The Lions are still alive.

A familiar foe came to town Sunday to take on Columbia Women’s Basketball (27–5, 12–2 Ivy) in the Great Eight round of the WNIT.

The opponent was conference rival Harvard (20–12, 9–5 Ivy), who came to Levien Gymnasium for the fourth Lions-Crimson clash this season. Columbia claimed victory in the two regular season matchups, but when the teams collided in the Ivy League tournament, it was a different story. Harvard pulled off a narrow 72–65 overtime upset in the semifinal game on March 10, dashing the Lions’ hopes for the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.

Needless to say, revenge was on Columbia’s mind.

After the tip-off, both teams stumbled out of the gate on offense. The first quarter passed by in a low-scoring fashion. Columbia scored 14, including three-pointers from Abbey Hsu (CC ’24) and Kaitlyn Davis (CC ’23), but the Lions made just five of 16 shots from the field. Columbia held fast on defense, holding Harvard to just 9 points in the quarter.

Scoring was even more sparse for Columbia in the second quarter, as the Lions went just 3 of 14 from the field. Hannah Pratt (CC ’23) hit a three-pointer with 2:26 left to play in the quarter, giving the Lions a 27–18 advantage, the biggest lead of the first half. But Columbia went scoreless the rest of the quarter, and the half ended with the Lions holding a narrow 27–23 lead.

After the low-scoring first half, the third quarter was a shocking explosion. Columbia started the half on a 12–2 run, capped off by a three-point play by Jaida Patrick (CC ’23) with 6:38 left to play. The Lions were on fire, scoring 34 points in the period, the most in a quarter this season. Kitty Henderson (CC ’25) and Kaitlyn Davis led the way for the Lions in the quarter, scoring nine and eight points respectively.

Davis put an exclamation mark on the scoring frenzy with a three-point play at the end of the quarter, sending the Lions into the final quarter with a commanding 61–43 lead. It looked like the Lions were cruising to an easy victory. After Sienna Durr’s (CC ’23) layup early in the fourth quarter stretched Columbia’s advantage to 20 points, the game seemed all but over.

Harvard had other plans.

In just over two minutes, the Crimson rattled off a 13–0 run, stunning the Lions and silencing the Columbia faithful. The double-digit lead was erased in the blink of an eye, and Columbia led by just seven points, 63–56, with 6:41 to play.

Later in the quarter, Harvard’s McKenzie Forbes hit a three-pointer that cut Columbia’s once-commanding lead to a meager two points. The Crimson were suddenly back within striking distance, Columbia leading 68–66 with 3:27 left in the game.

But that ended up being the extent of the damage. Though Harvard outscored Columbia 28–16 in the final quarter, the Lions’ lead would hold. Kitty Henderson hit a layup to stave off the surging Crimson, pushing the lead out to four points. Kaitlyn Davis, Hannah Pratt, and Jaida Patrick all made critical late-game free throws to prevent Harvard from completing the comeback and upsetting the Lions once again.

When the final buzzer sounded, Columbia walked away with a tough-earned 77–71 victory.

The Lions had four scorers in double figures, led by Kaitlyn Davis, who finished with a double-double, scoring 17 points and collecting 10 rebounds. Kitty Henderson scored 15, and Abbey Hsu and Jaida Patrick added 12 and 10 points respectively.

With the redemptive victory, Columbia advances to the semifinal round of the WNIT. The Lions will travel to Ohio to face a tough opponent in the Bowling Green Falcons (31–6, 14–4 MAC) at 6 pm on Wednesday. The game will be available live on ESPN3.

Levien via Bwarchives