Columbia (14-12) at Yale (17-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday February 24th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,7532 -- New Haven, Connecticut. Television: YES Network. Home Record: Columbia 7-5, Yale 9-1. Away Record: Columbia 5-7, Yale 7-6. Neutral Record: Columbia 2-0, Yale 1-0. Conference Record: Columbia 3-7, Yale 7-3. Series Record: Columbia leads 122-99.
GAME NOTES: The Yale Bulldogs will begin senior weekend at the John J. Lee Amphitheater with an Ivy League battle with the Columbia Lions.
The storied rivalry between Columbia and the Bulldogs has Yale holding a 122-99 series lead. Yale earned a 59-58 victory in its first matchup of the season on February 11th, earlier this month. Despite committing 21 turnovers in the bout, the Lions still had a chance to win, but fell after they missed two free throws in the final seconds.
The Lions will try to salvage their season tonight after they lost their third-game in a row on Saturday, falling 61-59 to Penn in an overtime thriller. Columbia managed to battle back after falling into a 10-0 hole to start the game, but lost as the Quakers netted a layup with just a second left in overtime. Head coach Kyle Smith has led the team to a 14-12 overall record and a 3-7 mark in Ivy League action. The Lions are one of the better defensive teams in the conference, as they have allowed just 60.1 ppg.
Columbia has been led by the trio of Brian Barbour, Meiko Lyles, and Mark Cisco this season. Barbour holds team leading averages of 14.0 points and 4.0 assists per contest, while Lyles is the second leading scorer with 10.5 ppg. Cisco is contributing 9.8 points and a team-high 7.2 boards per game. Alex Rosenberg has been a solid contributor in his rookie campaign, and is coming off of a 10-point outing against Penn.
Yale's hopes of an Ivy League title will most likely not come true after it lost its second game to Harvard on Saturday, which puts the Bulldogs two games back in the standings with a disadvantage in the tie-breaker with just four to play. Head coach James Jones still has nothing to hang his head over, as his squad has compiled a respectable 17-7 overall record and could amass the most home victories since the 1989-1990 season with two wins this weekend. Yale's performance against the Crimson, who are leading the Ivy League in scoring defense, was less than inspiring as it was held to 51 points, its second lowest scoring output of the season.
The Bulldogs will look to their man in the middle Greg Mangano as his career nears its end. The senior big man is leading the Ivy League this season with averages of 18.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Mangano did his best against Harvard on Saturday, as he finished with 22 points, 11 boards, and five blocks in the 14-point loss. Reggie Willhite is second on the team in scoring (12.5) and rebounding (5.6), while he is leading the team in assists (3.8) and steals (2.2). Austin Morgan is adding 12.3 ppg to give Yale a three- pronged attack.
Although Yale's league record is much more impressive, the Lions have been battling until the end all season. Cisco will have to slow down Mangano though, for the Lions to pull off a road victory in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Yale 64, Columbia 59
02/24 10:36:13 ET