COLUMBIA REBOUNDS WITH WIN AT PORTERVILLE

January 26, 2003 11:00 pm

PORTERVILLE — The Columbia College basketball team rebounded from Wednesday's second-half meltdown to post a 70-59 victory over Porterville on Saturday night.

Talin Zimmer's 14 points led five Claim Jumpers in double figures as Columbia bounced back from its an 81-63 Central Valley Conference loss to Sequoias of Visalia. Against Porterville, the Jumpers shot 42 percent from the field (24-for-57) and 81 percent from the free throw line (17-for-21).

"We've been such a good offensive team all year, one little setback like that wasn't going to hold these guys back," Columbia assistant coach Rich Murphy said.

Derek Olich (13 points) opened the game for Columbia (14-9, 4-2 CVC) with three straight 3-pointers, leading the Jumpers to a 40-30 halftime advantage.

"Derek got good shots," Murphy said. "I know he's been a little bit frustrated with the way he's been playing lately, pressing a little bit more. He just caught the ball, turned and shot instead of penetrating and trying to create, which is back to the way he usually plays."

Columbia upped its lead to 14 points early in the second half before a Porterville run knocked the lead back to four points.

But Kevin Massey (11 points) and Collin Terry (10 points) hit back-to-back baskets, extending the Jumpers' lead back to nine points.

Ben Hibbing finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

Zimmer led Columbia with eight rebounds to go along with his team-high 14 points.

"Talin does a good job of facing the basket and getting to the hole," Murphy said. "At the beginning of the year, he was more of a three, but watching him in practice, we saw that he was really good at going to the basket and finishing.

"We moved him to the four-spot, where he's a threat both inside and outside."

The Jumpers continue their three-game road trip on Wednesday when they visit the dangerous Modesto Pirates (12-12, 4-2 CVC), who upset the No. 1 Fresno Rams last week. Columbia then travels to Reedley on Saturday.

"These next two games are really important," Murphy said. "The next round (of CVC play), we've got a lot of teams coming to us, so if we can pick up these two wins, that would be huge for us."