It took three minutes into the first quarter until the first basket was made, but after that slow start to the game Columbia University women’s basketball dominated Marist College in unprecedented fashion. When the game was done, Columbia had prevailed 103–54. It was the most points that Columbia women’s hoops scored in a 40-minute game in program history (the only higher score came in a quadruple overtime game in 1988).
“I was really proud of our girls for dictating tempo and pace on both sides of the floor and putting together a really nice offensive effort,” said head coach Megan Griffith. Twelve players played, all scoring at least one point. Junior guard/forward Paige Lauder scored a career-high 24 points, going five-for-six on 3-pointers and shooting nine for 11 overall.
“Shout out to my teammates for finding me and getting me the ball,” said Lauder. “That’s the great thing about our team is any day someone can step up, and we’re clearly a very deep team. That will make us very hard to defend going into conference play.”
Throughout the game, Columbia never lost focus, even as players who don’t get a lot of playing time were in the action. “Last year, sometimes we struggled with putting away teams. This was a big growth step for us, becoming that more mature team where we’re able to lock in from start to finish for all 40 minutes,” said senior guard Jaida Patrick.
Patrick received Ivy League Player of the Week honors following the team’s victory at the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. She was also named to the NCAA’s Starting Five Players of the Week, the first Lion to receive such recognition since Camille Zimmerman in 2017. “It did feel good, especially since freshman year we probably would have never thought I would be able to get that accolade,” she said.
“This year, specifically, I’ve really been trying to enjoy our team every day, every minute I get with them because they’re a really special group,” said Griffith. “I’m just really trying to enjoy all the small moments.”
Columbia followed up the Marist win with a 91-43 defeat of Lafayette on Saturday. Columbia now has three road games before breaking for final exams. The team wraps up non-conference play on home court Dec. 28 versus Ohio University.