Columbia Defeats American 61-47 In Battle of Student Athletes

Published on: 26th November, 2013


Columbia defeated American by 13  | read this item

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New York – There’s something about the purity of sports that seems to go out the window when it reaches the professional ranks. The boys and girls who play for pay are no longer doing it solely out of the love of the game. For the professional athlete, it’s a living and, a damned good one.

But, for those who still hold out hope they can watch a game played by kids who, despite their athletic scholarships, are among the purest of college athletes in Division I today, we give you the Ivy League vs. the Patriot League. Tonight’s contest in Levien Gym, on the campus of Columbia University pitted the Lions against the American University Eagles from Washington, D.C.

Students first and foremost, these are competitive and tough players and although they don’t run as fast, jump as high, or produce as many professionals as the bigger schools, they are gritty and smart and determined. And you know what, that’s fun to watch. Chances are, neither of these schools will be playing in a post-season tournament this season but to watch these kids fight and scratch to win a basketball game presents the game in its purest form.

And, the cheering sections seem to keep a unique perspective about sports with humor and perhaps, a little bit of naughtiness.

“Get it up, put it in, get it up again, let’s score,” screamed the students who make up the Columbia band members. They followed that up with a musical diddy, to the tune of the famous song, “Oh My Darling, Clementine,” in the direction of a referee they felt had made a bad call against their beloved Columbians.

“Who’s your father, who’s your father, who’s your father, referee, you’re a bastard, you’re a bastard, you’re a bastard, referee.”

Columbia freshman, Petrasek, scored career-high 19 points

Columbia freshman, Petrasek, scored career-high 19 points

The game itself was hard fought from the opening tap. The first half was all Columbia, as they were able to execute their offense without too much opposition from American’s defense. They scored from the inside and from the outside, hitting 5 of 11 from three-point land to take a 33-20 lead into the half. Meanwhile, American struggled mightily on offense, Columbia’s defense never really allowing them to get good looks at the basket.

Columbia defeated American by 13

Columbia defeated American by 13

Columbia’s big men, 6’10” freshman, Luke Petrasek and 6’7″ forward Alex Rosenberg dominated American’s big men, the 6’10” center, Tony Wroblicky and 6’8″ forward, Kyle Kager, as the Lions duo outscored their counterparts, 24 to 7. The Lions shot 50% from the floor in the half (13 of 26) while American was only able to connect on 36% (8 of 22) of their shots.

The second half was a different story. American’s Darius Gardner, a 5’8″ pesky point guard from Texas, scored the first seven points of the half for the Eagles to close the score to 33-27. When the Eagles’ Wroblicky followed with a hook shot, Columbia’s lead had been cut to 35-29 as the Columbia cheering section sat quietly for the first time.

Isaac Cohen, a little guard for Columbia, followed with a three-point play but clearly, the pace had picked up for both teams in the second stanza.

American was down seven, 38-31 with 15 minutes to go in the game when Columbia began to restore order as they had in the first half. A couple of threes from the freshman, Petrasek, who looks like a strong building block for the Lions, boosted Columbia back up by 11, 46-35 with 10:40 left.

American struggled to close the lead throughout the second half and when Wroblicky followed a Jesse Reed missed free throw with a layup, American got to within six points, 46-40 with seven minutes left.

In the end, though, Columbia had a little more firepower than American, and a lot more depth, as Columbia coach Kyle Smith utilized ten of his players while American played only seven players until the game was out of reach in the last minute. The final score didn’t reflect how closely these teams are in both talent and spirit, with Columbia winning it, 61-47.

The cheering section picked it up, too, when the game was decided. “Go home American, you’re losers, again.”

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