Columbia wins CVC opener in OT

January 09, 2003 12:00 am

By DAN GOLDMAN

Looking to blast away those post-holiday blues with something a little more exciting than Joe Millionaire or The Bachelorette?

Then you should have been at Oak Pavilion on Wednesday night, when the Columbia College basketball team hosted Reedley in the Central Valley Conference opener for both teams.

In a game that featured big comebacks, clutch 3-pointers, and even an arena-emptying fire drill, the Claim Jumpers managed to emerge with a 92-89 overtime victory over the Tigers.

"We played well," Columbia coach Andy Vasher said. "We're still finding ourselves, but we're certainly glad to come out of this with a win."

The Jumpers (11-7, 1-0 CVC) looked like they would pick up the victory in regulation when a Tallin Zimmer layup with 3:59 left in the second half gave them a seemingly commanding 68-57 lead.

Even after a 7-0 run by the Tigers (8-10, 0-1) over the next 1:52 cut Columbia's lead to four points, Collin Terry appeared to restore order with a 10-footer from the free throw line, upping the Jumpers' lead to 70-64 with 2:07 to go.

But Reedley's Myron Jenkins had other ideas. Jenkins scored nine of his 18 points in the final 1:53 of regulation, including the game-tying 3-pointer on a bank shot with three seconds remaining, to force the game into overtime at 73-73.

Although Columbia didn't blow the late lead as much as Reedley wrested it from the Jumpers, Terry made sure the five-minute bonus period wouldn't be a repeat of the final minutes of regulation.

After Jarred Contente gave the Tigers their first lead since 12:06 of the second half with the first basket of overtime, Terry responded with three buckets (including two 3-pointers), leading the Jumpers on an 8-2 run and putting them up 81-77 with 2:40 to play.