Sports | Nov. 20 6:59 pm EST
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BASKETBALL Lions at Villanova—Final score: COLUMBIA 75 – VILLANOVA 57

VILLANOVA, Pa. — After the first half, the Lions lead Villanova, 26-22. Columbia has capitalized on a number of Wildcat turnovers to put itself in a good position after 20 minutes of play.

Sophomore Alex Rosenburg and senior guard Brian Barbour have both been at the forefront of the Light Blue defensive effort. Rosenburg has done a good job of using his length to seal off passing lines, while Barbour’s relentless defense has also made things difficult for the Wildcats.

The biggest blemish on the Lions’ otherwise strong performance has been shooting. Columbia is shooting well below 50 percent from the field, a number that will need to improve for the Lions to hang on to their four-point halftime advantage.

The men’s basketball team will face the Villanova Wildcats tonight in the Lions’ fourth game of the season. Columbia (2-1) is coming off a disappointing loss to Marist on Saturday night, in which the Red Foxes came out on top in a close battle. Villanova (3-1) also heads into tonight’s game following its first loss, which came Friday night against Alabama.

The Light Blue’s performance against Villanova will show whether or not the Lions can bounce back after a close loss, something they were unable to do last season. You can see our three keys after the jump and follow the action on Twitter @CUSpecSports.

1. Grab the boards

Despite the superior size of their frontcourt, the Lions were outrebounded by Marist on Saturday. Against Villanova’s fast, small lineup, the Light Blue must assert its dominance under the basket if it hopes to win.

2. Keep up the pace

Villanova is known to play a faster offense, focusing on quick plays and fast break points. Against Marist’s speed, the Lions performed decently well, and stopping their opponents in transition must once again be an emphasis tonight against Villanova.

3. Barbour’s groove

Against the Crimson Tide, the Wildcats struggled to contain Alabama’s junior guard Trevor Releford, who tallied 25 points and shot 5-5 from beyond the arc. Although the Lions’ frontcourt must perform well tonight against Villanova, it will also be important for senior guard Brian Barbour to get into a groove. Barbour’s drives to the basket and outside shooting will have a big influence in whether or not the Light Blue is successful tonight.

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COMMENTS (7)

  1. J.A. Adande • November 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm • Reply

    LIONS WIN!!

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    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  2. G-Baby • November 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm • Reply

    We’re going to the ship!

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    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  3. Rob '13 • November 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm • Reply

    HUGE win!!! This could be the biggest win in Columbia men’s basketball history. Villanova is a legit program. Wow. I’m so proud of our team. Go Lions!

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    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  4. Jim • November 21, 2012 at 12:56 am • Reply

    Not so sure this huge win measures up to the victory in the one game playoff against Princeton for the Ivy title in 1968. The Lions then won a game in the NCAA and I believe were ranked as high as 7th. Good times.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  5. Richard • November 21, 2012 at 6:13 am • Reply

    They beat a Bradley-Princeton team; in addition to the play-off vs. the Tigers; possibly ran the league in about ’53. There were other stellar wins but this was a good one!

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  6. Anonymous • November 21, 2012 at 8:47 am • Reply

    Columbia is the best!!!

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    Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  7. CU True Blue • November 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm • Reply

    This was a great win. People say Nova is down this year, but to beat a Big East team by 18 on their homecourt is impressive no matter what.

    The backcourt was phenomenal last night and the ball movement was a sight to behold. Also loved the 2-3. Wouldn’t mind seeing some 1-3-1 mixed in (both are great for rebounding). Hoping for even more contributions from the bigs going forward.

    This is a team to be excited about, and t’s nice to finally be able to focus on a present-day team rather than one from 44 years ago.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)

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