COLUMBIA — The shots kept clanging off the rim as the spirit of the Columbia Claim Jumpers sagged. Sometimes all the fancy talk about "team chemistry" funnels down to simple things, like watching the ball whistle through the net.
For the second time in three nights at Oak Pavilion, the Claim Jumpers couldn't sustain themselves through 40 minutes because they struggled from the floor.
The consequences were another loss, this time to Sacramento City 74-58. Columbia (5-9) dropped both games to end the Fuchs Memorial Holiday Classic, and the evidence was the same not enough offense.
Seventeen missed layups, though many were contested by the Panthers (5-5), drained Columbia's confidence. So did 10 off-target free throws. During Thursday night's loss to Siskiyous, the Claim Jumpers hit only 6 of 34 from the 3-point line. Not many wins are spawned from such numbers. And with the Central Valley Conference opener looming, Columbia searched for momentum and didn't find any.
Further skewing the Claim Jumpers was freshman Bret Harte product Danny Radford, who again labored with his shooting touch. Radford averaged a team-leading 15.8 points a game before the Fuchs tournament. He totaled only nine points in two games this week, and an early triple was his only offense against Sacramento.
"We've got to get his confidence back," point guard Jarron Crump said. "There are a lot of freshmen and new people on the team. Getting everyone working together is important."
Crump, a returning sophomore, penetrated the Sac defense for 18 points. Forward Ashton Richardson delivered 10 points.
Through all the misses, Columbia chopped a 10-point deficit to 44-42 early in the second half. Sac, which dropped two close games earlier this month at the Modesto Junior College Invitational, then pounced with a 14-2 run.
Cal State Stanislaus basketball
WOMEN Four players scored in double figures for the Cal State women, who held off a second-half charge by Holy Names to notch its first victory of the season. Briana Cotton had 19 points, Devin Brown pumped in 16, while Lauren Godde and Molly Farrar had 12 and 10, respectively, in a 68-61 win that ends an eight-game skid.
MEN The Stanislaus men might be one game back of Chico State in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings, but if Saturday's result holds any weight, the gap is much greater than that. Chico (5-3, 2-2 CCAA) turned a 16-point lead at the half into an 86-48 victory. The only silver lining in the loss for the Warriors (4-4, 1-3) was Ray Mitchell, who offset a 3-for-11 shooting night by going 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. He was the only CSUS player in double figures, finishing with 13 points.