The Columbia women’s basketball team has shown an ability to cut deficits this season, even double-digit ones. But the Lions (0-5) have displayed that ability because they have often trailed their opponents during games. Columbia’s inconsistent scoring has proven costly, allowing teams to build leads that the Lions have never overcome completely.
In Columbia’s season opener against Long Island, the Lions went 19-for-58 from the field and 17-for-24 from the foul line. Four Columbia players scored in double figures, led by senior center Lauren Dwyer (17 points), but the Lions struggled to score consistently, and Long Island took advantage.
The Lions scored after 15 seconds of play, but they did not score again until 14:21 remained in the first half. During the elapsed time, Long Island racked up 10 points.
With 1:41 left in the first, the Blackbirds held a 30-23 lead. Columbia ended the half with a 6-0 run to trail 30-29 at the intermission, but the Lions could not maintain enough momentum in the second period, and ultimately suffered a 73-60 loss.
Against Fairleigh Dickinson, Columbia was 16-for-69 from the floor. The Lions went 7-for-36 from the field in the first half, meaning that they made just 19.4 percent of their shots. Fairleigh Dickinson held a 37-21 advantage at the intermission.
The Lions outscored the Knights by five points, 29-24, in the second half, but could not recover completely from their poor first-half showing.
After trailing St. John’s 33-18 at halftime, Columbia went on an 8-0 run in the second half, turning a 36-18 deficit into a 36-26 deficit. Again, however, a rally by the Lions neither gave them a lead nor extended one, and St. John’s ultimately achieved a 65-41 victory.
The story remained the same against Manhattan, as Columbia scored with 17:46 left in the first half but did not score again until 14:45 remained in the period. Later in the half, the Lions went through a seven-minute stretch without sinking a single field goal.
Columbia trailed the Jaspers by only four points at halftime but fell behind 56-40 with 6:05 left in the second half. The Lions responded with a 13-3 run, making the score 59-53 with 1:59 remaining, but could not close the gap entirely, and inevitably suffered a 65-56 defeat.
The loss to Manhattan was Columbia’s first by single digits this year, and the Lions built on that small success at San Diego. Columbia scored 87 points against the Toreros, shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line. The Lions hit 27 of 56 field goals and sank 24 of 32 foul shots, helping five Columbia players on the path to double figures.
On most nights, 87 points would be enough for Columbia to win, but San Diego scored 91 points of its own, making 62.1 percent of its field goals and 56 percent of its free throws.
The Lions trailed by 16 points in the first half and faced a 51-41 deficit at halftime, but with 1:03 left in the second half, Kathleen Barry hit two free throws that got the Lions within two points of the Toreros.
Columbia fouled with 26 seconds left, and junior guard Dominique Conners made two foul shots to give San Diego a four-point lead. The Lions failed to score on their ensuing possession, as sophomore forward Tyler Simpson missed a jumper with 10 seconds left. By the time freshman guard Taylor Ward took—and missed—a trey at the buzzer, the outcome had been decided. San Diego achieved a 91-87 victory.
While Columbia did not complete its comeback against San Diego, the game represented a step in the right direction. The Lions showed just how powerful their offense can be, and they had their best chance at a win this year.
Columbia may not score 87 points in a single game again this season, and five Columbia players may not all score in double figures in the same contest, but if the team’s scoring remains consistent and balanced, the Lions could be in line for their first win as early as Thursday against Wagner.