Yale (15-6) at Columbia (14-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gymnasium (2,700) -- New York, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 9-1, Columbia 7-4. Away Record: Yale 5-5, Columbia 5-5. Neutral Record: Yale 1-0, Columbia 2-0. Conference Record: Yale 5-2, Columbia 3-4. Series Record: Columbia leads 122-98.
GAMES NOTES: Yale and Columbia will each finish up a weekend of Ivy League action when the conference rivals face off at Levien Gymnasium this evening.
There have been 220 previous meetings between these schools that are separated by just 75 miles. Columbia has been the better squad in the majority of those matchups with a 122-98 mark against Yale. The Bulldogs have been better recently winning five straight.
Yale had won three straight and seven of eight games before dropping an overtime heartbreaker to Cornell last night. The Bulldogs are now 5-2 in conference play which is second behind nationally ranked Harvard in the Ivy League.
Columbia ran by Brown to capture a win last night, 86-60. The Lions have now traded wins and losses in each of its last four contests and is currently 3-4 in the Ivy League standings better than only Brown and Dartmouth. Columbia also has a road back-to-back next weekend with the Lions opening against Princeton.
Yale led by a slim 34-33 margin at the half against Cornell despite shooting 51.9 percent from the floor in the opening period. The second half was another strong period for the Bulldogs, who netted 55.0 percent of their shots but with the Big Red hitting 6-of-13 from three point range including one with 12 seconds remaining that put Cornell up 71-69. Yale answered with a lay up to send the game to overtime. The Big Red hit 5-of-7 shots in the extra period to pull out the victory.
The offensive performance by Yale pushed its conference leading scoring average to 71.7 points per game. Yale is also at the top of the conference in assists (14.4 apg) and rebounds (39.1 rpg). Austin Morgan (12.4 ppg) is one of three double-figure scorers for the Bulldogs and was the team's leader with 22 against Cornell. Senior forward Greg Mangano has been the primary option for the Bulldogs as the conferences leading scorer (19.0 ppg) rebounder (10.0 rpg) and shot blocker (2.5 bpg). Senior guard Reggie Willhite (12.1 ppg) is the teams third double digit scorer and also powers the Bulldogs' stellar passing, by dishing out 4.0 assists per game.
Columbia had a much easier Friday night as the Lions dismantled Brown 86-60 at Levien Gymnasium. Columbia shot 54.2 percent from the floor and lit it up from beyond the arc knocking down 16-of-29 shots from three point range in the win.
Columbia will be able to hang with Yale in terms of rebounding, as the Lions are the second best rebounding team in the Ivy League, pulling down 35.7 boards per game. The Lions have been mediocre, with Columbia scoring 65.0 points per game, fifth in the eight team conference. Junior guard Brain Barbour is the most important player for the Lions offense as he leads the team in both scoring (15.5 ppg) and assists (3.7 apg). Barbour had 16 points and a season high nine assists against Brown. Meiko Lyles (10.1 ppg) snapped out of a three game funk in which he failed to score in double figures by putting in 17 points including 5-of-8 from three-point range against Brown. Junior center Mark Cisco (9.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is the Lions' primary option in the paint and will have the difficult responsibility of trying to slow Mangano.
Playing on the road after an overtime loss, Yale will certainly be fighting an uphill battle in this one. With Columbia more rested and Barbour and Lyles both scoring well, the Lions should be able to overcome Mangano and company.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Columbia 64, Yale 62
02/11 10:46:46 ET