The visiting Cougars down the Wildcats in empty Acker

The Chico State Women’s Basketball team lost 76-60 on Thursday night in a crowdless home game that saw the Wildcats shoot poorly. 

The Wildcats had not played a game since Jan. 11 because of COVID outbreaks all over the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference. 

Freshman guard Charity Gallegos said it felt great to be out there with her teammates after the adversity.

“It was fun to be out there tonight and we are going to learn from our mistakes from this game,” Gallegos said. 

Chico State Athletic Director Anita Barker  has said there will be  no fans allowed in Acker Gym until Feb. 3. 

The San Marcos Cougars arrived in Chico riding a four-game winning streak, while the Wildcats had won their recent game against the Stanislaus State Warriors. 

During the first quarter the Cougars started off hot and led 22-9 after the first 10-minutes of action. The Wildcats struggled offensively shooting less than 18 percent from the field in the first quarter. 

Sophomore forward Jordan Morris credits their defense and rebounding, which were the things that kept them in the game despite the slow shooting night.

“Our defense was good, we made adjustments throughout the game,” Morris said. “Makenzie was also doing a great job on the boards today.” 

Then during the second after back to back 3-pointers by Gallegos, the Wildcats would cut their deficit to two points. After some foul shots, the Cougars would go into half up 37-31.

During their run in the second quarter the Wildcats shot 60% from the field and held the Cougars to 27.3% from the field.

In the third quarter the Cougars would amplify their lead to 56-47 after 30-minutes of action. 

Within the first minute of the fourth quarter the Cougars hit a 3-point shot and didn’t look back. They went on to improve their winning streak to five as they defeated the Wildcats 76-60. 

The Wildcats shot only 37% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc. Junior guard Bailey Jones said their shots weren’t falling today. 

“We played faster than we typically do,” Jones said. “Everything was faster and didn’t get as many post ups as we’d liked. 

This team has time to practice and improve as their next scheduled game will be on Jan. 20 against the San Francisco Gators because their Jan. 15 game has been canceled because of COVID. That will be the Wildcats fourth game canceled because of the Omicron COVID variant. 

Jones said it sucks because they aren’t allowed to do what they love and that is playing basketball. 

“We have to look at the positives, at least we are healthy now,” Jones said. “We were grateful to be able to play today.” 

The Wildcats won’t be back at Acker Gym until Feb. 3 when they host the Cal Poly Pomona Mustangs. 

Morris said they have to stick together no matter what happens due to the unusual circumstances going around.

“We are just supporting one another through these weird times,” Morris said. 
Javier Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter.