‘Cats advance to conference finals

Senior Jordan Semple advances the ball up court while being chased down by a Cal State L.A. opponent on Jan. 30 Photo credit: Caio Calado

Despite committing 21 turnovers, the Wildcats battled their way to a 72-60 victory in the semifinals against Cal State Stanislaus on Friday night.

The ‘Cats played tough on the defensive end. They found their rhythm on offense to jump out to a 30-20 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.

The Warriors then went on a 10-0 run to bring Chico State’s lead to one. As time ran out, Senior center Jordan Barton tipped in a rebound to bring the teams to a 35-35 tie at halftime.

In the second half, Chico State’s head coach George Clink, made a change defensively to a full court zone which threw off the Warriors’ offense.

The ‘Cats came from behind to take a commanding 70-60 lead with less than a minute to play in the game.

Free throws from senior guard Mike Rosaroso and forward Jordan Semple completed a 21-6 run for the ‘Cats to finish the game.

Sophomore guard Robert Duncan led all scorers with 23 points, adding two rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Junior forward Drew Kitchens finished second on the team with 12 points, four rebounds, and a block.

The 21 turnovers that the ‘Cats committed was their season high, but they made up for it on the boards as they out rebounded the Warriors 37-22.

The team will be playing in its fourth straight California College Athletic Association championship that could result to a birth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Chico State will face off against Cal Poly Pomona for the conference championship tomorrow at 7:35 in Stockton Arena.

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