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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Women’s basketball loses strong lead late.

Maddy Wong serveying the floor against Stanislaus State. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

The Chico State women’s basketball season opener Thursday night was not what they hoped for going against Stanislaus State. The Wildcats were in the driver’s seat the first three quarters but mistakes would shoot them in the foot in the fourth.

“It’s kind of hard right now, but it feels good to be fully into basketball season,” Maddy Wong said. “ We’re into conference now, and we just need to find our rhythm. But that will come with time because we are really young but it feels good.. It’s just time.”

Chico’s leading scorer, Maddy Wong, put together another strong performance, putting in 17 points. Shay Stark was huge spark off the bench, finishing with efficient 15 points.

“Right now my role is kind of being a scorer when we need a bucket,” Stark said. “So just trying to facilitate coming off the bench, bringing the knowledge that I’m seeing from a bench perspective of what’s going on in the game.”

The Wildcats did a great job of finding driving lanes to kick out to open shooters. They seemed to have an established identity by playing fast and keeping the pace high. A veteran for this team, Wong, has made the transition to the off guard position with the new addition of Diasha Abdelkader taking care of the ball handling responsibilities.

Daisha Abdelkader pushes the ball up the floor. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

“Obviously it opens me for my shot a lot more,” Wong said. “Coach (Brian Fogel) didn’t want me bringing the ball up the floor because the point guard is the playmaker. You’re the one dishing it out to people to get the shots. He really wanted me to change my mindset and come to shooting guard because I’m quote on quote, ‘the best shooter on the team.”

Chico was in command through the first three quarters, but the details of taking care of the ball and rebounding was what allowed Stanisalus to keep the game competitive. They were outrebounded 53-29 while shooting poorly from the freethrow line at 61%.

“I thought it was ok,” Wong said. “We got out rebounded. It’s really hard to win games like that. It didn’t really feel, in the first three quarters, that we were playing horrible or anything. I just think they were keeping up with us, mostly just staying close in the game because of offensive rebounds. We have to find a way to put a body on somebody and get a ball.”

Shay Stark knocks down a three point shot Thursday night. Photo credit: Wesley Harris

It didn’t take much for Stanisalus to claw their way back into the game. A few open three point shots and an offensive dry spell for Chico would leave the Wildcats trailing through the third quarter. Chico didn’t play necessarily poor on defense, but open looks were thin for the team.

“I would say just be more consistent as far as our aggressiveness during games,” Stark said. “I know a few times we had moments where we don’t score for three minutes or something like that. We’re getting stops, but we’re not rewarding ourselves on the other end. I think that’s something we need to adjust for future games, and not having those dry runs.”

Wesley Harris can be reached at [email protected] or @jiggy_wes on twitter.

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