Wildcats find success in a second chance match-up


Arrow VanAbrams

Vanessa Holland takes a three-point shot against Cal State Los Angeles on Saturday night.

The Chico State women’s basketball team got their revenge against the Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles on Saturday night. The Wildcats took a commanding 69-57 victory after getting dominated by a score of 50-88 in their previous match-up against the Golden Eagles. 

Although the final score doesn’t reflect a highly lopsided game, the eye test did. The Wildcats held a 20-point lead throughout most of the game, as the Golden Eagles looked a step behind from tip-off to the final buzzer. 

The explosive guard tandem of Shay Stark and Maddy Wong combined for 39 points.

Arrow VanAbrams
Maddy Wong thinks carefully about her executions against the Golden Eagles.

The senior dead-eye Wong, tied her season-high in points with 21, going 6-10 from the three-point line. Junior slasher Shay Stark also posted her season-high with 18 points, attacking the basket with a tenacity that completely overwhelmed Golden Eagle defenders.

After the game, Stark explained where this scoring burst came from.

 “I know what my team needs from me. We all contribute in our own ways, that’s just the thing of us bringing out our best individually and bringing it together as a unit,” Stark said. 

Chico State showed a level of defensive intensity that was not present in their last match-up with Cal State LA. This energy and intensity on the defensive side of the ball allowed the offense to shine and control the pace of the game.

Junior forward Hannah Washington anchored the Wildcats on the defensive side of the ball. Washington grabbed 10 rebounds, two steals and one block. 

Speaking on the drastic improvement defensively, the Wildcats showed up since their last game facing the Golden Eagles. 

“The team that played in that loss was not Chico State. Tonight we came out and played our defense and our basketball,” Washington said. 

The Wildcats started the game with high energy which they did not let it up. This energy led to a dominant first quarter as the Wildcats outscored the Golden Eagles 20-6, holding Cal State LA to just 1-16 shooting.

The second quarter was a similar story. Although, the Golden Eagles were able to generate slightly more offense by scoring 13 throughout the quarter.

The Wildcats’ lead at halftime was 23, a far cry from the way their last match-up with the Golden Eagles played out.

Sophomore guard Myli Martinez has been a spark plug on offense this season for the Wildcats. She chipped in an additional eight points on Saturday night. 

Martinez had her own theory of how the offense went so smoothly throughout the game.

“It feeds off of our defense and our defense was really good today. We locked down and once our offense gets going, it’s good from there,” Martinez said. 

Not to mention, Martinez was also tasked with guarding Golden Eagles leading scorer, Sydney Bordonaro, for a large chunk of the night. Giving little room to operate, Martinez held Bordonaro  to 4-16 shooting.

“I knew going into it she was a good player. She’s their leading scorer and I knew I need to do me; play defense and win that battle” Martinez said.

The third quarter began with new life from the Golden Eagles offense. They managed to outscore the Wildcats 17-16 in the quarter and cut the lead to under 20.

The fourth quarter began with multiple dagger threes from Wong, bringing the lead back up to 20. Although, Cal State LA was able to overcome and increase their score as the quarter progressed.

Around the four-minute mark, Golden Eagle guard Alyssa Fisher converted a four-point play, causing an evident momentum shift in Acker Gym.

Although, this momentum quickly shifted back to the Wildcats side as Stark converted an and-one to put the game on ice.

Within the closing minutes, the Golden Eagles were able to cut the lead down to 10 but it was too little too late as the Wildcats secured the win.

Arrrow VanAbrams can be reached at [email protected] or @Arrow__3 on Twitter.