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Chico State men’s basketball prevails in second consecutive home win

Kevin Warren and Isaiah Brooks operating the Chico State offense against Cal State East Bay on Saturday. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

Chico State found their groove in their second consecutive win over Cal State East Bay. The tenacious defense from the Wildcats left East Bay flustered. Chico continued their unselfish play, finding ways to score from nearly everyone who got playing time.

Chico State finally got their feet under them in their victory after their unconventional start. They packaged a game that moved them a lot of steps forward as a unit.

“We were set back a little bit but we’re starting to get in a a groove,” Head coach Greg Clink said. “We’re starting to figure out rotations and who should play and who should start.”

Kevin Warren handles the ball against Cal State East Bay on Saturday. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

The Wildcats jumped out to a great start on Cal State East Bay with a 10-0 run. They were well balanced in their offense, spreading the ball all around the floor for everyone to make a play. They moved fluidly as a unit, seeming to have no one player searching for a way to score outside of their sets.

“They give me a lot of confidence because they buy in and want to be coached,” Clink said.

Kevin Warren lead the way with eight points in the first half, scoring with a couple of mid range jump shots off the dribble. The 30 points they put up in the first half was sparked by their defensive efforts. They held East Bay to the fewest points they have scored in a half for the season with only 15 points and 6-23 shooting.

“The whole week of practice, coach was talking about putting together whole game of defense,” Nate Ambrosini said. “40 minutes of high intensity defense, guarding the ball and helping each other out.”

The Wildcats operated their well-balanced offense effectively in the second half as East Bay raised their intensity in their attempt to recover. East Bay figured out how to maneuver between their well moving defense, scoring 30 points in the second half.

Nate Ambrosini watches the action from the corner on Saturday night in a game against Cal State East Bay. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

The offense moved efficiently with nine different players putting the ball in the basket. Justin Briggs and Malik Duffy combined for eight rebounds each. Briggs got the crowd rocking with a tip jam from a missed lay up down the lane. Kevin Warren finished the game with 13 as the leading scorer. The defense held solid as the Wildcats swept their home stand.

“I definitely think we do have our feet under us now, and we know the potential we have, sweeping this weekend,” Ambrosini said.

Chico State is now 2-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference with a lot to build off of. The Wildcats will play their next game at Humboldt State on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Wesley Harris can be reached at [email protected] and flacko_flame on twitter.

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