Wildcats come up short against Stanislaus State

McKena Barker goes up for the layup against Humboldt State Feb. 9, 2019. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

McKena Barker goes up for the layup against Humboldt State Feb. 9, 2019. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

Matthew Ferreira

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The Wildcats women’s basketball team lost a close game to Stanislaus State on Saturday night. The game was competitive from the beginning and the Wildcats finished the first quarter with a 22-21 lead.

Sophomore guard Shay Stark hit a three-pointer, a layup and a free throw in the latter end of the quarter to push the Wildcats to a first-quarter lead.

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Shay Stark goes up for a layup against Humboldt State Feb. 9, 2019. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

The Wildcat’s offense executed well in the second quarter and senior forward Natalie Valenzuela battled in the paint and had eight points and three rebounds. Senior forward McKena Barker also had four points, a rebound and an assist to help lead the Wildcats to a 47-38 lead at the half.

Stanislaus state came out hot in the third quarter and managed to outscore the Wildcats 17-12 in that frame. The Warrior’s Brittney Livingston had seven points and three rebounds to bring Stanislaus within four at the end of the third quarter. The Warriors success from behind the three-point line certainly helped them keep it close and the game stayed competitive from then on.

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Natalie Valenzuela shoots the layup against Humboldt State Feb. 9, 2019. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

The fourth quarter was full of offense. Stanislaus’ Kyanna Davis had 12 points in the final frame and was certainly the X-factor for the Warriors. The Wildcats tried to come back late after Stanislaus took the lead late but were not able to as Davis’ free throws put the game away late.

The final score was 77-73 loss for the Wildcats.

After the game, McKena Barker said that the team “got flustered at the end” and that they “need to take care of the ball better.”

The Warriors capitalized on the Wildcat’s mistakes as they scored 16 points off of Chico’s 18 turnovers.

Shay Stark felt positive overall about the Wildcat’s offensive effort and said that they “got all of the shots that they wanted.” She also added that the team “could have done a better job taking care of the ball and keeping their poise in the second half.”

The Wildcats had played Stanislaus once before this season and won by 16 points.

Barker said that this time around the Warriors “were a lot more aggressive and crashed the offensive boards hard.”

This was evident as Stanislaus had 12 offensive rebounds in the game and seemed to control the paint throughout.

Tonight’s loss brought the Wildcats down to 12-7 on the season and 9-7 in conference play. The team will continue its quest for the playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 14 as they take on Cal State San Bernadino at Acker Gym at 5:30 p.m.

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

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