Saturday, December 11, 2010

Last second 3-pointer by Seattle Pacific sinks Wildcats, 57-56

ROHNERT PARK – The Chico State women’s basketball team was literally seconds away from a school record eighth straight win to start the season – but with 2.6 seconds left to play, Seattle Pacific’s Nyesha Sims drained a clutch 3-pointer to give the Falcons a 57-56 victory in the CCAA/GNAC Challenge, knocking the No. 17 Wildcats from the ranks of the unbeaten at Sonoma State’s Wolves’ Den.

The heartbreaking loss dropped Chico State to 7-1 on the season, while Seattle Pacific improved to 4-2 overall. The victory was the Falcons’ fifth straight over the Wildcats dating back to 2007.

Taylor Lydon, who along with teammate Molly Collins was named to the CCAA/GNAC Challenge All-Tournament Team, hit five 3-pointers for the Wildcats en route to a career-high 15 points, while Katie Girten scored a career-best 12 points, draining four treys…but it wasn’t enough to keep the ’Cats from falling to the team that eliminated them in last season’s NCAA West Region final. Pauline Ferrall added nine points and Molly Collins had six points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds for Chico State, which shot 46.5 percent on the night and 55.6 percent (10-for-18) from 3-point range. Sims, who hit the game-winner for Seattle Pacific, led all scorers with 16 points, while teammate and CCAA/GNAC Challenge Most Valuable Player Caitlyn Rohrbach contributed 15.

The Wildcats were a hot-shooting team in the first half, hitting a blistering 54.5 percent from the field, but it was Seattle Pacific that led for most of the period. The Falcons led early 12-9 before Ferrall converted a layup and a pair of free throws to put Chico State up 13-12. Seattle Pacific answered by scoring eight of the next 10 points to go out in front 20-15, but the Wildcats’ defense put the clamps on the Falcons for the rest of the half. On the strength of 3-pointers by Lydon and Girten, Chico State went on a 15-6 run to finish out the period and take a 30-26 lead into intermission.

The Wildcats maintained a slim lead in the second half until Sims hit a jumper with 12:19 left to play, tying the game at 37-all. Chico State then roared back in front, using three Girten 3-pointers to key a 9-2 run and go up 46-39. After two Seattle Pacific layups trimmed the ’Cats lead to three, Chico State scored eight unanswered points on back-to-back 3-pointers by Lydon and a Collins jumper to push the Wildcats’ advantage to 54-43 with seven minutes to go. This time, though, it was the Falcons defense who stepped up, allowing Chico State just one bucket for the remainder of the contest, and using nine straight points to climb back into the contest and pull to within 54-52. Ferrall delivered a layup that put the ’Cats up 56-52 with 3:42 to play, and Chico State still clung to a 56-54 lead with under a minute to play. Courtney Harrison had two chances to ice the game at the foul line, but both times missed the front end of a one-and-one situation, keeping Seattle Pacific’s hopes alive. With 19 seconds left, the Falcons took possession, and with the clock running down, Sims delivered the dagger to Chico State’s undefeated season, knocking down her lone 3-pointer of the game with less than three seconds to go, and Seattle Pacific came away with the come-from-behind 57-56 victory.

Chico State takes a two-and-a-half week holiday break before returning to California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action at the end of December. The Wildcats travel to southern California to take on Cal State L.A. Thursday, Dec. 30 and Cal State Dominguez Hills Friday, Dec. 31.

No comments:

Post a Comment