Despite Captain Ryan James's stellar night, the heavily favored NYU Violets couldn't overcome the three-point shooting of the Columbia Lions and lost 74-56 in the 14th annual Deans' Cup.
The Violets scored the first six points of the game on layups by Mike Bill '15 and Matthew Aulds '15, which had many prematurely predicting a shut-out. At the break, however, Columbia led 31-28.
The second half was all Lions. They came out of the locker room on fire, filling the basket with a barrage of three-pointers and a 26-9 run that left the Violets black and blue, destroying all chances of a sixth consecutive victory.
"I think the biggest thing was that they just couldn't miss from three," said James '14, who led all scorers with 25 points.
James was playing in his third and final game as a student, but expressed confidence in NYU’s future. "Our coaches, Milad Sedeh ’12 and Daniel Bromwich ’12, are Deans' Cup alumni who volunteered their time every weekend to help. We were very lucky to have them, and I hope they come back."
At halftime, the annual faculty game featured the much-anticipated matchup between Dean Trevor Morrison, starting at point guard for NYU, and his former institution Columbia.
"I didn't play last year," he said. "It seemed impossible to decide which team to play for, so I picked the part of Coles Gym that looked the most like Switzerland and watched from there."
When asked about his former colleagues, and one particularly hard foul that left him sprawled on the hardwood, Morrison playfully downplayed his skill and expressed a bit of regret: "I still have many friends at Columbia, and it was great to see them. I was on the faculty appointments committee that helped hire some of them, and I now regret that we placed such emphasis on their basketball abilities in the hiring process."
The NYU Law faculty lost 8-6, but Morrison kept the mood upbeat. "I could not be happier about being at NYU," he said, "and I look forward to being a liability on our faculty team again next year."
Though NYU leads the rivalry 9-4, the series has been extremely close. After 13 games, the overall point totals for each team are only eight points apart, with the average final score a 60.4 to 59.6 victory for the Lions. Six of the games have been decided by three points or less.
NYU superfan Neil Thakur '15 came to support his team in a purple tuxedo, including hat and cane, and holding a "Roses are Red / Violets get Buckets" sign. Thakur had a different outlook on the loss. "It's good we let Columbia win," he said. "This is a great fundraising event, and maybe they wouldn't want to participate anymore if we kept beating them."
Thanks to the tireless contributions of Jehan Laner ’15 and Chris Hughes ’15, this year the event raised $21,000 for public interest and community service organizations.
Posted March 31, 2014