Columbia (6-18, 3-7 Ivy) split its weekend road series, following a hard-fought victory over Brown (8-16, 2-8 Ivy) Friday night with a competitive loss to Yale (12-12, 6-4 Ivy) on Saturday.
“We had a lot of people contribute,” head coach Stephanie Glance said. “That’s when we’re at our best and put ourselves in a position to win.”
The Light Blue opened the game against Brown with a 7-0 run, including four points from first-year forward Carolyn Gallagher, who went on to score a career-high 15. Junior guard Miwa Tachibana also had a career night, totaling 20 points.
“She’s a really good player. She makes her shots and makes the most out of what she has,” Glance said of Tachibana. “If she misses a shot she gets it right back again and that’s what really good shooters do—that’s a shooter’s mentality.”
While Columbia led for most of the first half, the Bears tied it up at 23 with 4:12 to play before the break. A 5-2 run from that mark gave Brown the 28-25 advantage going into the half.
Although the Lions had yet to win a game when down at the half this season, on Friday they were able to adjust their game plan at the break.
“We wanted to turn that around and be the aggressor on offense,” Glance said.
Gallagher made the quick adjustment and tied the game at 28-28 with a traditional three-point play to open the second half. Tachibana added three threes, and another two treys from senior guard Taylor Ward gave the Lions a 50-39 lead with 9:42 to play.
Brown fought its way to within three with a 15-7 run, making the score 57-54 with 3:15 to play.
Sophomore guard Sara Mead subbed in for Ward, making a key steal and going 5-for-5 from the charity stripe in the game’s closing minutes to seal the win for the Lions.
With their 66-59 win over Brown, the Lions won consecutive games against Ancient Eight foes for the first time since 2011. And on Saturday, Columbia almost added a third win in a row. It kept up its offensive aggression, shooting 51 percent from the field, but fell to Yale, 73-68.
Despite new career-high point totals from Tachibana and Gallagher, the Bulldogs were able to match the Lions score-for-score. After the break, Yale guard Sarah Halejian hit a three to break a 41-41 tie and give the Elis a lead they would not relinquish. Halejian led all scorers with 26 points.
The Lions battled to within two points with 32 seconds remaining, but could not forge ahead.
“To still be in the game and still have a chance to win with one minute to play—that shows more improvement than anything else,” Glance said.
Columbia returns to Levien for its final home games of the season next weekend, taking on Dartmouth and Harvard.