Chico State Women’s Basketball notches ‘Triple W’ in first three games; lose next two


Matthew Bates

Myli Martinez dribbling down the court on Nov. 13 at Acker Gym.

With over 300 fans rejoicing for the return of Chico State Women’s Basketball in Acker Gym, the Wildcats answered with back-to-back wins to start the 2021-22 season. 

The Wildcats went up against Fresno Pacific University on Nov. 12 and Dominican University on Nov. 13. 

In their matchup against Fresno Pacific, the Wildcats seized the momentum. 

Early in the first quarter, the Wildcats capitalized on the Sunbirds early mistakes. This resulted in the Sunbirds giving up eight points off turnovers at the end of the first quarter, and gave up 21 points off turnovers overall. 

With the Sunbirds making mistakes on offense, the Wildcat offense continued to stay aggressive in the first half. They shot 38% from behind the arc and made 50% of their field goals as a team. 

Freshman Charity Gallegos made a buzzer-beater going into halftime and gave the Wildcats an 11-point lead. 

“I’ve been working toward this my whole life,” Gallegos said. “It’s always been a goal to play college basketball. And with the help of my teammates, they make it easy for me to perform well.” 

In the second half, the Wildcats continued to dominate. 

30 of their 66 total points were scored in the paint. The game would go on to feature zero lead changes as the Wildcats lead confidently throughout. 

The final score was 67-55. Stat leaders from this game were Gallegos with 18 points, Haley Ison with seven rebounds and Bailey Jones with two 3-pointers. 

The Wildcats were beaming with joy. 

“It’s just awesome energy,” Jones said. “Seeing our boosters again and all of the people that come and support us like our school. It’s a great environment, and I love it and missed it.” 

The next day, Chico State faced off against Dominican University, where the Penguins proved to be a formidable opponent early.

The Penguins drew blood first by scoring the game’s first bucket and hitting a rhythm. 

Wildcat Senior Haley Ison started by scoring the Wildcats’ first seven points, leaving them down 7-13 in the first quarter. 

The Wildcats began to cut into the lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Mikaela Bismillah tied the game 17-17 with a second quarter layup. The score would become tied an additional 11 times throughout the game. 

In the last seconds of the fourth quarter Domincan’s Riley Friauf fouled Jones, who drained two free throws at the line, giving the Wildcats a 3-point lead, 77-74. 

Dominican’s Aaliyah Sanjuan fired back by draining a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining, once again tying the game, 77-77. 

The Penguins asked for a timeout and left the Wildcats with 30 seconds to draw up a game plan for the final shot. 

With just two seconds on the clock, Ison took a jump shot and drilled it just before the game clock expired, winning the game for Chico with a walk-off buzzer-beater. 

The final score against Dominican University was 79-77.

“We’re not backing down from any challenges,” Ison said. “Coach [Fogel] told us the other day that we respect everybody and we fear no one.”

The Wildcats continued their streak on Tuesday when they traveled to Oakland to give Holy Names University an offensive beatdown, winning by over 50 points in 97-46 blowout. 

The Wildcats then traveled to Oregon to play Western Oregon on Nov. 19 and Saint Martin on Nov 20. Chico lost both matchups, losing against Western Oregon 60-68 and losing to Saint Martins by one point, 54-55. 

Chico State Women’s Basketball is going to play their first California Collegiate Athletic Association game against Stanislaus State on Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m. 

They will be entering Turlock with an overall record of 3-2. 

Raymundo Sayago can be reached at [email protected] or @rsayagoaguilar on Twitter.