Columbia went into halftime with a 37-23 lead. The Big Red rallied in the second half, cutting the Lions' lead to three points on Drew Ferry's 3-pointer with 9:44 left to play.
Chris Wroblewski scored on a layup with 24 seconds remaining to trim the lead to 76-75. But Frankoski answered with two free throws to give Columbia enough cushion to pull away.
Ferry scored 23 points on 7 of 11 shooting from beyond the arc for Cornell (4-11, 0-1). Wroblewski had 14 points and seven assists, while Errick Peck also had 14 points.