Wildcats lose overtime thriller to Humboldt State


Natalie Valenzuela shoots the layup against Humboldt State Photo credit: Mathew Boe

The Chico State Wildcats women’s basketball team lost a very close game in overtime Saturday night to Humboldt State. The Wildcats were a little slow offensively out of the gate and Humboldt took advantage of that, resulting in a 72-76 loss at Acker Gymnasium.

Their junior guard Madeline Hatch was on fire from the perimeter and put up 17 first-half points. Hatch put up those points almost exclusively with the three ball, as she hit five shots from downtown in the first half.

Shay Stark goes up for a layup against Humboldt State Saturday night. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

The Wildcats went on a decent run to end the half, fueled by a few clutch shots from sophomore guard Shay Stark and went into the break down by just four.

After the Wildcats and coach Brian Fogel made a few halftime adjustments, the team turned it up on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Sophomore guard Vanessa Holland played a key role on defense as she was able to shut down Humboldt’s Madeline Hatch and helped keep her to zero points in the second half.

Natalie Valenzuela shoots the layup against Humboldt State Photo credit: Mathew Boe

The Wildcats’ defensive play led to things opening up on offense as senior forwards McKena Barker and Natalie Valenzuela applied pressure to the paint and created scoring opportunities for themselves and others. The tandem combined for 23 points, many of which came in the second half.

Junior guard Madison Wong also got involved offensively as she made five three-point shots and provided the Wildcats with big baskets in big moments.

Both teams had opportunities late to win the game but the three-point attempts from Wong and Hatch were blanketed by good defense. Humboldt state got out to a fast start in overtime and was able to get a little bit of separation.

The Wildcats brought their lead down to just two with around 30 seconds left but gave up a foul that led to two makes from the line for Humboldt.

McKena Barker goes up for the layup against Humboldt State. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

After the game, McKena Barker said that their turnovers and Humboldt’s ability to capitalize late on free throw opportunities was the x-factor in tonight’s loss.

The four point deficit proved insurmountable and the Wildcats fell to 12-6 on the season.

The Wildcats look to take their game to Turlock Saturday, Feb. 4, as they face off against Stanislaus State. That game tips off at 5:30 p.m. and can be watched on the Chico State women’s basketball schedule.


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