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The Orion

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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State men and women fall to Tritons in CCAA semifinals

Sophomore Justin Briggs avoids defense and finds an open shot in a Chico’s playoff matchup against Cal State San Bernardino. Photo credit: Kate Angeles

In a must win matchup for Chico State basketball where all 100 percent was needed from all its players, it was the UC San Diego Tritons who stood strong, defeating the Wildcat men 66-49, and 67-48 for the women.

For the men, they went in as the higher seed in their matchup. However, when you shoot 29 percent from the field, miss 17 of 22 3-pointer and make 12-21 from the free-throw line winning is no easy task.

Senior Isaiah Ellis led Chico in scoring with 19 points in his second strong game of the year against UCSD. The defensive captain also led the way with three steals in the matchup.

Chico’s guards struggled from the field in shooting and their bench was outscored 23-4 and this ultimately led to the upset for UC San Diego. The Tritons now go onto play No. 1 Cal Poly Pomona in the finals.

For the women, the Wildcats had a rough first half, trailing 45-23 at halftime. As the game fell into halftime, Whitney Branham led the team with 11 points.

After a large deficit late in the game that Chico could not overcome, Head Coach Brian Fogel pulled his starters. “It was super emotional. Being pulled out of the game with just a short time left was probably the most emotional I’ve been all season,” forward Kayla Taylor said. “It was almost like a curtain call.”

Despite holding the Tritons to one point in the fourth quarter, the game was already well out of reach. UCSD held onto the ball and dribbled out the ball a majority of the fourth quarter,

“It was a great ride and it’s just a step in the right direction for these underclassman,” Taylor said.

Coach Brian Fogel praised with his team’s effort towards the end of the game and looks to build on that next season.

The Wildcat men now await Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. NCAA Championship Tournament Selection Show to learn if their season will continue.

Courtney Chapman can be reached at [email protected] or @courtneychaps on Twitter.

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