BASKETBALL Lions vs. Bucknell — Final score: BUCKNELL 65, COLUMBIA 57
For one half, the men’s basketball team (4-4) held Bucknell center Mike Muscala in check. But once he got going, the Lions had no answer, as the Bison (7-1) rallied to take a 65-57 decision at Levien Gymnasium, handing the Light Blue its third consecutive loss.
Muscala had 29 points and 19 rebounds, 19 and 11 of which came in the second half, and was instrumental in getting the Light Blue frontcourt into serious foul trouble. Combined with poor second-half shooting, Columbia could not keep pace with the Bison.
Check out our full recap here.
At half time at Levien Gymnasium, the Lions lead the Bison, 32-25.
Senior center Mark Cisco led the way for Columbia in the first half with 10 points.
Bucknell jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but the Light Blue reeled off an impressive 21-0 run to take control of the game. The Bison clawed their way back into it, cutting the deficit to five before a pair of free throws by senior point guard Brian Barbour increased the lead to seven just before the break.
Despite a largely impressive first half for the Lions, fouls continued to be a problem. Cisco has two fouls, and sophomore forward Alex Rosenberg had three as part of the team’s total of nine in the first half.
Columbia men’s basketball (4-3) takes on Bucknell (6-1) tonight. The Lions have lost two in a row, while Bucknell, after taking its first loss against Penn State, rebounded to defeat Dartmouth.
You can see our three keys after the jump and follow the action on Twitter @CUSpecSports.
1. Three-point shooting
Over its last two games, Bucknell has shot 23 percent from beyond the arc. Over its last two games, Columbia has allowed its opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from downtown. One of those trends should end tonight.
Columbia ran into serious foul trouble against LIU, and the Blackbird’s 17 trips to the charity line in the second half on Wednesday was one of the reasons the Lions were unable to take back the lead. Tonight, the Light Blue needs to be conscious of its fouling, especially under the basket.
3. Frontcourt fumbles
With the exception of senior center Mark Cisco, who recorded a double-double on Wednesday night, the Light Blue frontcourt was largely a nonfactor against LIU. Against Bucknell, it will be especially important for sophomore forward Alex Rosenberg to put points on the board, something he has struggled with in recent contests.
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