The Orion

‘Cats prepare for playoff push

Lars Gustafson

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Tanner Giddings, Forward for the Wildcats, bodying up against a Cal State East Bay defender Photo credit: Gustavo Ornelas

You could feel the emotion and the love for Chico State basketball when Jordan Semple had a monster block shot with 2:36 seconds remaining in the first half during Senior Night against Cal State East Bay.

The Wildcats won a tough, physical game against the Cal State East Bay Pioneers, 87-61, to secure their second conference championship victory during an emotional Senior Night.

Seniors Jordan Semple, Mike Rosaroso, and Jordan Barton had their final regular season game as Wildcats, and all three performed great as they conquered the Pioneers and gained the top seed for the CCAA playoffs.

“Lot of hard work, lot of hard work,” Semple said. “When I was coming in here as a freshman, we got a banner. Now were leaving, and we got the banner again. It’s really special. were leaving as three seniors the right way.”

During halftime, the All-Decade team of the Chico State men’s basketball was honored. The Wildcat basketball legends were there to witness the game.

Among the Chico State hoops alumnus was George Maderos, who was presented with a framed jersey during the ceremony with the group of legends.

Maderos played four sports in 1951-1955 and is the all-time leading scorer for the Wildcats, before moving on to play two years of professional football for the San Francisco 49ers.

Senior point guard Mike Rosaroso, led the Wildcats with a career best 15 points and four steals. Rosaroso knocked down multiple three pointers, including a game sealing three-point field goal to extend the lead to 16 points in the 2nd half.

With Rosaroso’s clutch three point shot, the crowd got on their feet and cheered the ‘Cats to victory.

Other key players in the victory included junior forward Drew Kitchens and first year forward Isaiah Ellis. Kitchens had 12 points for the game, while Ellis chipped in 9.

The Wildcats will be back in action in the CCAA Championship Tournament on March 5th-7th.

Lars Gustafson can be reached at [email protected] or @larsonsports on Twitter.

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‘Cats prepare for playoff push