Game 26: Columbia — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly


Riding momentum from a 79-71 victory over Cornell the night before, Penn entered its matchup at Columbia with a head of steam, as the squad was looking to log its first Ivy weekend sweep of the year. But the Quakers' offense stalled against the Lions, and Penn walked away with its most disappointing loss of the season, a 58-41 defeat that ended not with a bang but a sad, lonely whimper. The Quakers, however, were not alone in their offensive struggles. Though Columbia picked up a win, the Lions had an abysmal performance from the field in the second half in a game in which each Ivy squad seemed determined to match the other's horrific shooting. With bad play all around, this edition of "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" will in actuality be "The Ugly, the Ugly & the Marginally Less Ugly."

THE UGLY: Six field goals from both teams combined in the second half.

In the second frame, Penn and Columbia scored a total of six field goals — four on the Quakers' side and two for the Lions, while shooting 16.7 percent and 10 percent from the field, respectively. While one would like to attribute the low scoring to excellent defense, it was largely a result of poor shooting performances by virtually everyone on the floor. Neither team finished above 33.3 percent shooting overall, though Columbia did convert 22-26 free throws in the game, which led the Lions to victory.

THE UGLY: Three technical fouls on Penn's side.

Freshman Tony Hicks followed up his 29-point performance against Cornell with 19 points against the Lions. However, his play was tarnished by receiving two technical fouls and ultimately fouling out of the game with 3:33 left in the game. Hicks logged his first 'T' at the 7:42 mark in the second half. It was unclear just what the call resulted from, but it seems like Hicks said something to the refs they didn't like after calling a foul against the rookie. His second technical came a few minutes later with 3:33 remaining. Again, the reasons for the infraction were unclear, but it sent Hicks to the showers early as he also tallied his fifth personal foul. His ejection killed Penn’s momentum and extinguished any chance of the Quakers crawling back into the game. If that weren't enough, just a moment later, coach Jerome Allen was whistled for a technical after reacting to a missed travel call.

MARGINALLY LESS UGLY: Hicks dazzles again with 19 points.

Despite the technical fouls, Hicks was certainly the closest thing to a bright spot for Penn. After Columbia defenders swatted away a couple of his first drives to the rim, Hicks adjusted and began to effectively utilize a jump shot that has improved greatly over the course of the season. The rookie shot 8-for-15 from the field, accounting for more than half of Penn's 14 field goals. Clearly, however, it was far from enough to keep the Quakers in the game, even with the Lions converting just 2-20 from the field in the second half.

Liveblog: Penn football vs. Columbia

The Quakers take on Columbia at Franklin Field looking to stay undefeated in the Ivy League. Follow along with all the action here:

Penn softball guarantees share of South Division title with sweep of Columbia

In Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn softball was announced as the DP’s team of the year on the women’s side.  Of course, the Quakers had yet to even finish regular season play.

If there was any doubt as to the softball team's claim to this award before, it should no longer remain.

With one weekend of Ivy play remaining, the Red and Blue could guarantee at least a share of the South Division title by sweeping Columbia in their four-game series.  It would be the Quakers' first division title since 2007.

Penn not only swept, but decimated the Lions.  In doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, the Quakers outscored Columbia 33-5 and won at least one game each day by mercy rule.

While Penn’s offense shelled its opponent, pitching virtuoso Alexis Borden had the most impressive performance of the weekend.  The freshman pitched every inning for the Quakers against Columbia and gave up just five runs in 33 innings.  The four wins boosted Borden’s record to 23-4 on the season and helped Borden pass Jessie Lupardus for most wins in a single season in Penn history.  Lupardus had 20 wins in 2008.

Penn (32-15, 15-5 Ivy) will now keep a close eye on Cornell (22-21, 13-5), who was tied with the Quakers for the lead in the South Division entering the weekend.  Two games into its four-games series at Princeton, the Big Red is still in contention for the division, as it won both games today.  However, Cornell will have to sweep again on Sunday in order to keep pace with the Red and Blue.

If Cornell wins both games on Sunday, then the Quakers and the Big Red will play a one-game playoff to determine which team will play in the Ivy League Championship series against Harvard next weekend.

Though the Crimson have run the table this year largely untouched, Penn’s dominant performances of late have made the Quakers a serious threat for an Ivy League title.  In particular, the best of three setup of the Ivy championship series would benefit the Red and Blue, as Borden could feasibly pitch the entirety of the series.  With this in mind, Penn seems well positioned to spoil Harvard’s otherwise easy travels in the Ivy League this season.


Penn vs. Columbia post-game pressers

Jerome Allen, Fran Dougherty and Miles Cartwright speak after Penn's 61-59 overtime win over Columbia:

Game 17: at Columbia — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Though the Quakers began to pull away at the end of the second half — leading by six with 45 seconds to go — the Lions capitalized on several Penn miscues and came within a three-point shot at the buzzer of winning the game. But the Red and Blue prevailed, winning their Ivy opener, 66-64, in Uptown Manhattan.

THE GOOD: Zack didn't do it alone. Too many times this year, the Quakers have relied solely on Zack Rosen for their whole offense. Tonight, he had help. Tyler Bernardini and Miles Cartwright led the way for Penn with 16 points apiece, while Rosen had 15 (but only 2 in the first half). Cartwright missed only one shot on the night — he made 5-of-6. And Bernardini earned most of his points by driving to the bucket and drawing fouls, converting 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. The Quakers are a much better team when Rosen has as much help as he did tonight.

THE BAD: Columbia's shooting from beyond the arc. The Lions came into the game averaging over seven treys per game with the highest three-point shooting percentage in the Ivy League at 38 percent. But Columbia converted only 3-of-19 (16 percent) from long range in this one. It would have been moot, though, if Brian Barbour had been able to sink a game-winner at the buzzer.

THE UGLY: The Columbia band's rendition of Party Rock Anthem. It was bad enough that the band was situated directly behind our position on press row. But when they broke out in Party Rock, it was painful — from the off-key notes to the pauses where they would yell, "Everyday I'm shufflin.'" No wonder their own athletic director banned them from the football team's final game.

Penn men’s basketball vs. Columbia – liveblog sponsored by the Blarney Stone

Follow the action from Levien gym below:

Red and Blue Crew wants you to come to Columbia


Have you ever been in an underground gym before? Now is your chance! The Red and Blue Crew will be making a day trip to New York this Friday to watch the Quakers open Ivy League play against Columbia. And they want you to come.

The fan section will be taking Bolt Bus up the turnpike Friday afternoon and returning late after the game, "so you can still make it back in time to enjoy the rest of your night (and for the important part of rush, if that's a problem)," according to an email from the RBC.

Here's more from the Crew:

The Red and Blue Crew invites you to join us in traveling to New York City this Friday, January 13, to cheer on our men's basketball team as they take on the Columbia Lions at 7:00pm.  This is our first Ivy League game of the season, and it will take place in Columbia's underground Levien Gym.

Remember, the Ivy League has no conference postseason.  So, Friday marks the beginning of our 14-game playoff, whose prize is a trip to the Big Dance.  All the more reason to come support the team!

We will be taking the Bolt Bus from 30th Street Station sometime between 1:00 and 3:15, depending on demand, so let us know what times work best for you....

So, to summarize, come out, convince some friends to join you, get rowdy, and let all of your end-of-break frustrations out on Columbia's players, fans, and embarrassing gym as we earn our first Ivy win of the season!

Here's a link to the facebook event for those interested.

Columbia hires Pete Mangurian as football coach

The Lions' search for the next football coach took just a few short weeks. Athletic Director M. Diane Murphy hired former Cornell coach Pete Mangurian to replace ousted head man Norries Wilson at Columbia.

Murphy hired the Mangurian candidate (sorry, had to do it) once before — as an associate athletic director for the Big Red, she was involved in their search for a football coach in 1998. Mangurian coached the Big Red for 3 seasons, during which they went 11-10 in Ivy play.

He's spent the last 10 years in the NFL, serving as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, the tight ends coach for New England and the offensive line coach for Tampa Bay. He was fired from his job with the Buccaneers last January.

He inherits a team that went just 1-6 in Ivy play this season.

“He has a great track record,” Lions quarterback Sean Brackett told the Columbia Spectator. “He’s been everywhere football is played—the Ivy League, the NFL, and college football. He’s coached a lot of good players. He’s been around a lot of great coaches. Everything he said made me relieved that we are getting the right guy for our football program going forward.”

For more, read the Spectator's story on the hiring.

Columbia fires football coach Norries Wilson

A day after the Lions earned their only win of the 2011 football season, Columbia athletic director M. Dianne Murphy announced that head coach Norries Wilson "will not be retained," to use the politically correct term.

“Making a decision of this nature is always difficult," Murphy said in a statement. “That said, in order to achieve the goals that we have set for the Columbia football program, we believe that it is necessary and appropriate to make a change in leadership at this time.”

Wilson, who took over at Columbia in December 2005, had a 17-43 overall record with the Lions, going 10-32 in Ivy League play. In his tenure, Wilson did not finish with a winning-record once, and finished 0-7 in Ivy play in 2007. Saturday's win over Brown was the Lions only victory this season.

Midway through the season, Columbia's student newspaper, The Spectator, called for Wilson's firing once the season had concluded. It was the second time in two years that the paper called for his removal.

“Norries has accomplished a great deal in helping us rebuild a stronger foundation for Columbia Football," Murphy said.  "We thank him for his tremendous service and wish him the very best in the future. ”

According to Columbia's news release, a search for the next head coach will begin immediately.

Columbia AD reverses band ban

We reported yesterday that the Columbia band had been barred from playing at the final game of the year after changing the words of the Lions fight song to mock how bad the team is. Well, don't put your tubas away quite yet!

The Columbia AD has changed her mind, and will allow the marching band to march Saturday.

From ESPN New York:

Columbia athletic director Dr. M. Dianne Murphy explained Thursday night why the athletic department decided to change its mind.

"We are proud of our talented and dedicated student-athletes -- but as we have discussed this issue over the past day, we come to the conclusion that the core free speech values of the University are best served by providing a forum both for speech that might sometimes offend -- as well as for the kind of open discussion that ultimately leads to greater understanding and collegiality among all members of our community," she said.


Columbia senior José Delgado, the band's manager, had emailed a statement to after learning of the team's ban:

"The Columbia University Marching Band would like to apologize to the members of our community, in particular to our fellow classmates and coaches, who were offended by the incident that occurred on November 12 at the Columbia vs. Cornell football game. We accept the consequences and look forward to continue to be a part of our school spirit for future athletic events."