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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Triple threat leads winning streak

Seniors Jazmine Miller and Courtney Hamilton and junior Hannah Womack, guards, are all smiles after beating UC San Diego on Friday.Photo credit: Grant Mahan

Word around town is that the Golden State Warriors may need to witness what the Wildcat women’s basketball team has going on this season.

The Warriors have the “Splash Brothers,” Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but the Wildcats have one up on them, bringing the “Splash Sisters Trio” to the court.

The ’Cats are 15-5 this season and 11-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. They are currently ranked third in the conference, riding a seven-game winning streak.

The trio backing the wins consists of senior guards Courtney Hamilton and Jazmine Miller and junior guard Hannah Womack. Hamilton does it all, averaging 8 points, 6.9 assists and 5 rebounds per game. She is leading the team with 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Miller brings an explosive offense, hauling in 13.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Womack brings instant energy, averaging 11.2 points per game and pulling down 2.7 rebounds per game.

The three guards can play any position from point guard to small forward. Each of the ’Cats can lead the attack on fast breaks to convert easy transition points.

“Any one of them is capable of starting the fast break and it’s a real big luxury for the team,” said Brian Fogel, head coach of the women’s basketball team.

Hamilton runs the Wildcats’ high-tempo offense and is always looking to push the ball up the court. She has a great eye for finding open players and setting them up for high-percentage shots.

“I am always confident in transition and I like being the aggressor and just have fun,” Hamilton said.

Miller has a smooth game like Thompson and is a pure shooter from anywhere on the court. The Wildcats’ opponents guard Miller in hopes of stopping her, but they can only pray to contain her elusive style of play.

“I like to make plays and get good shots up to free up other teammates,” Miller said.

The energy that Womack brings to the game is a must see. She is a firecracker on offense and defense, waiting to bring the boom to opponents. Womack’s three-point range is off the charts and there’s no stopping her when she’s in rhythm.

“When I’m on the court I just run and try to turn it on and motivate my teammates,” Womack said.

The Wildcats may not be a big team, but they are definitely athletic, quick and can play to their strengths.

“We try to create our offense through defense and be the aggressor to make teams uncomfortable,” Fogel said.

One thing ’Cats fans may not know is that Hamilton is in the top 10 for blocked shots in Chico State history. She recorded 62 blocked shots midway through her fourth season, which is unheard of for a point guard.

“Hamilton guards the opposing team’s best player and has great length, which helps her defensive play,” Fogel said.

Hamilton and Miller have been playing together for the past four years and have helped guide Womack the past two seasons. They now know each other’s play perfectly.

“It’s been enjoyable watching the growth from the three of them and how well they play together,” Fogel said.

The Wildcats have succeeded in a seven-game winning streak by clamping down on opponents, holding them to 56 points per game and playing their type of ball. The ’Cats are coming together so well that fans might see a late push to the top of the CCAA to win their conference.

“I feel I have the best trio of guards in the CCAA,” Fogel said. “They are all talented, unselfish and complement each other’s skill sets.”

Benjamin Marquez can be reached at [email protected] or @bmarq2424 on Twitter.

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