Columbia Raiders control glass, game against Wellington Dukes

COLUMBIA STATION — Playing their first home game since Dec. 18, the Columbia Raiders wasted no time in reestablishing home-court advantage as they controlled the glass and shut down the Wellington Dukes 68-42 on Tuesday in Patriot Athletic Conference play.

The Raiders cleaned up on the glass, outrebounding the Dukes 36-16 and limiting their offense to just one shot down the floor most possessions while Columbia got several second-chance opportunities on their end of the floor.

“Last week, we didn’t do a good job and it hurt us at Parma and Brooklyn,” Columbia coach Larry Babics said about his team’s rebounding. “Most of the year, we’ve been outrebounding our opponents.

“We’re used to trying to out-jump people instead of putting a body on them. We try to just tell them, ‘You’ve got to hit somebody and then go get the ball.’ Our guys did a good job of that tonight.”

The Raiders (13-1, 9-0) got balanced offensive production throughout their lineup led by 21 points from Zach Stopper. Jacob Simon added 16 and Jay Banyasz recorded a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

“It’s kind of hard to match-up to us at times because all our guys can score and they want to score,” Babics said. “You’ve got to pick your poison at times. Brandon (Severo) has had a lot of big games for us. He’s hit a lot of threes this year so if you sag off of him, he can hit it. Zach and Jacob have scored all year for us.

“Jay is Jay. Jay never comes off the floor. He’s our leader. He just makes all the right decisions.”

Columbia raced out to a 19-8 lead at the end of the first quarter courtesy of four three-pointers and a 10-0 run to close the opening quarter. Wellington (5-9, 5-4) was limited to just 14 field-goal attempts in the first half while Columbia was 12 of 24 from the floor.

“I don’t want to say we’re not getting any effort, but we’re not getting the effort we want,” Wellington coach Dan Gundert said. “We’ve still got to play harder to win basketball games.

“Rebounding is a hustle play. Small guys can rebound, big guys can rebound and you’ve got to be able to buy in, box out somebody. We didn’t do that tonight and they’re too big to give them second chances. They’re too good to give them second-chance points.”

Stopper had 12 of his 21 points in the first half, including a deep three which ignited Columbia’s 10-0 run to close out the first quarter.

“It was a huge confidence-builder,” Stopper said. “I didn’t really realize how deep it was. But I was confident I could make it. I was happy when it fell.”

After the first quarter, Wellington never cut the deficit below 10 points as Columbia slowly built up its lead throughout the game.

“They would get it back to like 10 and we just put our foot down, keep building it back up,” Stopper said. “That’s what we have to do to finish games.”

The Raiders played their last seven games away from their home court before returning to their fans and student section. Babics said it gave his players more energy and helped them get off to the start they did.

“We shot (the ball) a lot better tonight,” Babics added. “If you practice here everyday you should shoot it better. You’ve got your home crowd. You’re not on the bus, you can come in a little later. It’s all that home cooking that you enjoy.”

Both teams continue PAC play on Friday as Columbia hosts Firelands and Wellington hosts Fairview.

Columbia 68, Wellington 42

Patriot Athletic Conference

Crossover

WELLINGTON — Dylan Kidd 4-6 15, Dave Clark 6-0 13, Dylan Weidrick 4-2 10, Tim Young 2-0 4. TOTALS 16-8 42.

COLUMBIA — Brandon Severo 3-0 8, Jay Banyasz 3-3 11, Michael Boey 3-0 6, David Delahunty 2-0 4, Jacob Simon 6-3 16, Kevin Simon 1-0 2, Zach Stopper 7-6 21. TOTALS 25-12 68.

3-POINT GOALS — W: Kidd, Clark; C: Severo (2), Banyasz (2), J. Simon, Stopper.

Score By Quarters

Wellington (5-9, 5-4) 8 13 10 11 — 42

Columbia (13-1, 9-0) 19 15 12 22 — 68

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Wellington 16 of 44 (36 percent), Columbia 25 of 52 (48 percent).

Free Throws — W 8 of 15 (53 percent), C 12 of 17 (71 percent).

Rebounds — W 16 (Tony Walker 4), C 36 (Banyasz 15).

Turnovers — W 15, C 12.

J.V. — Columbia, 60-50.

@Bielik_Tim

Last Updated: 1/22/2013 11:17:26 PM EST

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