Sports | Men's Basketball

Columbia tops Yale, 62-46, at Levien

  • Youjin Jenny Jang / Senior Staff Photographer
    Frank-credible | Junior guard Steve Frankoski had a season-high 17 points in the Light Blue victory.

Updated on Feb. 23 at 5:09 p.m.

The men’s basketball team outplayed Yale from cover to cover Sunday afternoon, earning a 62-46 win to improve its conference record to 6-4.

By topping the Bulldogs (14-10, 8-2 Ivy), Columbia (17-10, 6-4 Ivy) earned its first home-weekend Ivy sweep in five seasons. The Lions also beat Brown, 70-68, on Friday night.

With sophomore guard Grant Mullins out of the lineup for the second straight game, junior co-captain Steve Frankoski stepped up for Columbia against the Bulldogs (14-10, 8-2 Ivy) in the first half.

The 6-foot-2 guard led Columbia with 14 points in the first 20 minutes as the Light Blue jumped out to a 30-23 lead at Levien. He would finish with 17 in his first significant action of the season.

“It felt great,” Frankoski said. “Coach gives me that confidence to go out and shoot the ball—he calls me a home-run hitter—just to go out there and if I’m open, shoot it.”

Paced by Frankoski’s 6-for-9 performance from the field, Columbia outshot the Bulldogs 52.4 percent to 44.4 percent in the half.

“That was a big lift for them,” Yale head coach James Jones said of Frankoski’s performance. “He’s got such a quick release. He’s somebody that was in the scouting report, but you know you’re not worried about him going for 10 points in the first half.”

The Lions came out of the gates strong to start the second as well, building up a double-digit lead. Columbia led by 12 with just over 10 to play. 

A Bulldog rally briefly cut the lead to six around the nine-minute mark, but Columbia regrouped and with 6:10 to play led 50-37 after a big Frankoski three. 

Sophomore guard Maodo Lo hit a runner to put Columbia up by 19, and at the 3:11 mark junior forward Alex Rosenberg hit a pair of free throws to extend the Lions’ lead to 59-38.

The Elis couldn’t hold the Lions back as Columbia finished strong to seal the 62-46 win.

The Lions benefited from poor free-throw shooting by Yale, as the Bulldogs hit just nine of 22 attempts from the line.

The Light Blue also held Yale forward Justin Sears—who scored 22 points in Yale’s 69-59 victory on Jan. 31—to just 13 points Sunday afternoon.

“Great atmosphere, it’s what I’ve been selling for four years, there’s not a better value than going to a Columbia men’s basketball game—Ivy League game,” Lion head coach Kyle Smith said. “It was great. It was great to see our guys play well with that kind of crowd, and I thought we did a great job on—shoot—a really good team.”

The Lions will be back in action next weekend when they hit the road to take on Dartmouth and Harvard.

eli.schultz@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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UnionLeague posted on

Great! Keep building the program so Columbia will be recognized as an Ivy leader in the sport.

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Anonymous posted on

Amazing game! Way to go Lions!

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Lion posted on

Coach Smith has done an excellent job with these guys. Keep up the good work.

And there are no Seniors on this roster! Don't wanna think too far ahead but I think us and Harvard will be 1/2 for the Ivy League next year!

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