After a 2-10 start to the season, the Columbia Lions were able to close the finale of their non-conference play with an 87-42 victory against the Sarah Lawrence Gryphons. The Gryphons, coming off a 66-80 loss to Farmingdale State on January 2nd, have yet to register a win for the new year.
The game began competitive as the teams scurried out to an 8-8 tie, both connecting on a couple three-point shots. That would be as close as the Gryphons would get for the remainder of the contest. The Lions proceeded to go on a 38-0 run and eventually closed the half with a 49-9 lead. The huge run allowed for the bench to control the majority of the game, with the leading scorers Kyle Castlin and Peter Barba grabbing 16 points each.
It was clear from the beginning that the length of the Lions affected the game as the Gryphons were forced to take 32 three-point attempts, resulting from having trouble getting in the paint. Both dribble penetrations and passes to the interior were deflected and intercepted by the Lions, as they were able to force the Gryphons into 16 turnovers. The Lions also outrebounded the Gryphons by a 57-34 margin. With only 9 players on the roster (7 dressed in uniform), the Gryphons had no chance matching up in size or energy.
If the Lions were looking for any boost of confidence heading into their January 12th matchup at Princeton, they surely received it. The Lions connected on 13 three-pointers against a stingy Gryphon defense that had only allowed 6.8 makes per game heading into the matchup. When asked about the mentality heading into conference play, season leading scorer Mike Smith responded, “It doesn’t matter who you play, when you win you build confidence.” Smith also added that the biggest takeaway heading into Ivy League play is the team’s play in the 2nd half of games. “We’ve struggled in the 2nd half of all our games, and I think the last 2 games we played well in the 2nd half or we got that stop that we didn’t get in other games.” They will definitely need to make the necessary adjustments as they look to turn their season around.
The Lions move to 3-10 on the season.