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Free throw edge spurs Columbia

Feb 21, 2014, 9:41 PM EST

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Entering tonight’s Columbia-Brown game, it didn’t seem that any other Ivy League team was catching the league leaders, Yale and Harvard. Following tonight’s CU-BU, it is now clear the conference title with fall either of the teams from Cambridge and New Haven, respectively: in a game where it seemed officials felt the need to interject themselves into the conversation, the Lions dropped the Bears, 70-68, despite a 20-point outing from Brown guard Sean McGonagill.

Three technicals were called in the contest, and the game was largely decided at the free throw line. One play in particular defined the game’s topsy-turvy nature: Steven Spieth missed a long-range attempt, one that would have given Brown the edge with seconds remaining, and fell to the ground, which impeded the progress of Maodo Lo and was promptly whistled for the foul. The resulting free throws gave CU the lead, and ultimately, the win.

The most interesting aspect of the contest, though, was the gigantic free throw disparity between both teams. Columbia is hack-happy, posting a free throw rate that ranks amongst the bottom of the conference. More than a quarter of league opponents’ points come from the stripe, but Brown only attempted six free throws (while Columbia was 15 of 19 from the line).