SACRAMENTO Columbia College began defense of its championship in the Cosumnes River Capitol Classic by posting an 84-76 men's basketball victory over Pasadena on Thursday night, rallying from a 10-point deficit in the last seven minutes.
Freshman center Jeff Conway and sophomore guard Mike Olich took apart the Lancers from within and without, respectively. Conway shot 11-for-15 from close range and finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Olich went 4-for-8 from 3-point range on his way to 23 points. Olich also shot 7-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Sophomore power forward Ben Hibbing joined Conway in hammering Pasadena in the paint, shooting 5-for-5 and scoring 11 points. Hibbing also pulled down eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
The Claim Jumpers (6-3) enjoyed their second straight hot-shooting performance as they went 26-for-40 (65 percent) from inside the arc and 31-for-56 (55 percent) overall. In their last game before the tournament, Nov. 21 at Oak Pavilion, Columbia shot 63 percent inside and 54 percent outside in a 103-96 victory over Chabot of Hayward.
Freshman point guard Mike Smith had five assists and two steals, Olich had four assists and two steals and sophomore forward Kevin Massey dished three assists.
Columbia led at halftime, 41-36.
The Claim Jumpers play tournament host Cosumnes River tonight at 6 in the semifinals. If they win, they'll play for the championship Saturday night at 6. The third-place game is at 4 p.m. Saturday.