Wildcats tied atop conference with another win on the road

Drew Kitchens (left), Corey Silverstrom (center) and Jalen McFerren (right) during practice at Acker gym on Jan. 22. Photo credit: John Domogma

The Chico State men’s basketball team turned what was a three-point game at the half into a 78-56 victory on the road over Cal State Monterey Bay, using a lockdown defensive effort in the second half.

The Wildcats remain tied atop the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings at 9-3, with the win. It marked Chico State’s fifth straight win and eighth triumph in nine games on the road this season.

Leading the way was senior forward Jordan Semple, who finished the night with 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, along with two blocked shots and a steal. Semple’s 16 points gave him 1,163 points as a Wildcat and moved him into 10th on Chico State’s career scoring list.

Semple was one of five Wildcats to reach double figures in the game. Junior guard Drew Kitchens came off the bench and hit 4-6 from the three-point line on his way to finishing with 14 points.

Sparked by senior guard Mike Rosaroso’s three-point field goal and a steal by senior center Jordan Barton, the ‘Cats went on a 12-0 run early in the second half. Kitchens buried consecutive threes to make it a 15-point game. Chico was 5-9 for the second half and finished 9-18 beyond the arc.

Otters sophomore Evan Zeller entered the night averaging just over 16 points a game as the CCAA’s leading scorer. The Wildcat’s used a team effort to hold Zeller to just seven points on 1-of-7 shooting and forced him into committing five turnovers.

Chico State returns home to play four straight starting against Cal State L.A. on Jan. 30.

Kevin Lucena can be reached at [email protected] or @klucena824 on Twitter.