Humboldt State fans had a lot to cheer about in their matchup with the Wildcats. After 36 minutes of play the Lumberjacks held a consistent lead, not giving it up once to the Wildcats. However, at this point it was also clear that the Wildcats wanted to send these fans home upset, and did so by saving their best basketball for the closing minutes in this game.
Chico struggled against Humboldt’s offense for most of the game. This changed, however, when the final quarter began. Chico State played lock-down defense, and held the Lumberjacks to just nine points.
Forward McKena Barker and guard Shay Stark led the team offensively during this quarter, scoring 10 of the Wildcats’ 15 points. Stark scored the final two game-winning free throws, to give Chico State the hard-fought win, 62-61.
“I was really just thinking about my teammates, we worked so hard to get that comeback, so I really wanted to reward their hard work and ability to stay composed,” Stark said about her game-winning free throws.
Stark had a big game, going off for a team-high 15 points, shooting 60 percent (6/10). Barker also had a good game, with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Rebounding was a big factor in this game as well, as the Wildcats out-rebounded the Lumberjacks, 47-34. This created a difference in second-chance points, since Chico State lead Humboldt 15-5 in that category.
This game has increased the Wildcats’ win streak to four, and they have now won their last four in-conference games. They are 4-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, and have been looking great ever since their bad loss at UCSD. This win boosted them into fourth in their conference, ahead of the Lumberjacks who are now ranked fifth.
Looking forward for the Wildcats, there will be a two-week break before they play again. Then, they will put their four-game win streak on the line as they take on Cal Poly Pomona on the road, on Dec. 29.
With a 3-0 CCAA record, Cal Poly has been looking great. The Broncos are riding a six-game win streak, and will play one more game at San Marcos before taking on the Wildcats. Cal Poly and Chico have the same overall record, 7-1, proving that this should be a competitive, fun to watch game.
Connor McPherson can be reached at [email protected] or @theGOATMcphers1 on Twitter.