Wildcats shame Warriors on Alumni Weekend


Malik Duffy shooting a three against Humboldt State at Acker Gymnasium. Image credit: Chico State Sports Information

Chico State came in ready to extend their winning streak on the road when they faced California State University, Stanislaus Saturday night.

“We knew this was a big game because the win would help us for playoff seeding in the conference tournament so we really needed to be focused on the game plan,” Kevin Warren said.

When the Wildcats stepped on the court there was no hesitation and they took an early lead. The Warriors struggled for most of the half and let Chico break through their defense.

“We moved the ball well and got the ball inside to both Malik and Marvin. Also, our defense led to transition baskets in the first couple of minutes in the first half.” Warren said.

The Wildcats defense was the strongest it had been all season forcing Stanislaus to remain scoreless for five minutes in the first half. This allowed Chico State to gain a 15-point lead, the largest lead of the night.

The Warriors slowly crept up, by playing more aggressive defense that helped minimize the huge lead the Wildcats created. The change in defense was evident as Chico struggled to score in the last eight minutes of the half.

“We didn’t play as well on the defensive end for a small part of the second half, which led to them cutting the lead down later in the game,” Warren said.

With only two minutes left on the scoreboard, Stanislaus trailed by four which made the Wildcats uneasy. Chico struggled to keep the lead but Nate Ambrosini finished the half with a three-pointer leaving the scoreboard 25-18.

The second half was no different from the first as the Wildcats became explosive in the first few minutes keeping a lead with at least a seven-point difference. Stanislaus continued to keep Chico from creating another 15-point lead in the first eight minutes of the half.

“The coaches made it an emphasis during halftime to be more aggressive on the offensive end,” Warren said.

The Warriors tried hard to retaliate but were not able to execute shots while the Wildcats were prepared to do everything offensively possible to keep their lead.

When the game reached its final five minutes Stanislaus was trailing by six points, the smallest point gap of the half. As the Warriors fought against Chico’s defense, Chico was not phased by their efforts and ended the game 58-47.

“To keep the win streak alive we need to continue to play hard on both ends of the floor and play unselfishly,” Warren said. “We have had really good practices the last couple of weeks and that has carried over to the last couple of games.”

The Wildcats look forward to extending their winning streak as they return back home to face off California State University, San Bernardino Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at Acker Gym.

Lucero Del Rayo can be reached at [email protected] or @del_rayo98 on Twitter.