Sports | Men's Basketball

Men’s basketball upsets Princeton at Jadwin for 1st time since 1993

  • Youjin Jenny Jang / Senior Staff Photographer
    swarmed | Princeton did a good job keeping the Columbia big men out of the paint, but was less successful against the Lion guards.

Updated on Feb. 7 at 9:50 p.m.

PRINCETON, N.J.—For the men’s basketball team, it looked like another one of those nights. The Lions fell behind by three possessions early on and entered the break down 33-25, having shot only 33 percent in the first half. 

The team came out with new life in the second half, and the game came down to the wire.  

With the Tigers leading by two with about 35 seconds left, sophomore guard Maodo Lo missed a jumper, but junior forward Alex Rosenberg was quick to react to the rebound and secured a jump ball in Columbia’s favor. Off the inbounds, junior guard Meiko Lyles drained a three to put Columbia up, 53-52.

“It felt good when it left my hand,” Lyles said. “The whole team believed.”

First-year forward Luke Petrasek followed up that key play with another. He blocked guard T.J. Bray’s hook shot with 11 seconds left, and Columbia (14-8, 3-2 Ivy) prevailed over Princeton (12-6, 0-4 Ivy), 53-52.

“We got some shots, but most importantly, we got some stops,” Rosenberg said. “We talk about it every day in practice. One stop.”

The Lions came out of the break and went on a 17-7 run in the first five-and-a-half minutes. Threes from Lo and sophomore guard Grant Mullins tied the game at 37, eliciting a roar from the Columbia bench, and a layup from junior center Cory Osetkowski a little later put Columbia ahead, 42-40.

“At halftime, we knew we had to come out with a little more attention,” Lyles said.

With the Light Blue on the defensive end, Mullins fell and stayed on the floor. Columbia eventually got the ball back and Mullins was able to walk off the court under his own power, but did not return to the game.

The Lions lost focus defensively for a pair of possessions and surrendered back-to-back easy layups to fall behind by two. They left first-year forward Spencer Weisz open for a three on their next trip down the floor, but he missed.

The teams traded miss after miss, scoring only eight points in six minutes. Bray finally knocked down a three from the corner with a little over six minutes to go to put the Tigers up 47-44. After Rosenberg converted a three-point play to tie the game, first-year forward Steven Cook knocked down another corner three to restore Princeton’s lead—setting the stage for Petrasek’s rebound and Lyles’ shot for Columbia’s first win at Princeton since 1993.

“Really, once the ball goes up, I really do think that stuff goes away for the most part,” head coach Kyle Smith said. “We need to focus on what we can control, and that’s all we can control.”

Columbia plays tomorrow at Penn.

muneeb.alam@columbiaspectator.com | @muneebalamcu

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that first-year forward Luke Petrasek pulled down the rebound on Princeton's final shot. It was junior forward Alex Rosenberg. Spectator regrets the error.

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Anonymous posted on

Outstanding. We have the talent (vis Michigan State), we just need the focus and confidence and consistency. First Jadwin win in 20 years! Go Lions!
Now to not let down against Penn, and do the right thing with all our up-coming home games.
This could be an amazing season. Beating Princeton away? Why not Harvard at home?

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Anonymous posted on

So proud of our basketball team. A great day to be a Columbian!

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Richard posted on

Having watched many of Lyles' three streak 2 years ago in Los Angeles, I wasn't surprised he got the ball. He said on KCR that Smith told him he'd make it.

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Audit AI Scores! posted on

Wonderful, gritty win. Never say die and dig deep at crunch time.

With this type of attitude, we only need to see one important change to become contenders for the Ivy title: Get the Ivy office to audit the AI scores for each program's incoming recruits. That'll bring Harvard right back to the back in no time.

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Puzzled Alum posted on

Nice going, guys!

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CU True Blue posted on

A great win last night. My father and I congratulated Coach Smith after the game.
Huge shot by Lyles, and overall, we just seemed to play with a lot more fire after the break. Even though he didn't shoot that well from the floor, Rosenberg had a very good game (and was actually the one to tie up the Princeton player to give us the ball back down two, rather than Petrasek as the article states). We played great D at the end of the game, and Lyles did a nice job shutting Bray down for the most part after Mullins left the game. Speaking of whom, I hope Grant's okay.

Apart from Bray and Brase, Princeton looked pretty awful, particularly in the second half, so I'm glad we beat them. Things looked bleak when we were down 52-47, but Cohen hit a HUGE three to give us life. Wish that had been mentioned in the article, along with Petrasek's monster block of Bray's shot with 11 seconds left.

Here's to hoping that Luke's block and his later clutch rebound with about one second left get him going again. We need a big game from him tonight. CU there!

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sports posted on

Re: Rosenberg, not Petrasek—I just checked the replay and you're absolutely correct. Sorry about that. Fixed.

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Anonymous posted on

Lions beat tigers! Oh, my!

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great, but... posted on

What does "fell behind by three possessions" mean?

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Why four down votes?? I think this is a valid point... posted on

In basketball, a single possession can result in one of the following outcomes: (1) 2 points via 2-pt field-goal; (2) 3 points from a 3-pt field-goal; 1, 2, or 3 points from a free-throw (personal foul or technical foul); a turnover; a timeout; no points and a change of possession to the opposing team.

When the author of this column says "fell behind by three possessions," which of the above possibilities is he referring to?

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