Wildcat women’s basketball end Senior Night with eight straight loss


Shay Stark shooting a free-throw attempt against Sonoma State on Saturday. She ended her season with six points on the night. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

The Chico State women’s basketball team lost their Senior Night game against Sonoma State Saturday night by a score of 71-59. Ending the season on an eight-game losing streak.

The first quarter yielded little offense as both teams found it hard to get hot from the field. The teams tried their luck with the three-point shot early but neither found much success.

The Wildcats first-quarter shooting woes continued into the second frame and at one point they were at just 20 percent from the field.

The ‘Cats’ sophomore guard Vanessa Holland was able to make a couple of three-pointers and senior forward Natalie Valenzuela hit a few free throws to keep the game close at 27-23.

Chico State Wildcats preparing for their final game of the season against Sonoma State on Senior Night. Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

Senior forward McKena Barker said that during the team’s halftime meeting, Coach Fogel told them to “shoot confidently.”

The Wildcats came out aggressively on defense after the break and were able to force 20 turnovers throughout the game from Sonoma State, many of which came in the second half.

Valenzuela mentioned that they “played a lot of man defense in order to defend the three-pointer.”

Chico State’s defensive pressure was effective as it made shots a lot harder on the Seawolves, but Sonoma was able to get their shots to fall and put themselves in the lead for the entire second half.

The Wildcats were able to give Sonoma a fight late as junior guard Madison Wong was able to make three three-pointers in the fourth to keep Chico State in contention.

Sonoma’s ability to grab rebounds helped them put the game away and their forward Ugochi Anudokem played outstanding in the paint and finished with 17 points.

In the end, Chico couldn’t match the Seawolves offensive production and the game slipped away in the final minutes.

McKena Barker put up 19 points and 12 rebounds in her last collegiate game on Saturday against Sonoma State. Photo credit: Mathew Boe

Barker finished with 19 points and Valenzuela had seven points and seven rebounds. Ending their Chico State basketball careers on a high note.

The pair left the court to a standing ovation with about 20 seconds left and both were very grateful postgame for the support from their teammates, coaches and the Chico community.

This season’s ending was disappointing, the Wildcats have a lot of talent coming back for next year. Guards Shay Stark and Madison Wong will be returning next year and look to continue their offensive success from this season.

Vanessa Holland will also be returning and has proved herself a guard that can defend well and shoot from the perimeter.

The future is bright for these Wildcats and it will be exciting to see them next year.

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