Columbia Men’s Basketball Extends Winning Streak to Three with Win over Temple University

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The Columbia University men’s basketball team continued its good start to the season with a 78-73 win over Temple University on Saturday. It was the third straight win for the Columbia men’s basketball team following a 105-60 victory over NCAA Division III opponent SUNY Delhi on Wednesday.

The win over Temple was significant for Columbia (3-2) as the Owls (3-1) are currently ranked higher in the NCAA Assessment Tool rankings than all Ivy League teams except Princeton (4-0). Columbia’s other two wins this year have come against NCAA Division III opponents SUNY Delhi (1-1) and Bard College (2-1).

While the win against Temple came in the final minutes, Columbia’s victory against SUNY Delhi on Wednesday was never in doubt. Sophomore forward Zine Eddine Bedri shined in the 45-point win, scoring a career-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting. First-year forward Arop Arop also had the best performance of his Columbia career, scoring 10 points in 15 minutes of action.

Columbia Men’s Basketball Extends Winning Streak to Three with Win over Temple University

Columbia’s offence and defence are equally as good. Against SUNY Delhi, the Lions racked up 18 steals and caused 21 turnovers to keep their opponents from finding their best offensive opportunities.

The team continued to be balanced in the win over Temple. Seven Lions scored more than eight points, including 13 points from sophomore guard Avery Brown. On the opposing side, Temple guard Hazel Miller scored a game-high 29 points and was one of only three Temple players to take more than six shots.

The Lions and Owls were tied in the beginning of the game, but Columbia slowly fell behind as the first half drew to a close. Junior guard Jaden Cooper hit two consecutive three-pointers to cap a mini 10-0 run and give Columbia a 44-37 lead at halftime.

Head Coach Jim Engels emphasised the importance of scoring consecutive points in his post-game interview with ESPN+.

“We stayed in the game and had the hot hand. We started making shots and scoring on every possession,” Engels said.” That was the game.

Brown and junior forward Blair Thompson scored the first points of the game in the second half to extend Columbia’s lead to 48-37, and the Lions held the lead for the remainder of the second half, never letting Temple get the upper hand.

However, Temple cut Columbia’s lead to two points in the final two minutes of the game. Undaunted, young guard Jeronimo Rubio de la Rosa made two crucial free throws in the final seconds to put the game out of reach.

The Lions will look to extend their winning streak to four games this Tuesday when they host Long Island University (0-3).

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