Keith Robinson scored a game-high 30 points on Tuesday night to help lift the Columbia Claim Jumpers basketball team to a thrilling 70-66 overtime victory over host Delta College.
“Keith did a great job of working without the ball,” said Claim Jumper head coach Nate Rien. “He was fantastic. He didn’t have one open look — they were all over him. But it was a tremendous team effort tonight.”
The sophomore Robinson canned six 3-pointers and also hit 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
With the score tied at 59-59 with just a few seconds left in regulation, Claim Jumper sophomore Wayne Surin, “took the ball to the rack and the shot went in-and-out,” said Rien. “but then he came back and hit a 3 to start overtime.”
The 6-3 Surin finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Columbia hit its free throws down the stretch and finished 16-of-23 from the charity stripe.
The Claim Jumpers built a 32-27 lead after the first 20 minutes and eventually built a 12-point second-half lead with about 14 minutes left before watching it slowly disappear.
“Overall, I was real happy with the way we defended,” said Rien. “Our goal was to not give up 60 points tonight and they only had 59 after regulation. It was a total team effort.
“Tony Williams hit a big 3 down the stretch. Matt Iles hit a big 3 right before overtime. Ashton Richardson did a great job on the boards and Tige Wingo in his second game back, did a great job on defense and made a big rebound.
“This team could easily be 4-1 right now (2-3), but we’re still trying to establish our identity. We know we can score and it’s a lot of fun to watch, but we need to play better defense and take care of the ball (24 turnovers).”
And for Rien, it was his first ever victory over Delta, including heart-breaking losses the past two years.
The Claim Jumpers lost on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer last year and two years ago had an 18-point lead before Delta rallied.
Also for Columbia in the game, Williams had 11 points, Wingo five, Richardson four, Iles three, Darvarius Bonney two and Jalen Bourbon one.
Marcus Beard led Delta with 22 points.
The Claim Jumpers next will play on Thursday in the first round of the Cosumnes River Tournament in Elk Grove. Tipoff is at 1 p.m.