NEW YORK — Columbia women’s basketball head coach Megan Griffith ‘07CC announced the program’s 2017-18 schedule on Friday. The Lions are slated to play 29 regular-season contests and will match up with six NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including all three of their games at the Cancun Challenge (Nov. 23-25).
The 2017-18 season begins on the road, Friday, November 10, as the Lions take on Providence. Columbia defeated the Friars, 66-64, in overtime last season at Levien Gymnasium to earn the program’s first victory over an opponent form the Big East Conference.
The home opener follows two days later, Sunday, November 12, against Richmond. Columbia downed the Spiders in the early portion of last season’s non-conference schedule, 65-58, earning Griffith her first victory as head coach.
After a trip to UMass Lowell (Nov. 15), the Lions return home to play their first of five NCAA Tournament teams in the non-conference slate. Quinnipiac, who advanced to the Sweet 16 last year by defeating Marquette and Miami in the first two rounds, makes the trip to Levien Gymnasium for what will be the first ever meeting between the two programs.
“Quinnipiac is a great game for us, especially with them being regional,” Griffith stated. “We’re going to make a return trip to their place and it will be nice to hopefully keep them on our schedule in the future.”
Columbia travels to Vermont (Nov. 19) for its final game before heading to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge. Columbia kicks off the Cancun Challenge on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, against Green Bay in the tournament's opening game. The Phoenix posted a 27-6 overall record last season on their way to the Horizon League regular season and tournament championships, earning a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. National runner-up Mississippi State follows on Friday. The Bulldogs went 34-5 a year ago and most notably upset Connecticut in the Final Four to put an end to the Huskies’ 111-game winning streak. The Challenge wraps up Saturday against Arizona State, who the Lions last played two years ago in Tempe. ASU won its first-round game in last year’s NCAA Tournament before getting stopped by eventual national champion South Carolina. “My hope is that these games help us prepare for Ivy play,” Griffith went on to add. “I'm looking forward to the chance to compete against postseason teams early. In order to get better and play at a high level, we need to play high-level talent, and this is a great platform for us to do that.”
Just a few days after returning from Mexico, Columbia hosts Boston College on Wednesday, November 29. It will mark the first time the Lions have hosted an ACC team since North Carolina State visited Levien Gymnasium in 2008.
A return trip from last year’s season opener against UMBC follows (Dec. 3) before Columbia hosts back-to-back games against teams from the Empire State, Buffalo (Dec. 9) and Hofstra (Dec. 11). It will be the first meeting in program history when the Bulls visit that Saturday, while the Lions last played Hofstra during the 2003-04 season, earning a 76-62 victory at Levien Gymnasium.
After a two-week break, the Lions head to Houston, Texas for games against Houston (Dec. 28) and Rice (Dec. 30). The Lions have never played Houston and are seeing Rice for the first time in 25 years. The trip will serve as a homecoming for Texas natives Jillian Borreson (Mt. City), Paige Tippet (League City) and Maya Sampleton (Austin).
“Anytime you can bring girls home, it’s a nice way to pay them back for all the time they spend on the East Coast with us,” Griffith added.
The non-conference slate wraps up on Wednesday, January 3, with a game at 2017 NCAA Tournament participant Hampton. The Pioneers punched their ticket as winners of the MEAC.
The 2018 Ivy League schedule starts with a bang as the Lions will visit the top two teams from a year ago in Princeton (Jan. 12) and Penn (Jan. 13). Penn won the regular season with an Ivy record of 13-1 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 12 seed, nearly upsetting No. 5 Texas A&M in the first round.
Columbia’s Ivy League home opener is Saturday, January 20, against Cornell. The Lions and Big Red go at it again the following Saturday, January 27, in Ithaca.
Following a weekend trip to Harvard (Feb. 2) and Dartmouth (Feb. 3), Columbia returns to the Big Apple for its next four Ivy League contests, as well as six of its last eight. The Lions host Yale and Brown the weekend of February 9-10, and begin the second half of the league schedule against Penn and Princeton the weekend of February 16-17. The regular season comes to a close two weeks later at Levien Gymnasium with games against Dartmouth (March 2) and Harvard (March 3).
The 2018 Ivy League Championship will be hosted at The Palestra for a second consecutive season. The semifinals are Saturday, March 10, with the championship final slated for Selection Sunday, March 11. The top four teams from the regular season standings earn the right to play for the Ivy League Championship.
Columbia Season Tickets
Fans can lock up their women’s basketball season tickets by purchasing the True Blue ticket package for 2017-2018 now. True Blue fans receive season tickets for all three ticketed Columbia sport programs (football, men's and women's basketball) for as low as $170. For more information, visit gocolumbialions.com/tickets or call 888-LIONS-11 today.