PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/27, 2016 – The University of Pennsylvania hoped to get above the .500 mark in Ivy League play, but ran into a hot shooting Columbia Lions team led by forward Alex Rosenberg who scored 26 points in an 93 – 65 win at The Palestra.
Rosenberg started the game scoring the first 11 points for the Lions, He started blazing and both teams followed suit. In the first half Columbia made 19 of 29 field goal attempts (65.5%) and were 8 of 16 from beyond the arc. They could not shake Penn who converted 14 of 26 (53.8%) making 5 of 12 from three-point land. The Lions ended the first half on a 10 – 4 run over the last four-plus minutes to take a 47 – 36 lead at halftime.
“Columbia played really well particularly early on and set the tone,” said Penn Coach Steve Donahue. “They showed what a veteran team does Saturday night late in the season after losing at Princeton.”
If the Red and Blue wanted to make a comeback, the Blue and White ended those hopes quickly by getting out to a 58 – 38 lead in the first four minutes of the half. Rosenberg scored the first two baskets after intermission.
Penn shooting cooled off in the latter stanza (37.5% and 2 of 11 from three-point land) and ended up with a 46% mark, 30.4% from deep. Columbia finished shooting 64.2%.
The Quakers turned the ball over 10 times which led to a 19 – 7 advantage in points off turnovers for the Lions.
“We didn’t handle it well,” Donahue said. “Our team did not play well, not executing on defense and not recognizing things. Columbia took full advantage of it.”
Senior Darien Nelson-Henry led Penn with 18 points on his Senior Day and took down 7 rebounds. Matt Howard contributed 14 points and 7 boards. Jackson Donahue added 16 points. Jamal Lewis, the other Quaker senior, finished with 6 points.
Rosenberg recorded a scored a season-high and headed three other Columbia (20 – 9, 9 – 3) players who scored in double-figures. Maodo Lo scored 15 points and handed out a team-high 6 assists. Grant Mullins scored 14 points and Jeff Coby chipped in 10 points.
This was the final home weekend for the Red and Blue who stand at 11 – 14 overall and 5 – 6 in the Ancient Eight. They will conclude the season with a trip to New England next weekend to play Dartmouth and Harvard. The regular season ends on March 8 at Princeton. There are still chances to get a winning conference record, and they have seen the road to get there.
“We took a huge step forward,” said Donahue. “We have three games in which to prove ourselves. Tonight was a measuring stick of where we have to go.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian