NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s basketball team (0-1) makes its 2023-24 home debut Friday night when it hosts Seton Hall (1-0). Tip-off from Schiller Court at Levien Gymnasium is set for 7 pm ET.
• Friday’s home opener will be streamed live on ESPN+. Live stats will be available courtesy of GoColumbiaLions.com. Live updates will also be posted to the Columbia women’s basketball team’s social media accounts (@CULionsWBB).
• Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time by visiting GoColumbiaLions.com/Tickets. Fans can also purchase tickets on-site at the ticket window, located at the main entrance on the southeast corner of 120th and Broadway.
2023 IVY CHAMPIONSHIP BANNER CEREMONY
• Fans are encouraged to arrive early to celebrate Columbia’s 2023 Ivy League Championship during a pregame banner ceremony. The 2022-23 Lions won the first Ivy League Championship in program history. posting a record of 28-6, 12-2 Ivy, in 2022-23. The Lions then made a postseason run all the way to the championship game of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). Along the way, Columbia won a program-record 10 straight games and earned quality non-conference road wins over Memphis (Nov. 7), Seton Hall (Nov. 17), Miami (Nov. 27) and UMass (Dec. 10) . They won the 2022 Miami Thanksgiving Tournament over a Hurricanes team that went on to reach the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament.
WHAT TO KNOW:
TAKING DOWN THE POWER CONFERENCES
• With wins over Syracuse, Seton Hall and Miami last season, Columbia owns 10 wins in its last 21 games against power-conference opponents (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, SEC, Pac 12). The span began in Megan Griffith‘s first season as head coach in 2016 with an overtime win at home over Providence. The Lions opened the 2017-18 season by defeating the Friars on the road, 73-64. The Lions also earned their first ACC win that year when they defeated Boston College, 68-60, at Levien Gymnasium.
• Two of those games have come against Seton Hall, meeting in the 2022 Postseason WNIT and again during the 2022-23 non-conference season. The Lions went 1-1 in those two games, which were decided by a combined 10 points.
EMPOWERING THE HARLEM YOUTH COMMUNITY
• Columbia announced its 2023-24 season campaign on Wednesday, named “Empowering the Harlem Youth Community”. This is the third consecutive season the team has announced a season-long campaign with the goal of making a difference beyond the basketball court.
• This season, the Lions will be partnering with the Harlem Link Charter School to forge relationships with their students and make an impact on their school community. They will also be continuing their work with Grow Our Game, a New York City organization with the goal of empowering the next generation of young girls to become fierce, amazing leaders through confidence, passion and sisterhood, all while learning the game of basketball. As they have done in the past, the Lions are also dedicated to working with Scouting & Scavenging, which challenges people in sports to collect unused hotel toiletry items for those in need. The Lions plan to donate their items to the local Harlem community.
• Senior guard Abbey Hsu has been named to three separate watch lists this preseason, which includes the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Women’s Player of the Year Award, Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award. Hsu enters Friday with 1,538 career points, second-most in program history to all-time leading scorer Camille Zimmerman ’18CC (1,973). Hsu is coming off a season in which she scored 606 points (17.8 points per game) and broke the Ivy League’s single-season record for made 3-pointers for the second year in a row – she made 112 last season and 108 the year prior . With 286 triples in her career, Hsu sits just two away from the Ivy League record of 287, currently held by Katie Benzan (Harvard, 2016-20).
STONY BROOK POSTGAME NOTES
• With 23 points and 12 rebounds, Abbey Hsu recorded the third 20-10 game of her career. After not posting a 20-10 game over the first 88 games of her career, Hsu has now done so twice in her last six games (Fordham).
• Hsu’s double-double was the third of her career (vs. Fordham 2022; at Dartmouth, 2020).
• Monday marked the ninth time in Hsu’s career that she made at least 10 field goals.
• Stony Brook’s 10 made threes were the most against the Lions since then-No. 7/8 Iowa State went 12-for-28 from the outside to defeat Columbia, 99-76, on Nov. 20, 2022.
• Cecelia Collins, a junior transfer from Bucknell, made her Columbia debut with 11 points, two rebounds, five assists and two steals in 25 minutes. She also started the game.
• First-years Fliss Henderson and Riley Weiss made their collegiate debuts off the bench and each scored their first career points.
• Sophomore Susie Rafia made the first start of her collegiate career.
• With nearly half of a new team, there will be a lot of new faces on the court for Columbia this season. Columbia does return two starters in Abbey Hsu and Kitty Hendersonbut Kaitlyn Davis, Jaida Patrick and Hannah Pratt have all moved on and are playing graduate seasons elsewhere. Davis is playing at Southern California, Patrick joined Miami and Pratt is at Tulane.
• All told, the Lions return 47.3 percent of their scoring and 47.4 percent of their rebounding from the 2022-23 Ivy League Championship team. In terms of minutes played, they return 45.9 percent of game action.
PREPARING FOR MARCH
• The Lions will be taking on a host of challenging opponents in the non-conference schedule. The slate features eight home games, six games against opponents from the power six conferences, four games against teams that finished inside the NET top 50 last year, three 2023 NCAA Tournament teams and two home games against Duke and Villanova, both of which finished inside the Top 25 polls last year.
• Columbia is no stranger to a tough schedule. Last year, despite a non-conference schedule in which they faced seven 20-win teams from the year prior, the Lions went a program-best 28-6. The 2022-23 team went 11-2 against its non-conference gauntlet before going 12-2 in the Ivy League to win their first Ivy League Championship.
39TH SEASON OF COLUMBIA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
• Columbia is set to begin its 39th season after playing under the umbrella of the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium for the first time in 1984. Columbia became a Div. I program two years later for the 1986-87 season.
• The Lions are 18-20 overall in season openers, including 17-19 at the Div. I level. Columbia has won four of its last five openers, including a 77-69 victory at Memphis to begin the 2022-23 campaign. Since Megan Griffith took over as head coach in 2016, Columbia is 3-1 when opening up the season on the road, including a win at Providence in 2017.
• Seton Hall began the 2023-24 season with a dominant, 73-32, victory at home over Iona. The Pirates used a 23-2 run that spanned most of the first quarter and the start of the second to pull away from the Gaels and cruise to its 13th consecutive season-opening victory. The Pirates’ defense held Iona to just 27.9% shooting from the floor and forced 24 turnovers.
• This marks the third consecutive season the Lions and Pirates will play each other. They met on March 28, 2022 at Levien Gymnasium in the Postseason WNIT. Seton Hall won the game on its run to the WNIT Final, 78-75. Last year, the Lions got their revenge by defeating the Pirates, 83-76, at Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange. The win was Columbia’s first against Seton Hall in three all-tome series meetings.
FOLLOW THE LIONS
For the latest on Columbia women’s basketball, follow @CULionsWBB on TwitterInstagram and Facebook, or on the web at GoColumbiaLions.com.