Nothing like a happy flight home after playing Cal State San Bernardino in college basketball. But, that is exactly what the Chico State men's and women's basketball teams got to experience on Sunday morning as they basked in the glow of victory after salvaging weekend splits with wins at a tough place to play in Cousoulis Arena.
The 9th ranked Chico State women (11-1) lost for the first time this year 71-65 to UC San Diego on Friday night. They shot a blistering 67 percent in the first half 18-of-27 only to struggle with a 7-for-28 shooting performance in the second half. The Cats were also dismal from the free throw line shooting 12-for-21. But, with Saturday's gut check 62-56 win over the Coyotes on Saturday, they showed toughness and grit and grinding out a win on the second night of back-to-back on the road. Chico State clamped down defensively in the final four minutes, forcing San Bernardino into bad shots and running set plays and getting good shots on the offensive end.
The Chico State men were upended by UC San Diego on Friday as well. Falling to the Tritons 65-62. The Cats were even worse from the free throw line going 16-of-27. It was an oddity since the Cats were one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country at better than 76 percent coming into the game. But, Chico found a way on Saturday and primarily doing it with their stingy nationally ranked defense.
Chico State used a 15-4 run at the tail end of the first half to go in at the half tied at 30. Chico would build a 10-point lead in the half number two, but the Coyotes would counter with a run. The game came down to set plays and the Wildcats would run the pick-and-roll to perfection to set up this Jason Conrad dunk....
The Wildcats saw their lead whittled to one 62-61, but Amir Carraway and Damario Sims would connect on this big bucket to extend the margin....
With under a minute to go Chico State had a 67-65 lead but San Bernardino had the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead, but once again the Wildcats defense and smarts would prove to be key.....
Jordan Barton corraled the ball on the floor and it was Jordan Semple who alertly called timeout for Chico right in front of an official before San Bernardino could tie up Barton for the jump ball. The Coyotes had the possession arrow so it was a possession saving and possibly game winning play by Semple who had 14 points 12 rebounds and five block shots in Chico's win.
The Wildcat women are now 11-1 overall and 7-1 and in first place in the CCAA. The Chico State men are now 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the CCAA sitting alone in 4th place in conference. The Cats sit one game behind both San Francisco State and Cal State San Bernardino, teams they have beaten. They are now two full games behind Cal Poly Pomona.
Both the men and women head to Southern California for the second straight weekend as they will take on the Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles and the Dominguez Hills Toros on Friday and Saturday nights. Game time for the women is 5:30 and the men 7:30 both nights with our pre-game shows on Newstalk 1290 KPAY at 5:06pm
STEPH CURRY'S 29 POINTS WAS NOT ENOUGH AS THE DUBS FALL IN DENVER
On Sunday night the Golden State Warriors played great basketball for 36 minutes in Denver. Sadly the final 12 minutes were disaster as the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 116-105 win over the Warriors. Steph Curry led Golden State with 29 but the Warriors couldn't hold the Nuggets, who were seemingly running a lay-up drill in the 4th quarter at the Warriors expense. Curry said turnovers buried the Warriors....
The Warriors will take on the World Champion Miami Heat on Wednesday at The Oracle. The Warriors are looking for the season sweep against the Heat after beating them in Miami in mid-December.
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