CHICO, Calif. -- Both Chico State mens' and womens' basketball team will host the opening round of the CCAA playoffs.
Each Wildcat squad enters the playoffs with momentum on their side. The lady wildcats enter with a six game win streak. The mens' team has won five straight.
Senior Justin Briggs knows the importance of entering the playoffs with momentum. He says, "Once you're in the CCAA tournament or NCAA tournament you're playing elimination ball so it's good to be on a win streak so you get in the groove of winning and know how it feels to win consistently on a night to night basis playing thursday, saturday trying to win both of those games that's how it is in the tournaments."
Yet the Wildcats didn't have it easy. They were the only team in their conference who played eight Saturday games following a Thursday game while their opponents were fgiven the whole week off. Despite the disadvantage, the mens' squad still went 8-0 in those games.
Head Coach Greg Clink said it was all out of sight, out of mind. "I think they figured it out as we got into the season that our schedule was alittle bit tougher than everybody else's but we just didn't use it as an excuse, we prepared hard everyday, win or loss after the Thursday game, we just put it behind us and get to work on preparing for that Saturday opponent and we did a great job with it.
22 wins was the result. A win total the Wildcats haven't reached since 1984. "We've had some pretty good teams here so I think we've accomplished a lot, but we're definitely not satisfied," said Clink.
The mens' team earned the three seed and will host Stanislaus State, a team they beat just last Saturday.
On the womens' side, they'll face Cal State East Bay as the fourth seed. The last two times they've played CSEB, it ended in two overtime losses, but Head Coach Brian Fogel is confident that third times a charm. "I feel like we're a different type of team than the last time we played them. Anticipate the game to be really physical I think it's going to a hard fought game both teams are really well coached and it's playoff basketball..." so the stakes are higher.
Sophmore Guard Myli Martinez understands what is at stake. "We know everything that we need to know so right now it's more mental I feel like. We know what we have to do so we just have to execute it."
The Lady Wildcats tip-off at 5:30pm with the mens' squad playing at 7:30pm.
The first 300 students through the door on game night will be admitted free of charge.
Winners of each game will play in the semi-finals down in La Jolla, CA at the RIMAC Arena at UC San Diego who own the number one seed in the CCAA playoffs.