On Dec. 28, Columbia University women’s basketball polished off a historic non-conference season with an 81–59 win over Ohio. The final score does not give the full perspective on a tough, hard-fought game. Columbia led early, but Ohio came back again and again, even closing the gap to one possession. In the end, the Columbia Lions wore down the Ohio Bobcats, decisively outscoring them in the fourth quarter to secure the victory and the team’s best non-conference finish in program history.

“I thought it was sloppy; it looked like we just were on Christmas break, but I was proud of them for how they ended the game,” said Columbia head coach Megan Griffith. It was Columbia’s return to action after a 15-day break for finals and the holidays. “Second half, we much more stuck to our game plan.”

All the players got minutes and performed well. The top three scorers were starters Abbey Hsu, Kaitlyn Davis and Hannah Pratt, but reserves Perri Page, Paige Lauder and Carly Rivera also contributed to the win.

“We’ve got to play people for them to feel confident,” said Griffith. “Coming out of the break, you want to make sure you go to your bench and that they feel confident. For us, it was really important to make sure we mix it up a little bit more and go deeper, especially going into conference.”

After the Ohio win, sophomore guard Kitty Henderson spoke about the team coming together to secure the win. “The first half, we got the rust out, and the second—especially in the fourth quarter—we came back together and we played our basketball, especially on defense, and I think that was really good to see,” said Henderson. “Coach G got on us and we all, I think, woke up a little bit and also came together. 

“We weren’t really talking that much in the first half. In the second half, we really picked up our talk and we were working as a unit rather than individuals, which definitely helped us on defense—and on offense, we were just having fun, and that really showed.”

Columbia opened Ivy League conference play on Saturday with a 97–53 win over Yale. Five Columbia players scored in double figures. Conference action continues on Friday when Columbia takes on Princeton.

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