and she fed off this energy to make an easy layup off a turnover before the first minute was over. Hampton struggled to keep the ball in their possession, leading to Columbia taking six points from turnovers. Hsu ended the quarter the same way she started it, with an impressive three-pointer five seconds before the buzzer. 

Halftime: 41-23 Columbia


For a short time, it seemed like Hampton would make a comeback after halftime, opening the game with two easy field goals in the paint. The third quarter was notably the most physical, with eight fouls called on Hampton and six on Columbia. Unfortunately, this physicality led to an injury with 3:59 left in the quarter, after Hampton’s Alayna Townsell went down and landed hard on her hip. She was taken off the court and did not make an appearance for the remainder of the game. Although the Lady Pirates made a strong effort, the closest they got to the Lions was within 11 points, and the gap proved nearly impossible to maintain, let alone close.

End of Q3: 57-42 Columbia


If the Lady Pirates ever had a chance at coming back in the third quarter, they lost it very early on in the fourth. Buford opened the quarter with a rebound and putback for two points, but Hampton sank fast as Columbia opened up a massive 27-point lead with 4:24 to go in the game. One of Hampton’s major problems was their lack of court vision, which led to many missed opportunities on the offensive end. Hampton’s coach grew increasingly frustrated over the course of the game—at both his team and the referees (who called 13 fouls in this quarter alone)—leading to a technical foul called on him. The game was ultimately dominated by the Lions throughout, with their deadly combination of strong defense, ability to rebound, and clear coordination between players.

Final: 78-56 Columbia

The Lions are hitting the road for their next four games starting on Friday, November 12 against Davidson. They’ll return home on Wednesday, November 24 to face SUNY Stony Brook.

Lions Women’s Basketball via Bwog Staff