Wildcats rally late to stun Cal State San Marcos


McKenna Barker taking point against California State University, San Marcos Saturday Jan. 26, 2019. Photo credit: Lucero Del Rayo-Nava

The Chico State women’s basketball team found themselves in a hotly contested game against Cal State San Marcos on Saturday night. The game got off to a quick start when both offenses combined for 36 points in the first period to tie the game at 18-18.

The Wildcats got off to a great start in the second quarter when senior forward Natalie Valenzuela drilled a corner three and after a defensive stop, she drove right back to the basket for her fourth and fifth points of the quarter. After that, however, points came in a premium as San Marcos’ defense held the Wildcats to just six total points in the second quarter.

With San Marcos leading 29-24 at halftime, both teams were given an opportunity to adjust which in return set up for an entertaining second half.

San Marcos seemed to dominate the third quarter and held their biggest lead of 10 points with about a minute to go. Cougar’s sophomore forward Emma Forel dominated in the paint as she put up a total of 11 rebounds an 22 points, many of which came in the third period and contributed to their comfortable lead entering the fourth period.

From the fourth period on, it was all Wildcats. Chico’s defense really came together and was able to hold the Cougars to just 10 points in the final frame. Junior and sophomore guards Madison Wong and Shay Stark put on an offensive clinic in the fourth with a barrage of breakaways, assists from Stark and a couple clutch threes from Wong. The pair led Chico to a 25 point period and ultimately a win against a Cougar’s team that had beat them by 12 earlier in the year.

Madison Wong credited their defense saying that they “stepped up in a big way.” Regarding her 3 point shot success, she said “the most important thing is confidence.”

One thing is sure, she certainly had that. Her field goal points came exclusively from behind the arc and helped lead the Wildcats to an electric win.

The Wildcats improve to 12-5 on the season and 9-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings. They look towards Saturday, Feb. 2nd at 5:30 p.m. for the final game of their three-game home stand. They play against Humboldt State (11-6 overall and 9-5 in the CCAA standings).

Matthew Ferreira can be reached at [email protected] or @MattFerreira_ on Twitter.