The men’s basketball team (13-6, 2-0 Ivy) won its sixth straight game on Saturday, 74-58 over Cornell (1-15, 0-2 Ivy).
The final scoreline belied the game’s competitiveness—the first 37 minutes were played within six points. Columbia finally managed to pull ahead by eight on a layup from junior forward Alex Rosenberg.
“We really had to compete and fight hard,” sophomore guard Maodo Lo said, adding that he thought the Big Red team members played with “a chip on their shoulder” after Columbia’s home win over the Big Red a week ago.
After the layup put Columbia ahead 61-53, Cornell began fouling. But the Lions, as they have for the last three seasons, knocked down their free throws to keep the Big Red from climbing back into the game.
Rosenberg scored at least 17 points for the sixth straight game, while Lo led the Light Blue with 20 points. Junior center Cory Osetkowski scored a career-high 19 to complement his nine rebounds, leading Columbia to a 38-25 advantage in points in the paint against a smaller Cornell lineup.
“We know he’s a big force down low, and he showed that today,” Lo said. “We made sure that we were feeding him the ball. He played with a lot of confidence.”
Before Osetkowski caught fire, the Lions had some difficulty dealing with Cornell’s full-court press, which had given them some trouble in the last few minutes of last week’s win as well. But the Light Blue made some adjustments and ended up taking advantage of the pressure for some easy baskets.
“We kept it simple in our press break,” head coach Kyle Smith said. “We didn’t have as much clutter and confusion.”
Smith added that when the Lions broke Cornell’s press for some easy layups, he thought it forced the Big Red to back off a little.
Columbia will next be in action Friday at Yale.
Eli Schultz and Myles Simmons contributed reporting.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Columbia's win over Cornell was its fifth in a row. It was its sixth. Spectator regrets the error.