Columbia (10-10) at Brown (8-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: MyRITV. Home Record: Columbia 4-5, Brown 5-2. Away Record: Columbia 5-5, Brown 3-10. Neutral Record: Columbia 1-0, Brown 0-0. Conference Record: Columbia 2-4, Brown 2-4. Series Record: Columbia leads, 67-62.
GAME NOTES: The Brown Bears open up a four-game homestand on Friday night when they host the Columbia Lions in an Ivy League matchup at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Since winning its first Ivy League game of the season over Cornell on Jan. 19 (67-58), Columbia slipped into a four-game losing streak only to snap out of it with a 78-63 home win against first-place Harvard on Sunday afternoon. The Lions are now an even 10-10 on the season, and they have kept their head above water away from home by splitting 10 true road games.
Brown recently wrapped up a five-game road trip, and it did not fare well during that stretch, going just 1-4. The Bears faced Penn last Saturday and were handed a 71-48 loss to slip to 8-12 overall, and at 2-4 in the league they are tied with Columbia and Dartmouth for last place.
Columbia holds a 67-62 all-time advantage over Brown. The teams split a pair of meetings a season ago, with the Bears winning at home on Feb. 25, 2012, 94-78.
The Lions took control of their matchup against Harvard early on, leading by four at the half, and they never surrendered that advantage as they pulled ahead by as many as 20 at one point. Columbia was red-hot from the floor, making nearly 51 percent of its total shots, including 9-of-17 from 3-point range. Steven Frankoski shined with a career-high 27 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-7 from long range. Alex Rosenberg netted 13 points, Maodo Lo added 12, Cory Osetkowski tallied 10 points and nine points off the bench, and Brian Barbour rounded out the balanced attack with eight points and eight assists. Barbour, who averages 13.0 ppg and 4.8 apg, is the only player to score in double-digits on a nightly basis, but that doesn't mean the team isn't without depth. Amazingly enough, Grant Mullins, Mark Cisco and Rosenberg all average 9.9 ppg, while Frankoski in on the cusp of double figures with 9.8 ppg. As a team, Columbia scores 65.6 ppg while allowing just 61.4 ppg for the second-best scoring margin in the league (+4.2).
Brown has seen much better shooting days than the performance it put together last weekend against Penn, as it made less than 30 percent of its field goal attempts and was even worse from 3-point range (2-of-18) en route to the 23- point setback. Matt Sullivan netted 15 points and swiped five steals for the Bears, Sean McGonagill recorded 12 points and seven rebounds, Rafael Maia added 10 points, and Cedric Kuakumensah made his presence felt at the defensive end with a career-high seven blocks. McGonagill is one of the league's most multi-faceted players. On top of scoring a team-high 14.3 ppg, he's also tallied 4.6 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.4 spg, and 47 3-pointers. Sullivan brings 14.0 ppg to the table, while Maia (11.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Kuakumensah (6.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg) are arguably the most imposing forward duo in the league. Brown doesn't boast much depth past its starting five, which results in a lackluster offensive attack (61.5 ppg, .395 FG percentage).
On paper, Columbia appears to have Brown's number, but the Bears have played well at home (5-2) and they will be eager to return to Providence after a long absence. The game should go down to the wire, but expect Brown to use its advantage in the frontcourt to push past the Lions.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Brown 64, Columbia 62
02/15 10:31:59 ET