for sure sounds like the top thrust bearing let go, that's why you can get rise.
rollers probably fell into the sector gears. if you are lucky they just lodged in the gearing locking it, vs busting teeth.
bottom thrust bearing, iff loose, mah have been mashed too on subsequent steering attempts.
at a minmum, i's put in both thrust beairngs, and the upper column bearing if needed. should do seals.. etc. but at leas the thrust brearings. MINIMUM. then grease her up with 0 or 00 ep grease and then adjsut sector backlash and go.
mind the shim stack and thrust bearing preload.