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Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Columbia comeback highlights hoops night


Columbia with strangest win of 2011
Columbia had arguably the most bizarre win of the season on Tuesday.
Consider that the Lions did not lead Holy Cross until a go-ahead free throw with two seconds remaining, and they trailed by 20 points in the second half, a seemingly insurmountable deficit given that Columbia scored only 14 points in the first half. But the Lions but roared back with a 15-0 run, ultimately winning 46-45. Columbia shot just 24.7 percent from the field, the lowest for any team that played on Tuesday. It was the worst shooting performance in a win for an Ivy League team in at least the past 15 years. Columbia has won six in a row, its longest win streak in 30 years.

Withey breaks out for Kansas
The last time Long Beach State visited Allen Fieldhouse back in 1993, the 49ers upset No. 1 Kansas. The Jayhawks managed to hold them off this time around thanks to players like Jeff Withey. He posted his second career double-double, and he fell one block shy of a triple-double in Kansas’ 88-80 win over Long Beach State. Withey finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. His nine blocks were one shy of Cole Aldrich’s single-game school record. It would have been Kansas’ first triple-double since Aldrich set that record in 2009.

Denmon and Missouri hit from deep
Marcus Denmon hit a respectable 15 three-pointers over Missouri’s first six games. But he’s been prolific in the last two games, going 13-for-20 from long range. Denmon led all scorers with 28 points in Missouri’s 81-71 win over Villanova. He’s hit half of his shots from three-point range this season, while teammate Kim English has hit 54.9 percent. Those two have combined for 56 threes this season, the most by any pair of teammates (just ahead of the 54 that Robbie Hummel and Ryne Smith have combined on for Purdue).

Barton does it all for Memphis
Will Barton had a career night in Memphis’ 71-54 win over Miami. The sophomore posted career-highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds. He’s the first guard to reach those total since Colorado’s Alec Burks last season. Barton is averaging 24.5 ppg and 13.5 rpg over the past two games. He’s one of nine Division I players averaging at least 19 points and 8 rebounds this season.

Raffa gets Ellis his 700th win
Coastal Carolina improved to 8-1 with an 80-58 win over Citadel on Tuesday. It marked the 700th win of Cliff Ellis’ career, with 78 of those at Cumberland College of the NAIA. Ellis now has 622 wins as an NCAA coach, eighth most among active coaches. The Chanticleers got a career-high 28 points from Anthony Raffa, who is averaging 22.7 ppg with a 65.1 field goal percentage in three games this month. During that span, the 6’1” guard is shooting 78.1 percent from two-point range.