Rojhae Colbert just went ahead and added the exclamation point.
He took a long alley-oop pass from Demario Hall and stuffed it, stamping a win for Saint Martin’s University, 84-67, over The Evergreen State College.
It was the last of four slams Colbert had in Tuesday’s exhibition game at Costantino Recreation Center.
“That’s definitely fun,” Colbert said. “That’s my game. I like to play above the rim.”
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Colbert, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from Phoenix, Arizona, came off the bench, adding 19 points and seven rebounds, to fuel an otherwise slow start for the Saints.
“He was the anchor of our game today,” second-year coach Alex Pribble said. “Just his energy — other guys fed off of it.”
Evergreen got in front early. The Geoducks spun off three straight 3-pointers before the Saints scored, and held the lead for most of the first half.
Taylor Drey led all scorers with 23 points — including 15 in the first half.
“It’s always a nice thing, but it can be a two-edged sword,” Evergreen coach Tim Malroy said. “You can fall in love with hitting the quick 3s, and I think we did a little bit there.”
The pace was there, Malroy said, but the Saints climbed back. Colbert scored his first points on a breakaway layup midway through the first half to end a 22-7 run.
“I was just trying to get everybody fired up,” Colbert said. “I know when the energy drops, it’s just about consistency. So if I can go in there and pick everybody up and be the guy that’s yelling, maybe it’ll encourage other people to start talking and get the energy going on our side.”
The Saints evened it at 39-39 at the half, after Tyler Copp drilled a 3-pointer with 28 seconds to go. Copp led the Saints with 21 points, and added five rebounds.
“Our expectation is that any player that steps on the floor gives 100 percent effort,” Pribble said. “I think we did get off to a slow start, but with that said, this shows a lot about the character of the team, that we can dig a hole for ourselves and fight back.”
The Saints did in the second half. After trading baskets with Evergreen for the first several minutes, SMU built a comfortable lead.
“Defensively, I think we relaxed a little bit on our philosophy of not letting them get to the middle,” Malroy said. “We really want to try to keep people out of the middle as much as possible and I think they started to exert that on us.”
Colbert scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half and Fred Jorg, who added all 11 of his points in the second half, gave the Saints their final lead with 11:24 to play.
Evergreen didn’t score a field goal for the final 8:40.
“I’m proud of the fact that our guys stuck with it, battled through some adversity and got the job done,” Pribble said.
Saint Martin’s 76, at Evergreen 53: The Geoducks built an early lead, but had no answers for Elin Johansson.
The 6-1 junior from Gothenburg, Sweden, recorded a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) to pace the Saints. Hannah Reynolds added another 12 points.
River Ridge High School product Makenna Schultz, a freshman, added five points and two rebounds. Timberline product Sara Bowen, also a freshman, tallied a rebound in the win.
Zaria Jones led Evergreen with 16 points, while Asiyah Davis added 14.