Sports | Men's Basketball

Men’s basketball tops Eastern Michigan in CIT

  • Kate Scarbrough / Senior Staff Photographer
    HOW LO CAN YOU GO | Sophomore guard Maodo Lo overcame some early foul trouble to net a team-high 15 points.
  • Kate Scarbrough / Senior Staff Photographer
    Thousand-aire | Junior forward Alex Rosenberg reached the 1,000-point plateau in Columbia’s win over Eastern Michigan.

While a shooting slump has sunk the men’s basketball team several times in the recent past, the team overcame it with some adjustments and a well-timed hot streak on Saturday, defeating Eastern Michigan (22-15), 69-56, in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Junior forward Alex Rosenberg and sophomore guard Maodo Lo scored 15 points each to pace the Lions (21-12). Rosenberg also reached a career milestone with his 1,000th point for the Light Blue. 

“It’s obviously a good accomplishment,” Rosenberg said. “Right now, I think 21 wins is more special because it’s more of a team thing.”

That 21st win was in serious jeopardy for most of the second half. 

Against the Eagles’ strong zone defense, the Lions needed to make their outside shots. And while they did that early in the game—extending their lead to as many as nine points—they went cold at the end of the first half and in the early part of the second. 

“I knew there’d be an ebb and flow,” Light Blue head coach Kyle Smith said after the game. “As long as we took care of the ball we’d be OK.”

But the Lions committed eight turnovers in the first half. The Eagles used the last two, both steals, to tie the game at 28 heading into the break, and continued to fluster Columbia’s offense in the second half. Although junior center Cory Osetkowski was able to cleanly receive passes in the lane, he didn’t take advantage. Other passing lanes were covered by Eastern Michigan’s 2-3 zone defense, and Osetkowski and his teammates often found hands in their faces as soon as they turned to face the basket for a potential shot. The Eagles had eight steals and three blocks in the first 30 minutes of the game.

“I think they get used to what you’re doing offensively—that’s what kind of happened at the end of the first half,” Smith said.

“They were definitely long, athletic—it was tough to pass,” Osetkowski said. “But we found a way.”

With 9:10 left in the game, a dunk by forward Karrington Ward put the Eagles up, 51-45. EMU only scored one basket the rest of the way, though—a three by guard Raven Lee, who torched Columbia for 26 points—as the Lions buckled down defensively and started finding the net at the other end.

Rosenberg knocked down a pair of threes, Osetkowski hit a pair of jumpers from the free-throw line, sophomore guard Maodo Lo scored a layup, and with the Lions up by six, they never looked back.

“Anytime you’re playing against a team where all five guys can shoot the basketball, it poses a threat,” Eastern Michigan head coach Rob Murphy said, adding that Columbia’s pump fakes were effective. “I thought right there in that stretch they made two and three extra passes as opposed to settling for shots, and those extra passes get you wide open looks.”

“Against the zone, you gotta move the ball, keep them on their toes,” Rosenberg said. 

Osetkowski, who scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in the second half, added that it took him time to get used to Eastern Michigan’s defense—which allows the 17th-fewest points per game in the country.

But behind good ball movement, Columbia pushed its run to 14-0 before the Eagles managed to respond. The Lions went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in the final 68 seconds to hang on comfortably for the win.

“The teams that are excited, want to extend it, play with joy—they’re the ones that finish off,” Smith said.

The Light Blue will next be in action on Wednesday, hosting Yale in the CIT quarterfinals.

muneeb.alam@columbiaspectator.com | @muneebalamcu

Comments

Plain text

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Your username will not be displayed if checked
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Anonymous posted on

Wow! Congratulations!

+1
+8
-1
Anonymous posted on

Please ensure that the photo is from the game being reported. This happens far too often. Shoddy work

+1
-7
-1
Anonymous posted on

Amen.

+1
+2
-1
Old happy lion posted on

Levien was the loudest it's been in years--and it was only 2/3 full. It's a good bet our Lions fed off this energy. Let's make sure that all you returning students come out for game against Yale this Wednesday. School spirit is well and alive at Alma Mater.

+1
+16
-1
LionMail posted on

Not only was it loud, but we were on our feet the entire last 7 minutes! Bring on the Yalies! We'll crush them like last time.

+1
+1
-1
Jim posted on

Next victim: Yale!

+1
+5
-1
CC'11 posted on

Great win! Let's go Lions!

+1
+10
-1
CU_Alum posted on

Sorry I can't be there, cheering the team to victory. Keep up the great work!

+1
0
-1
Anonymous posted on

Another great comeback triumph last night by our Columbia Lions before a wonderful supportive crowd. I sure hope everyone (including President Bollinger and the Deans) shows up for the quarterfinal game against Yale on Wednesday. Maybe it's time for our Spectator Managing Board to write an editorial congratulating this Columbia Basketball Team for restoring the spirit and pride in Columbia Athletics. Keep in mind that unlike Harvard, Columbia has elevated its basketball program to a higher level without committing any NCAA recruiting violation or having to suspend its two basketball co-captains for a year for cheating on an examination.

+1
+2
-1
Alum posted on

Agree. Bollinger should be at the game. Also, Columbia should have a party/dinner/celebration for the team and the students when the tournament is over.

+1
+4
-1
UnionLeague posted on

Yes, and please serve Champagne Bollinger at the party, preferably the Cuvee Winston Churchill. LOL!

+1
-6
-1
Higher level posted on

All we had to do was pay $38,000 to "be selected."

+1
-1
-1
Menckenman posted on

We didn't pay "to be selected".
We paid to host the game. (that means to get what is called "the home court advantage")
Some believe (myself included) we should have done that for the first game as well, to give us a better chance. Fortunately the gamble paid off and we won away.
As the following comment states, CU spends that much on a cocktail party, and doesn't generate 1/10th the spirit, excitement and morale. Although we do probably get someone to pay to put his/her name on a conference room or something.

+1
+5
-1
OP posted on

That still seems sketchy but I stand corrected.

+1
-3
-1
A Pride of Lions posted on

Bollinger and Campbell spend more than $38,000 on a cocktail party--or $36,000 according to this tournament's director--and they don't get it back from ticket sales and concessions. The PrezBo definitely should attend these games. I doubt that he snubbed the U. Of Michigan's major athletic events.
This is a very good Columbia team that deserves the entire
Columbia community's support, and it is going to be even better next season. Lion baseball is also competitive on a national level, and so are women's tennis and fencing, and many others are good and improving. It's time for the Administration to understand, however, that a moribund football program drags down the entire athletics program.

+1
0
-1
Menckenman posted on

The current BB accomplishment is unexpected but very welcome. I wish I could credit that to the administration, but I fear it is more of a serendipitous confluence of a gritty team and a good coach.
The lack of comprehension and recognition by our president and AD of the need to have meaningful communication with the student, alumni and fan base regarding athletics is disturbing. We get vapid memos from both published in Spectator that do not address issues; we have a complete black-out of information re the football team over the past few months, we have no logical explanation for our first CIT game being played away when it could have been home.
Understand, people are not trying to tell these folks how to run the programs. They'll do what they want anyway and they'll live or die by performance records. What many of us would appreciate is some 2-way conversation, explaining the thought process or the logic, rather than the "take it or leave it" attitude which appears to be the road they have chosen.
Re the Yale game, I'm sure both persons in question will be present to receive their kudos and their photo ops.

+1
-2
-1
Anonymous posted on

The quarter-final CIT tournament game with Yale Wednesday night at Levien affords President Bollinger the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Columbia Men's Basketball Team for proving that the Columbia Athletics Campaign for Excellence has been successful. This is indeed an Excellent Columbia Basketball Team that has won 21 games and even took a powerful Michigan State team down to the wire. Moreover, Columbia is projected to be even stronger next season. There is no question in my mind that President Bollinger, Dr. Murphy and the Dean of the College will be at Wednesday's game. If they don't show, they deserve the wrath of the Spec Editorial Board.

+1
+4
-1
Anonymous posted on

Regardless whether President Bollinger shows up for the Basketball Tournament game Wednesday night, it is deeply disappointing to many Columbia alumni and friends that a world-class athletic facility/health & recreation center has not been constructed on or near the Columbia campus. This is the most glaring failure of Bollinger's tenure and if uncharged, will always mar his legacy.

+1
-3
-1
Jim posted on

OK, Princeton just lost to Fresno State. CU and Yale are the only Ivies still playing. The gym should be jammed to overflowing on Wednesday.

+1
-6
-1