VISALIA The Columbia College basketball team's dream of a top-two finish in the Central Valley Conference was officially wiped out on Saturday night with an 82-65 loss to College of the Sequoias.

The Claim Jumpers (18-11, 8-4 CVC), who had rebounded from a Jan. 22 loss to COS by winning five of their last six games, shot just 42 percent from the field and posted their second-lowest point total of the season.

"It was a very frustrating kind of game," Columbia assistant coach Rich Murphy said. "We had been playing so well. It was just one of those nights when we weren't making the shots we normally make."

After putting up an unusually low 25 points at halftime while falling behind by 10, Columbia's deficit stretched to 22 points midway through the second half.

Derek Olich suffered a gash under his eye with 10 minutes remaining in the game, forcing him to leave after scoring five points.

Talin Zimmer led the Jumpers with 13 points and was followed by Mike Smith (11), Kevin Massey (10), and Ben Hibbing (10).

Massey and Hibbing led Columbia in rebounds with eight and six, respectively.

COS (17-10, 10-2) got 22 points from Ryan Cleaves, 20 from Hardy Asprilla, 14 from Robbie Gee, and 12 from Matthew Misko.

Columbia wraps up its regular season with home games against Porterville (11-19, 2-10) on Wednesday and Modesto (13-17, 5-7) on Saturday.

The Union Democrat
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