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Wildcats look back at game-winning shots

Chico State's Hannah Womack shoots for a three-pointer during a faceoff against Cal State L.A. on Jan. 30 in Acker Gym. Photo credit: Malik Payton

As a kid, every basketball player dreams of it.

Playing basketball in the backyard, the countdown of “three … two … one” and recreating the sound of the buzzer as the shot sails into the basket.

Rarely do basketball players actually hit a game-winning shot outside of their backyards, but senior guards Mike Rosaroso and Hannah Womack both lived out childhood dreams this season.

“It’s always something I’ve dreamed about,” Rosaroso said, “hitting the game-winning shot.”

Rosaroso’s shot came late in overtime on the road against Cal State San Bernadino on Feb. 12.

With 10 seconds left, the Wildcats sprinted up the floor after rebounding a missed free throw by a Cal State San Bernardino player.

First-year guard Jalen McFerren passed the ball to Rosaroso in the corner, who made the three-pointer with .01 seconds left.

Both head hoach Greg Clink and McFerren said that they felt like the shot was going in slow motion as it traveled toward the hoop.

Rosaroso didn’t feel the same.

“Everything just happened in a blink of an eye,” Rosaroso said. “It felt amazing.”

Once the shot fell, the players on the bench jumped up in excitement, and the ones who were playing scrambled back on defense, unsure of how much time remained. The game clock struck zero shortly after.

Rosaroso’s shot had extended the Wildcat winning streak to 10.

“I made a comment (to Rosaroso) and said, ‘This is a shot you will remember for the rest of your life,'” Clink said.

While Rosaroso got his night of glory, about three months earlier, Womack had hit a game-winning shot of her own.

In the team’s second game of the season on Nov. 21 against Dixie State, Womack hit a three-pointer to complete an incredible comeback for the Wildcats with two seconds left.

“I knew I wanted the ball,” Womack said. “As soon as I let go of it I knew it was in.”

With the ‘Cats down a point, first-year guard Whitney Branham stole an inbound pass and dribbled it down the court.

Branham passed the ball to Womack, who hit the clutch three-pointer from the right wing.

Similar to Rosaroso’s shot, time seemed to slow down with the ball in the air, said Brooke Bowen, junior forward.

“We were all waiting and watching to see if it was going to go in,” she said.

Womack’s shot put them up by two in the final seconds of the game.

Chico State women’s basketball head coach Brian Fogel said that without a doubt, Womack is the one who he wants to shoot the ball with time running down.

“It was special because we didn’t give up during the game at all,” Womack said. “It was a team effort. I couldn’t have done it without the whole team.”

Womack and Rosaroso’s game-winning shots have their differences, but one thing they have in common is that they created memories.

Memories that started off when they were kids on the basketball court pretending to cinch victory at the very last possible moment.

Nick Martinez-Esquibel can be reached at [email protected] or @THENickMartinez on Twitter.

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Nick Martinez-Esquibel
Nick Martinez-Esquibel, Sports Editor

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