This may unironically be the most unifying thing at Columbia right now. 

This past Saturday, February 24, I attended my first-ever Columbia sporting event. I went in ready to cover for Bwog and came out with a huge appreciation for the Columbia Women’s Basketball Team (19-5, 10-1 Ivy). TLDR: We won a super close game against Princeton (20-4, 10-1 Ivy). Abbey Hsu (CC ‘24) hit 2,000 career points on senior day. Our dance team I didn’t know we had is so amazing. Minouche likes hot dogs. 

You could feel the energy in the gymnasium right after walking in. Every seat was sold out, and the student section was packed. Total attendance was said to be 2,698 people. The crowd was super energetic from the start, cheering for every point the Lions made. The game started close but with the Lions in the lead. 

Enthusiastic crowd!!

I quickly noticed that this crowd was extremely passionate. The Tigers fell, a lot, leading to many fouls against Columbia. This was naturally meant with waves of booing, but not only for the referees. The student section was so passionate for our Lions that we booed even when Princeton took free throws (which embarrassingly they made the most of). The benches were rattling with chants, making me feel like this is the most unified I have seen Columbia students in months. For other students who never attend sports events, this is where the school spirit is! 

Our Lions persisted no matter what, and by the end of the first half we were up by less than ten points. Here I FaceTimed my younger brother to go against the sexist belief that people don’t have the same spirit for women’s sports. The passion in the crowd was so tangible! After I hung up there was an amazing performance by our dance team, followed by a brief scrimmage by local kids. I also spotted President Minouche Shafik coming back to the gymnasium with a hot dog. 

Minouche with said hot dog

The second half had everyone on their toes, as the game remained super close. Senior Abbey Hsu kept everyone cheering though, with three-pointers that made it look easy. By the 4th quarter, the Lions were only up by 6 points. With less than two minutes left, Princeton called a timeout. Things were so tense for the Lions that I saw a random angry man take his hat off and sigh. By the time the Tigers came back in they had scored some more leaving a 1-point difference during the last minute. After some final plays and a layup, our Lions ended with a close score of 67-65. 

Final score!

This game marked 2,000 career points for Hsu, making her the 4th player ever in Ivy League Women’s Basketball history to do so. This win is Columbia’s first against an AP Top 25 opponent in program history. With the close victory, they are now tied with Princeton for first in the Ivy League. I left Dodge feeling so happy to be here and to have experienced the game with everyone else present. It was wonderful to take a break from academics and feel so much school spirit, something often rare for Columbia these days, in one place. Everybody loves women’s basketball!! 

Hsu and the Lions will be on the road for the next three games of their regular season. They will be at Brown this Friday, then Yale on Saturday. 

Images via Author