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Yale (11-16) at Columbia (11-13)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 1, 7 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gym (3,400) -- Manhattan, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 6-4, Columbia 5-6. Away Record: Yale 4-10, Columbia 5-7. Neutral Record: Yale 1-2, Columbia 1-0. Conference Record: Yale 5-5, Columbia 3-7. Series Record: Columbia leads, 122-100.

GAME NOTES: Shooting for back-to-back wins for the first time in nearly two months, the Columbia Lions welcome the Yale Bulldogs to Levien Gym for an Ivy League showdown on Friday night.

Since stringing together three consecutive victories against the likes of Manhattan, Colgate and Army, between Dec. 29 and Jan. 5, the Lions have posted just three more wins. However, that could all change tonight after Columbia defeated Penn at home last Saturday in a 58-41 final.

Not only did the victory snap a three-game slide in the series with the Quakers, it also halted a three-game skid overall for the Lions who are now second-to-last in the Ivy League standings with three wins in 10 tries.

As for the Bulldogs, currently tied with Cornell for fourth place in the standings with a record of 5-5, they had a two-game win streak come to an end last Saturday when they fell to Harvard at home, 72-66. Still two games over .500 (6-4) at home, Yale is just 4-10 in true road games here in 2012-13.

Yale won the first meeting of the season less than two weeks ago with a 75-56 victory at home in New Haven, which means the all-time series now stands at 122-100 in favor of the Lions.

Matt Townsend and Javier Duren both dropped in 15 points for the Bulldogs last weekend as they hosted Harvard, but it wasn't quite enough as Yale dropped the six-point decision to the Crimson. Also scoring in double figures for the home team was Justin Sears who tacked on 12 points off the bench, thanks to his 6- of-7 effort at the free-throw line, but it was at the charity stripe where the Bulldogs lost ground as they were outscored by Harvard, 18-11.

Only a freshman, Sears has made a considerable impact in the early going of his career, knocking down 50.5 percent of his field goal attempts in order to generate 10.6 ppg, which is second only to Austin Morgan (11.0 ppg) at the moment. Also responsible for close to six rebounds per game, Sears could be even more productive if not for the fact that he is averaging slightly more than 23 minutes per contest and is shooting only 58.4 percent at the free- throw line.

Frustrating the Quakers for the better part of 40 minutes, Columbia really turned up the heat in the second half when it limited the visitors to a grand total of four field goals on 24 attempts, en route to the 17-point decision. Grant Mullins gave the Lions a spark off the bench with a team-best 18 points, followed by starting guards Brian Barbour and Maodo Lo with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

A starter in all but one of the 23 games in which he has appeared, Barbour tends to be the one through which the offense is run, which is why he leads the group in scoring with 11.9 ppg. However, Barbour is shooting only 35.0 percent from the floor and 28.1 percent behind the 3-point line, something he is trying to compensate for by converting 87.9 percent at the charity stripe and handing out a team-best 97 assists. Steve Frankoski checks in with 10.1 ppg thanks to his 58-of-124 (.468) effort out on the perimeter.

Neither one of these programs is a a juggernaut at the offensive end of the court, so the outcome will be decided by how well the defenses fend off advancements, and that should work in favor of the Bulldogs this time around.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Yale 66, Columbia 58

03/01 10:36:44 ET

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