No. 12 Chico State Men’s Basketball dominate in CCAA opener


Javier Hernandez

The Wildcats logo displayed at Acker Gym.

The No. 12 Wildcats were starting their three-game California Collegiate Athletic Association road trip in Turlock facing the Stanislaus State Warriors

The Warriors were riding a two-game win streak, while the Wildcats were on a four-game win streak. One of the streaks was bound to get broken and ultimately the Wildcats were too much for the hosting Warriors.

Coach Clink giving instructions to his squad during a timeout.

The Wildcats were led by senior forward Malik Duffy, who scored 15 points. 

Duffy said they relied on their defense and energy for their first CCAA game.

“We knew we had to come out with high energy,” Duffy said. “It was our first CCAA game and their first home game, this gave us extra motivation.”

This energy was shown in the first half in both facets of the game. 

Senior guard Isaiah Brooks assisted junior guard Colby Orr to beat the buzzer to end the first half, which was Brooks’ fourth assist of the game and 262nd of his career. This milestone puts Brooks into sole possession of No. 10 in Wildcat history in assists.

The Wildcats propelled to a 41-13 advantage in the first half.

They held the Warriors to just four field goals on 14.8% shooting from the floor, and 10% from beyond the arc.

The game remained the same in the second half as the Wildcats propelled to their biggest lead at the 8:39 mark as they led 65-29.

The Wildcats controlled the rest of the game and won 72-44. They are now  5-0 on the season, their best start since the 2011-2012 season. 

This was also the Wildcats first regular season CCAA win since Feb. 20, 2019 — where they defeated the Warriors in Acker Gym.

Sophomore guard Joshua Hamilton had an all around game as he finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Orr and junior forward Kaleb Carter combined for 18 points off the bench for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats set a season best in three pointers with 12 and held the Warriors to a season low of 44 points.

After this defensive outing, the Wildcats improved to a CCAA best 56.9 points allowed per game.

The Wildcats standing in unison during the National Anthem.

Sophomore forward Brennan Wheeler likes the effort and said they have shown defensively as a team, but now that it is CCAA play it’s time to turn it up a notch.

“I think the most important part is embracing our identity as a defensive team,” Wheeler said. “Physicality and composure will be big going into our next two road games.”

The next two CCAA games are against the No. 21 San Bernardino Coyotes and the No. 11 Cal Poly Pomona Mustangs. 

Senior graduate assistant Ricky Delgado-Martinez said there were  lessons learned during this blow-out win.

“We got an early glimpse of what it takes to create a lead,” Delgado-Martinez said. “We also learned other lessons tonight on playing with the lead.”

Delgado-Martinez said this game taught them how important it is to compete for 40 minutes.

“When we play Chico State basketball for 40 minutes, we can compete with anyone,” Delgado-Martinez said. 
Javier Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter