79-year-old record has been matched by the No. 5 Wildcats


Javier Hernandez

The Wildcats huddling up during an intermission.

The Chico State Men’s Basketball team tied a significant historic mark with a 61-55 victory over rival Cal State Stanislaus Warriors.

This victory marked the Wildcats’ second-ever 10-0 start, their first since the 1942-43 season and a program best 11th straight California Collegiate Athletic Association victory. The Wildcats are also one of five unbeaten teams in all of Division 2.

Wildcat players celebrating their 10th win of the season vs. SSU.

The last time the Wildcats team took the court, they dominated the Humboldt State Lumberjacks 86-60 on Dec. 18. 

Over the holiday break, the Wildcats received their highest Division II ranking in program history at No. 4 and No. 5 by the D2SIDA media poll and NABC coaches poll.

The Wildcats started 2022 with some history to make as they hosted the Stanislaus State Warriors.

The Wildcats were trying to tie the best start in their history (10-0) and attempting to best their longest CCAA win streak of 11 games. 

The Warriors put up a valiant effort but could not stop the No. 5-ranked Wildcats. 

This game didn’t come easy because the Wildcats struggled offensively in the first half and went into the locker room down 26-22. Their 22 first-half points were a season low. 

Head coach Greg Clink said he trusts this group because everyone has bought into their respective role. 

“When the chips are down our veterans do a great job of communicating,” Clink said. 

After a Warrior jumper at the 16-minute mark in the second half, the Wildcats were down by 9 points, their biggest deficit this season. 

The Wildcats fought back. Junior guard Colby Orr scored a career high of 19 points (all came in the second half). The Wildcats held the Warriors to 41% shooting from the field and just 29% from beyond the arc.

Clink said the defense won the game. 

“Our defense was consistent throughout the whole game,” Clink said. “The last couple of minutes we really locked in and made stops on the defensive end to close out the game.”

Coach Clink giving his offense instructions during their match up vs. SSU.

Orr credits his career-high game to the team’s ability to move the ball and play as one.

“We stayed confident despite the struggles,” Orr said. “My teammates and I have trust in one another.”

The Wildcats are averaging a margin of win of 14.8 points. Orr attributed the tough game to having to defeat the same team multiple times in the season.

“Staying together and being prepared is what is going to help us win these tough conference games,” Orr said. 

This victory is now a part of Wildcat history. But the team is focused on bigger things. 

Senior forward Malik Duffy, who had a double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, said the team wants more.

“We are a part of Wildcat history now, but we want to keep it going,” Duffy said. 

Duffy said the ’Cats just have to play their game to keep the streak alive. 

“We just have to give it all no matter what,” Duffy said.“Just have to play Chico State Basketball.”

Despite the historic start, sophomore forward Breenan Wheeler said this start won’t mean much if they hit the brakes now.

“We have to keep taking it one game at a time,” Wheeler said. 

Senior graduate assistant Ricky Delgado-Martinez said this team is special because of their ability to respond to tough situations. 

“Instead of falling apart they come together and get stronger,” Delgado-Martinez said. “They came together and performed well when their backs were against the wall.”

The Wildcats will now leave for a two-game road trip to Hayward to play the East Bay Pioneers on Jan. 6 and then to Carson to face the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros on Jan. 8.

Senior guard Kevin Warren said how being able to attack different defenses and limiting turnovers will be key during their road trip.

“Both teams next weekend will mix it up defensively,” Warren said. 

The Wildcats make their return to Acker on Jan. 13 to host the No. 11 San Marcos Cougars.

Javier Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter.