Women’s basketball team looking to rebound in ’23-’24 season


Coach Vogel talking to the women’s basketball team, photo courtesy of Aaron Draper/Chico State Sports Information

The final buzzer has sounded for the women’s basketball season, but there is much to look forward to in the 2023-2024 season. The Wildcats finished with an 18-11 season record and a 14-8 conference record, which earned them the fifth seed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Unfortunately, they lost to the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos in the quarter-finals, ultimately ending their season. 

The Wildcats were hot and cold to start off the season going 9-6. By mid-January the women hit their stride, going on a dominant seven-game winning streak. They lost their last three games and finished with an 18-11 record. 

“We really wanted it, we started playing with a chip on our shoulders,” junior Zhane Duckett said. “We started to see when there’s adversity in the game, we could find a way out of that and still get a dub.” 

A highlight of the 2022-2023 season for the Cats was their impressive 11-4 home record. Chico State women’s basketball team felt comfortable at home, winning .73% of the games played at Acker Gym. Unfortunately, when the Wildcats went on the road it was a coin toss, going 7-5 and winning .58% of away games. 

“We were very comfortable playing at home and we have all our fans here and support here so that also helped our performance,” Duckett said. 

Another accomplishment for the Wildcats included four players receiving All-CCAA nods. Brandy Huffhines and Duckett both earned themselves a spot on the Second Team All-CCAA, while Haley Ison and Myli Martinez snagged All-CCAA Honorable Mentions.

This is the second time Duckett received an All-CCAA Second Team mention, the first being last season when she played for Cal State East Bay

“I’m truly honored anytime they select me for anything, hard work pays off,” Duckett said. “I’m more so concerned about how I was able to impact the team in a positive way.”

Huffhines not only earned herself an All-CCAA Second Team selection but also became the first ever Chico State women’s basketball player to be named CCAA Newcomer of the Year. The Newcomer of the Year award is given to a player who has played college athletics before, but is playing their first year in the CCAA conference.   

“Honestly I was pretty shocked when I heard the news,” Huffhines said. “As much as I do think I had a decent season, especially coming out after three years of not playing, I do think I could have performed a lot better this season, it’s just the beginning.” 

Although the season ended in disappointing fashion, the Wildcats are prepared to bounce back and make a run next season. With many key players set to return, the team thinks they have a real shot at going far in the playoffs this upcoming season. 

“I see a very bright future for this group,” Huffhines said. “We’re gonna hit the CCAA with something different next season and I think we have a lot to look forward to.”