Wildcat ladies lose first round

Marc Wilson

The Chico State Women’s basketball team’s season ended in heartbreak as the team lost its first-round game of the CCAA post season tournament to Cal State East Bay.

Back-to-back buckets by junior Kayla Taylor gave the Wildcats an early lead, but East Bay bounced back and find its groove to go on a 13-4 run to give them a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. The ’Cats was left playing catch up for the rest of the game.

The Wildcats, who entered the tournament as the number 7 seed after a 10-10 record in conference play, would be able to keep East Bay within reach during first half trailing only by 7 at halftime. Sophomores McKena Barker and Sammy Dehart and freshman Madison Wong helped the Wildcats outscore East Bay in the third quarter and claw their way back into the game to trail by only four points going into the fourth quarter to set up a tense final quarter.

The Wildcats kept the game close, but the Otters’ quality would be too much to overcome as it dominated the ’Cats over the last 7 minutes of the game to give it a 68-55 win and end Chico’s postseason early.

Taylor led the Wildcats in scoring with 16 points while Barker led the way on the boards with 6 rebounds. Good defense and rebounding for East Bay gave it the edge as guard Morgan Greene totaled 18 rebounds, equal to the Wildcats entire team. The ’Cats also struggled to create quality chances throughout the game scoring only 16 points in the paint with East Bay’s defense keeping it out of the paint and forcing it to take low quality perimeter shots.

Quality not quantity was the issue for the ’Cats as only 36 percent of its attempted 52 shots were made. Meanwhile, the East Bay offense made over half their 47 attempted shots.

After a fighting season, the Wildcat ladies look to have a strong core for next season as the team will only lose three seniors next year

Marc Wilson can be reached at [email protected] or @mwilsonsports on Twitter