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NEW YORK, NY(SMI-GLOBAL-SPORTS-UNIVERSITY-FEB. 18, 2024)-Four Harvard players scored in double-figures and the offense rallied back late in second half to defeat the Columbia Lions 80-75, in an Ivy League play and during Saturday's evening game at Schiller Court/Levien Gym Columbia University, New York City.


With the win, The Crimson and Lions share the 4th place in the standings with 13-9, overall record & 4-5 in the Ivy League but Harvard leads in percentage points by sweeping the season series with 80-75, victory over the Lions in Today's game.

Columbia will be hosting for the first time the Men and Women's Ivy League Madness championship tournament where the top 4-teams finishers of Men and women division will compete for the Ivy League crown on March 15-17, at Levien Gym, Columbia University 

in New York City.


Both teams who are in search for a play-off spot for the upcoming 2023/2024 Ivy Madness battled from start exchanging baskets and keeping the score very closed during the first ten-minutes of the first half.


Harvard led the first attack first with 11-9, run during the first 7-minute with Chandler Pigge, Justice Ajogbor, Chisom Okpara and Malik Mack scoring with a jumper each from inside the paint to go in front 11-9, with 13:07 left in the half.

Columbia answered back with five consecutive triples to make it 25-21, to go in front at 7:57' mark. Guards Kenny Noland scored three from outside the arc and Jaden Cooper added 2-triples in the 16-10, run.

The Crimsons hit-back with three straight triples of its own with Louis Lesmond scoring 2, and Tyler Simon adding a one to tie the game at 34, with 3:34 left in the first frame.

Jaden Cooper and Eddine Bedri Zine combined for the final 4-points with a jumper and layup to make it 38-37, in favor of Columbia to closed-out the half.

After Harvard opened the second half with a triple through Malik Mack, Columbia went in 12-5, run to lead by 8, in span of  4' to make it 50-42, Lions at 13:33 mark.Rubio de LaRosa led the attack scoring 6-points with couple jumpers and FTs while Avergood Brown, Josh Odunowo and Jaden Cooper added 6-points from inside the paint with a Jumper each.

With Columbia leading 60-51, with 9:31 left in the game, The Crimson battled back and scored during 8-0, to cut the Lions deficit by 1, and make it 60-59, with 7:09 remaining in the second half. Justice Ajogbor led the attack with two dunks, Louis Lesmond & Chisom Okpara added a triple each while Malik Mack scored with a jumper.

With the game tied 65-65, and 5:29 left in the clock game, Harvard kept the pressure and went in front for the second time in the game with a 8-1, run during a 3' minute span to take the lead of 73-66, over Columbia with 2:31 left in the game. Chisom Okpara led the offensive attack with a triple and 3-consecutives FTs and Malik Mack added two FT's in the run.

Columbia tried to regain its composure in the attack with Avery Brown scoring a jumper and couple FTs  while Jaden Cooper adding his 5-trio of the game to cut the deficit by 3, (76-73) but three finals fouls two by Jaden Cooper and one by Rubio de La Rosa made the difference of the game that resulted in 7-points from the Free throw lane for the Crimsons victory of 80-75, over the Lions. 

Harvard were led by Malik Mack with 21-points, Chisom Okpara 19-points and 2-triples while Justice Ajogbor added 13-points and 11-rebounds and Louis Lesmond contributed with 11-points and went 3-10, from outside the arc in the win for the Crimsons. 

Columbia were led by Jaden Cooper with 26-points, 5-triples and 5-rebounds. Geronimo De La Rosa and Josh Odunowo contributed with 10-points each in the loss.


In other Ivy League results :

Princeton 73 - Yale 62

Cornell 89 Dartmouth 80 

Brown 76    Penn 64 


Photo: Malik Mack & Justice Ajogbor in action
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