Wildcats lose in tournament finals

Senior Jordan Semple and junior Tanner Giddings battle against San Francisco State players for a rebound on Jan. 16. Photo credit: Caio Calado

The Chico State men’s basketball team came up short of a conference championship against Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday night, with a final score of 62-57 in overtime.

Both teams matched each other’s steps in the beginning of the game. The biggest seperation between the two teams in the first half came with 7:56 left when the Wildcats led 20-15.

The Broncos stormed back to take a 29-26 lead heading into halftime.

The ‘Cats had to play from behind most of the second half as Cal Poly Pomona accumulated an 8-0 run to put them up 40-33 with 15 minutes to play.

Late in the second half, senior guard Mike Rosaroso and junior forward Drew Kitchens hit big three-pointers to bring Chico State within one point of the Broncos.

With 21 seconds left, Rosaroso did it again, hitting a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up by two.

CCAA player of the year, Terrence Drisdom was then fouled by the ‘Cats with four seconds left in regulation.

Drisdom hit both free throws to tie the game for Cal Poly Pomona and send it into overtime.

In overtime, the ‘Cats turned the ball over in their first two possessions and the Broncos would take the lead and never look back.

Sophomore guard Robert Duncan led all scores with 20, followed by Kitchens with 11.

The loss puts a damper on the Wildcats incredible season, but they live to play another day.

The team will now travel to Azusa to go up against California Baptist NCAA Championship Tournament West Regional..

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