The improbable became reality on Friday night as the Chico State Wildcat women's basketball not only beat a very good Monterey Bay team on their home floor on senior night, but they also won their first out-right CCAA Basketball crown for the first time since 2007-2008.
THE CHICO STATE WILDCAT WOMEN CELEBRATING THEIR CCAA TITLE IN MONTEREY
The Wildcats not only had to win, but they needed San Francisco State to upset UC San Diego in La Jolla to secure the title. With four minutes left, unbeknownst to the Wildcats, the Gators were doing their part securing a 53-50 win over the Tritons. The Wildcats were on shakier ground though. The Otters were having a big offensive night against the Cats and led by as many as nine points in the second half (40-31). But, Chico would not be deterred. Relying on the guts and guile of junior point guard Courtney Hamilton, the Wildcats forged their within two. Each time the Wildcats knocked on the door, the Otters would have an answer....
The Otters Holly Holcomb hit four three-pointers in the second half. Like a great prize fight both teams would go back in forth with big shot after big shot. Jazmine Miller would hit this bucket to move the Cats within one....
Once again the Otters would answer as their senior guard Stephanie Corgel would hit a tough turn-around jumper to extend the lead back to three.....but the Cats would quickly answer....
The Wildcats would grab a two-point lead 64-62....and Monterey had the ball with a chance to tie the game.....
In overtime, Chico State would jump in front only to see the Otters answer once again. But, the Cats torrid shooting pace would be the story of the extra period, as they Cats would extend the lead to five.....
Hannah Womack would provide the capper for the Wildcats with a left baseline three...giving Chico State a 77-70 lead with two minutes to play.
The Wildcat women would win the game 84-75 and win the CCAA regular season title. Now, the second season begins. March Madness feels like it has already started, but the big prize for the Chico State women still awaits. After this week's CCAA Conference Tournament, the Wildcats will get ready for the NCAA Tournament in two weeks. The Chico State women are in a position to host the eight team NCAA Championship West Region Tournament, but they will need a deep run into the CCAA Tournament to garner consideration. The latest polls have the Wildcat women ranked 3rd in the West Region with Western Washington and Simon Fraser in front of them in the rankings.
Chico State opens play in the CCAA Tournament this week with a first round game at Acker Gym on Tuesday. The Cats will host San Francisco State at 5:30pm. Chico won both match-ups with the Gators this year but those games were not easy. The Gators pose problems with their suffocating defense and ability to stop transition points. If Chico State wins they will advance to the CCAA Tournament semi-finals in Ontario on Friday afternoon where they will either play at 12 noon or at 2:30pm......March Madness is here !!!!
NCAA DIVISION II WEST REGION RANKINGS (FEB 27th)
1. WESTERN WASHINGTON 19-3
2. SIMON FRASER UNIV. 19-4
3. CHICO STATE 20-4
4. MONTEREY BAY 17-6
5. GRAND CANYON 20-6
6. UC SAN DIEGO 18-9
7. NW NAZARENE 15-6
8. HAWAII-PACIFIC 16-6
9. ALASKA ANCHORAGE 15-8
10. ACADEMY OF ART 18-8
*The top eight teams make it into the NCAA Tournament. The Tournament field is announced on March 11th