Women’s basketball team loses first preseason game


McKena Barker inbounds the ball during a Wildcat home game. Photo credit: Jordan Olesen

A double-double by junior forward Natalie Valenzuela wasn’t enough to lift the Wildcats over Dominican Univerisity Nov. 11.

Valenzuela had 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocks in 33 minutes to snag the first double-double of her career. Despite the successful performance of Valenzuela, the team suffered in the game losing 67-80.

Part of the problem was Chico State’s poor shooting performance, as the Wildcats made only 23 shots on 66 attempts. The team was able to win the rebounding battle by nine but turned the ball over 27 times.

The turnovers led to 26 points for Dominican University, who took advantage of the poor ball handling. Dominican University snagged the ball away 12 times in the game to create scoring opportunities.

Chico State struggled with relying on its starters, as sophomore forward McKena Barker and senior guard Sherise Porchia contributed to 11 turnovers combined. Junior guard Whitney Branham also struggled in the game with a 3-12 shooting performance.

The starting five players scored 48 points in the game but were unable to rely on bench players to make up valuable points during the transitions. Substitution players counted for only 19 points and 11 turnovers in the game.

Key Players:

Natalie Valenzuela

  • 14 Points
  • 10 Rebounds
  • 4 Assists
  • 4 Blocks
  • 1 Steal

Whitney Branham

  • 11 Points
  • 3 Rebounds
  • 1 Assist
  • 2 Steals

Chico State returns to the court Nov. 12 against Notre Dame University in the second game of the PACWEST Challenge.

Cydney Nance can be reached at [email protected] or @CydneyNa on Twitter.