2006-07 Season Archive

Men's basketball signs talented freshmen class
Chico State Basketball Coach Puck Smith announced the recent signings of four incoming freshmen to National Letters of Intent to play for the Wildcats next season.

We are really excited about this group of talented freshmen we’ve signed for the 2007-2008 season,” said Smith. “They are outstanding basketball players, students and people, and we feel without question they will add a great deal to our basketball program and to Chico State.”

Steven Brown is a 2006 graduate of Palo Alto High School, where his team won the Division II CIF State Championship with a 32-1 record and was ranked in the USA Today poll. Brown averaged 14.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds his senior season. Last season, as a post-high school graduate, he started several games for St. Thomas More Prep in Connecticut.

“Steve is an outstanding shooter and scorer and at 6’6” can play the wing.  He is very skilled and competitive and has the potential to be an impact player in our program immediately,” said Smith.

Joshua Jackson is a two-time First Team All-Golden League selection out of Palmdale High School. Last year he led the league with 4.0 steals per game, while averaging 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. His team finished the season with a record of 21-6, losing in the opening round of the playoffs. His junior season he averaged 12.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game.

“Josh is a talented athlete, who played center in high school, but will play the 3 or 4 position in our program.  He has great instincts and plays with great energy and passion,” Smith said.

Rod Hawkins, a First Team All-Delta League honoree, was a key player for the Jesuit High School Marauders in Carmichael. His team compiled a record of 32-2, 13-0 in league, last season and advanced to the NorCal Finals, beating local Paradise High School and Pleasant Valley High School in the process. The 6-3, 215-pounder led the league in rebounds (6.2 per game) and blocks, while averaging 11.9 points per game and 1.2 steals per game.

“Rod is a very explosive player both offensively and defensively and has the athletic ability to influence a game in many ways. He plays extremely hard and is very competitive,” comments Smith

Luis Santiago was the leading rebounder (8.1 per game) and shot blocker (1.9 per game) for Mission Prep High School in San Luis Obispo last season. His 13 points per game was second best on the team, which made it to the semifinals of the CIF State Championship and ended the season with a 33-7 record.

“Luis is a natural post player with great footwork and because of his size and strength will be able to compete at this level immediately.  He is very poised and determined and shows outstanding maturity for a freshman,” said Smith.

Jon Baird receives CCAA Newcomer of the Year award and Second Team All-CCAA honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Jon Baird, a junior guard who transferred from Shasta College received the inaugural CCAA Newcomer of the Year award and was named Second Team All-CCAA by a recent vote of the conference coaches.

Baird is one of the top scorers in the conference, averaging 15.4 points per game, while leading the CCAA with 82 three-pointers. He made 3.28 three-pointers per game and connected on 46.7 percent of his three-point attempts, which was third best in the league.
All-CCAA selections

Sonoma State defeats Wildcats in season finale
CHICO, Calif. – J.T. Tipton scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Sonoma State men’s basketball team to a 71-55 win at Chico State in the season finale for the Wildcats Saturday. It was senior night for the Wildcats, and 1,191 fans came out to say goodbye to Olajuwon Jones, Brian Erickson, Michael Stockhammer, Travis Harris, and Brandon Sligh, who were wrapping up their Chico State basketball careers.

Jon Baird scored 15 points to lead Chico State, which saw its season come to an end at 7-20 overall and 5-17 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Jones dished out five assists and had two steals. Erickson finished with seven points, five rebounds, and three steals. Stockhammer and Sligh netted four points apiece. Harris registered a block and a steal.

Sonoma State improved to 15-11 overall and 14-8 in the CCAA. The Seawolves will await Sunday night’s announced of the NCAA Championship Tournament field to find out if they have done enough late in the season with six straight wins to earn a berth.

Fourth-ranked Humboldt pulls away late to beat WildcatsCHICO, Calif. – Same story, different city. For the second time this season, the Chico State men’s basketball was in position to pull of a huge upset over fourth-ranked Humboldt State. And for the second time this season, the Lumberjacks dominated the closing minutes of the game to win going away. Humboldt State used a 28-10 run down the stretch to turn a 59-58 Chico State lead into a 90-75 Lumberjacks victory Thursday night at Acker Gym.

Humboldt State, ranked No. 1 in the West Region, kept its hold on the inside track to host the NCAA Championship Tournament West Regional next weekend with the win. The Lumberjacks improved to 23-3 on the season and 18-3 in the CCAA with their 12th straight win and 20th in their last 21 games. Kevin Johnson led the way with 18 points, 14 rebounds, three blocked shots, and four steals. Devin Peal scored a game-high 21 points.

Chico State, led by Jon Baird’s 16 points, lost for the 11th time in 12 games to fall to 7-19 overall and 5-16 in the CCAA. Justin Argenal and Olajuwon Jones scored 12 points apiece.

On January 27 in Arcata, Chico State had the game tied 46-46 with 12 minutes to play. But Devin Peal and Johnson scored six points apiece to spark a 28-10 game ending run for the Lumberjacks.

Thursday, the Wildcats took a 58-57 lead on Frank Igbekoyi’s free throw with 13:42 to play. But Jeremiah Ward made a layup, buried a jumper, and then made a pair of free throws to start a 28-10 Humboldt State run. Johnson’s free throw with 2:51 to play capped the run and left the Lumberjacks with an 85-68 lead.

Chico State used an 11-2 run at the end of the first half to take a 43-39 lead at the break. A Baird 3-pointer to start the second half gave Chico its largest lead of the night, 46-39. Grayson Moyer scored six points on an 8-0 Humboldt State run that shifted the lead back the Lumberjacks way, and then the lead changed hands three times before Humboldt State took control.

Chico State will wrap up its season Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Sonoma State. The Wildcats four seniors will be honored before the tip-off.

Wildcats snap losing streak with win over San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Olajuwon Jones led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points as the Chico State men’s basketball team snapped its 10-game losing skid in convincing fashion with an 82-66 victory at San Francisco State Saturday night.

Jones made five of nine 3-pointers and the Wildcats dialed successfully from beyond the arc 10 times. San Francisco State, meanwhile, was just 1-of-12 from three-point range. The Wildcats also dished out 20 assists and turned the ball over a season-low five times to improve to 7-18 overall and 5-15 in the CCAA. Meanwhile, the Wildcats forced San Francisco State (6-19, 2-18 CCAA) into 21 turnovers.

Jon Baird finished with 15 points for Chico State. Michael Stockhammer scored 13.  And Andy Bocian finished with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Justin Argenal finished with six points and a game-high eight assists.

Alex Thomas led San Francisco State with 19 points, while Derek Fletcher grabbed 15 rebounds and scored 10 points.

The Wildcats trailed in the early moments of the game, but drew even and then methodically pulled away before the half. A Jones 3-pointer sparked a 7-0 run that put the Wildcats up 33-21.

Another 7-0 run to start the second half, consisting of a Jones 3-pointer and two Bocian buckets stretched Chico State’s lead to 50-31. The lead grew as large as 67-44 on Stockhammer’s jumper with 9:59 remaining, and the Gators never got back to within striking distance.

Chico State will wrap up its 2006-07 season with home games against Humboldt State next Thursday and Sonoma State Saturday.

Wildcats fall on the road to Monterey Bay
SEASIDE – Andy Bocian scored 29 points and Jon Baird added 23, but the Chico State men’s basketball team could not slow down host Cal State Monterey Bay in a 99-86 loss at the Kelp Bed in Seaside.

The Wildcats, who fell to 6-18 overall and 4-15 in the CCAA, have now lost 10 straight games. Baird and Bocian combined to shoot 20-for-30, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and Justin Argenal finished with eight points and six assists. But Cal State Monterey Bay went on a 28-9 run spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second half to turn a 32-29 deficit into a 57-41 lead with 17 minutes to play

Led by Augie Johnston’s 9-of-10 effort, the Otters shot 62-percent. D’Shon Cannon finished with 26 points and seven assists for the Otters, now 12-12 overall and 9-10 in the CCAA.

Chico State will wrap up its regular-season road campaign Saturday with a 5:30 game at San Francisco State. They’ll return home to face Humboldt State Thursday and Sonoma State next Saturday to wrap up the regular season.

24th-ranked Pomona hands men's baskeball team ninth straight loss
CHICO, Calif. – Jon Baird nailed six 3-pointers and led all scorers with 20 points, but the 24th-ranked Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team handed host Chico State its ninth consecutive loss, 73-60 Saturday night in Acker Gym.

Dion Cook and Donnelle Booker scored 19 points apiece for the Broncos, who improved to 17-6 overall and 13-5 in the CCAA. Chico State got 13 points from Justin Argenal, but fell to 6-17 overall and 4-14 in the CCAA.

The Wildcats rode Baird’s red-hot shooting to an early 15-8 lead. He made three 3-pointers in the game’s opening 4:45. In two games combined over the weekend, he connected on 13-of-26 shots from beyond the arc.

Cal Poly Pomona matched Baird’s 3-pointers with a 38-22 advantage in points in the paint. Cook and Booker repeatedly drove into the lane for buckets, and center Kaelen Daniels finished with 15 points on six-of-six shooting.

Daniels also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. The Broncos dominated the glass 33-19, and limited the Wildcats to just four offensive rebounds.

Pomona quickly erased Chico State’s early lead with a 15-5 run, capped by Dion Cook’s 3-pointer that gave the Broncos the lead for good, 23-20, with 10:49 to go in the first half. The lead grew to nine on Booker’s dunk late in the first half and the Broncos led by four or more points the rest of the way.

Chico State is back in action Thursday when they take on Cal State Monterey Bay in Seaside. They’ll wrap up the road half of their schedule Saturday at San Francisco State, and then return home for two games Thursday and Saturday March 1 and 3 to wrap up the season.

20th-ranked San Bernardino steals win from 'Cats
CHICO, Calif. – Marlon Pierce grabbed a steal and made a layup with 11 seconds left to lift visiting Cal State San Bernardino to an 83-82 victory over Chico State in CCAA action in Acker Gym Friday night.

The Wildcats were on the verge of snapping a seven-game losing skid when Jon Baird made an off-balance 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, giving the Wildcats an 81-79 lead. Justin Argenal added a free throw with 24 seconds to play to stretch the lead to 82-79.

Ivan Johnson’s layup made it a one-point game. Brian Erickson caught the ball in the corner on the ensuing inbounds play and was trapped in the corner by two Coyotes defenders. As he was falling out of bounds, he threw a pass right to Pierce at the free throw line and Pierce made an uncontested layup.

Justin Argenal got off a jumper with time winding down, but it bounced off glass and iron and the Coyotes corralled the victory. San Bernardino, ranked No. 20 in the nation, improved to 17-5 overall and 13-4 in the CCAA with the win. Chico State fell to 6-16 overall and 4-13 in the CCAA.

Andy Bocian led Chico State with a season-high 29 points and Baird scored 22 to go along with a season-high five assists. In all, the Wildcats had 24 assists on their 26 baskets, but also turned the ball over 24 times.

Cal State San Bernardino turned those giveaways into a 32-7 advantage in points off turnovers. Chet Johnson led the Coyotes with 19 points, while Joseph Yaisrael and Ivan Johnson finished with 14 points apiece.

Chico State hosts 24th-ranked Cal Poly Pomona Saturday night at 7:30.

Wildcats fall to Cal State L.A. on the road
LOS ANGELES - Justin Argenal's 20 points, 12 assists and five rebounds weren't enough to overcome a game-high 35 points from the Golden Eagles' Jontae Vinson and the Wildcats fell on the road to Cal State-L.A., 99-85.

Andy Bocian also scored 20 for Chico State, (6-15, 4-12 California Collegiate Athletic Association),which at one point had a seven-point lead but couldn't maintain it as the Golden Eagles (9-12, 6-10) took advantage of 60-percent shooting (31-of-51) from the floor.

Michael Stockhammer had 12 points and Jon Baird added 11 for the Wildcats in their seventh straight loss.

Men's basketball team drops sixth straight
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – In perhaps their last chance to win at Cal State Bakersfield, which is in the process of making the jump to Division I, the Chico State men’s basketball team led early before the Roadrunners took control and won going away, 74-54 Thursday night. The Roadrunners are now 11-0 at home all-time against the Wildcats.

Chico State was doomed by 25 turnovers and dropped their sixth straight game. The Wildcats are now 6-14 overall and 4-11 in the CCAA. Jon Baird led Chico State with 13 points, while Michael Stockhammer scored 11.  Justin Argenal finished with seven points, seven assists, and seven steals.

Dwuan Rice paced Bakersfield (11-11, 10-5 CCAA) with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and six steals. Richard Andrews finished with seven points, six rebounds, and five steals.

No threes as UC San Diego wins with ease
CHICO, Calif. – The UC San Diego men’s basketball team limited host Chico State to just one made jump shot – Jon Baird’s 14-footer with 2:28 to play – and cruised to a 69-54 victory in a game in which no 3-pointers were made.

UC San Diego, which entered the game averaging more than six made threes per game, was 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. Chico State, averaging more than eight threes made per game, was 0-for-9.

Henry Patterson led four Tritons in double-figures with 16 points. Shane Poppen finished with 14 points. Robby Peters and Clint Allard scored 10 points each for UC San Diego, which was coming off a 116-103 quadruple-overtime victory at Cal State Stanislaus and improved to 8-10 overall and 6-7 in the CCAA.

True freshman Frank Igbekoyi led Chico State (6-13, 4-10 CCAA) with 17 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Justin Argenal scored 14 points for the Wildcats, who have now lost five straight games and seven of their last eight. UC San Diego never trailed in the game and led by as many as 12 in the first half. The lead remained between eight and 16 throughout the second half.

Sluggish second half costs Wildcats
CHICO, Calif. – Things quickly went from wow to ouch for the Chico State men’s basketball Friday night in a 66-56 loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills. After a first half in which they outscored Dominguez Hills 43-34 with an array of dunks and nine second-chance points, the Wildcats scored just four points in the first 14:24 of the second half and got outscored 32-13 after intermission.

Dominguez Hills began the second half with a 20-4 run to take a 56-47 lead and led by seven or more for the rest of the game. The Toros improved to 7-8 overall and 5-7 in the CCAA with the win. Mike Steed led the way with 17 points and Jamel Ward came off the bench to add 11.

True freshman Frank Igbekoyi provided the silver lining for Chico State with a career-high 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also matched a career high with seven rebounds. Andy Bocian finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Chico State fell to 6-12 overall and 4-9 in the CCAA with their fourth straight loss.

Johnson, Peal too much for Wildcats to overcome
ARCATA, Calif. – The Chico State men’s basketball team matched 23rd-ranked Humboldt State shot-for-shot through the game’s first 28 minutes. Then Devin Peal and Kevin Johnson took over, much to the chagrin of the Wildcats. The two Humboldt State big men combined to score 14 points during an 18-4 run that propelled the Lumberjacks to a 74-56 win Saturday night in Arcata.

Andy Bocian scored 14 points to lead Chico State, which fell to 6-11 overall and 4-8 in the CCAA with its sixth straight road loss and third consecutive loss overall. Frank Igbekoyi chipped in 11 points and Brian Erickson scored 10, all in the opening half.

Humboldt State, ranked No. 4 in the West Region, improved to 14-3 overall and 9-3 in the CCAA. Five Lumberjacks scored in double figures in a balanced offensive effort, led by Peal's 17-point output. Johnson scored 15 and Grayson Moyer added 14, with Jeremiah Ward contributing 10.

The Wildcats, who led by as many as four points in a back-and-forth first half, used a 7-0 run capped by Justin Argenal’s three-point play, to tie the score 46-46 with12:10 to play. But Peal converted consecutive three-point plays to give the Lumberjacks the lead for good. Igbekoyi’s dunk only slowed things for a moment as Johnson made a pair of free throws, a layup, and two more free throws to stretch the lead to 58-48.

Again the Wildcats attempted to answer as Bocian scored inside. But Peal made a pair of free throws, Jeremiah Ward hit a jumper, and Cy Vandermeer scored inside to make it 64-50 with just six minutes to play. The Wildcats could not recover.

Argenal, who dished out seven assists, moved into fifth on Chico State’s career assist leaders list with his alley-oop pass to Michael Stockhammer with 6:12 to play. Argenal now has 258 career assists, one more than Brian Faulstich (2002-04) delivered in his career. Thursday, Argenal now ranks in the top five in assists and steals. He moved into a tie for fifth on the career steal leaders list David Fluker (1990-92) at 94 with a pair of steals Thursday.

Men's basketball team can't halt Sonoma's win streak
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – Andy Bocian scored 20 points – all in the second half – but the Chico State men’s basketball team could not cool off red-hot Sonoma State, which won its seventh straight game Thursday night, 76-67. The Seawolves have now won the last 12 meetings between the teams in Rohnert Park.

Brandon Sligh and Michael Stockhammer finished with 11 points apiece for the Wildcats, who fell to 6-10 overall and 4-7 in the CCAA. Stockhammer’s 11 points are a season high. Justin Argenal added 10 points, while Frank Igbekoyi contributed nine points and three blocked shots.

J.T. Tipton led Sonoma State (8-7, 7-4 CCAA) with 21 points and Patrick Mitchell had 13 points and seven assists.

Sonoma State rolled to a 17-9 lead in the first seven minutes of the game and didn't look back, pushing their lead to 15 at the break, 39-24.

Sonoma State's lead got as large as 19 in the second half at 53-34 with 13:18 remaining. Chico battled back to within seven thanks to a 12-0 run that Bocian capped with a layup, trimming the deficit to 59-52. But Sonoma State’s Mike Carr quelled the rally with a 3-pointer and the Seawolves made 14-of-16 free throws down the stretch to ice it. 

Chico State will wrap up its weekend road trip with a game at 24th-ranked Humboldt State Saturday at 7:30.

Monterey Bay beats Chico State in double-overtime thriller
CHICO, Calif. – Augie Johnston scored four points in the final 27 seconds of regulation to force overtime and Richard Jenkins sank the game-winning free throws with 1:10 remaining in the second overtime as the Cal State Monterey Bay men’s basketball team earned a hard-fought 106-104 victory over host Chico State at Acker Gym Saturday night.

Chico State’s Justin Argenal forced double-overtime with a 3-pointer in the waning moments of the first overtime period. In the second overtime, Argenal missed the front end of a one-and-one with the Wildcats trailing 106-104 with 4.1 seconds to play. He purposely missed the second one, and after a wild scramble, Chico’s Brandon Sligh picked up the ball and got off an off-balanced 3-point attempt that rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.

Chico State dipped to 6-9 overall and 4-6 in the CCAA with the loss. Cal State Monterey Bay improved to 7-7 overall and 4-5 in the CCAA.

Argenal led the Wildcats with a season-high 21 points and also collected eight assists, six rebounds, and a pair of steals. Andy Bocian scored 19 points but played only 24 minutes due to foul trouble and fouled out with one minute remaining in regulation. Jon Baird finished with 18 points, and Sligh chipped in a career-high 17 points to go along with his team-high eight rebounds.

Jenkins led Cal State Monterey Bay with 27 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Dante Green and Johnston poured in 22 points apiece, and Joe Mitchell tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots.

After 15 tie scores in the opening 23 minutes, the Wildcats took control on a 10-0 run that gave them a 62-52 advantage with 14:23 to play. Chico State remained well ahead throughout much of the second half and a Baird 3-pointer gave the Wildcats an 82-73 cushion with 4:42 remaining.

Monterey Bay put together a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 84-83 with one minute left, but Michael Stockhammer buried what looked to be the game-sealing 3-pointer for the Wildcats with 27 second remaining. Johnston’s layup made it 87-85, however, and after Baird missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds left, Johnston sank two free throws with three seconds left to force overtime.

Monterey Bay opened the first overtime with a 10-5 run and led 97-92 with 1:36 to play before Argenal hit a pair of free throws and then buried a high-arcing 3-pointer from the top of the key to force a second overtime.

The lead changed hands four times in the second overtime period and Baird’s layup with 1:36 to play knotted the score at 104-all. Jenkins was fouled after an offensive rebound on the other end and sank both of his free throws with 1:10 to play.

Chico State had two chances to tie or take the lead but Baird missed a runner in the lane and Olajuwon Jones committed a turnover. Then with four seconds left, Argenal was fouled driving into the lane, setting up Sligh’s desperation 3-point attempt.

Chico State will take to the road next week with games at Sonoma State Thursday night at Humboldt State Saturday.

Wildcats slip past San Francisco State 66-56
CHICO, Calif. – When they failed to pull away with style, the Chico State men’s basketball team resorted to doing it with brute force in a 66-56 victory over San Francisco State Thursday night at Acker Gym.

Leading 56-55 with two minutes to play, the Wildcats missed three straight shots, but a steal and two offensive rebounds later, Brian Erickson hit a jumper with 57 seconds left. Justin Argenal then ripped the ball away from Derek Fletcher and went the length of the court for a layup. Those two plays sparked a 10-1 game-ending run for the Wildcats.

Jon Baird led Chico State with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Andy Bocian chipped in 13 points for the Wildcats, who improved to 6-8 overall and 4-5 in the CCAA.

Jamil Muchell paced San Francisco State with 17 points, but also turned the ball over 12 times. The Gators (5-8 overall, 1-7 in the CCAA) turned it over 26 times in all. Arcenio Ramirez chipped in 14 points for San Francisco State.

Argenal finished with 10 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and three steals for Chico State and Michael Stockhammer finished with six points and five rebounds, all offensive. No rebound was bigger than Stockhammer’s flying, one-handed board that led to Erickson’s jumper from the top of the key that stretched the lead to 58-55 with under a minute to go. And Argenal was never bigger than he was on San Francisco State’s ensuing possession when the 6-foot, 175-pound guard ripped the ball from the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Fletcher and raced down the floor for a layup that made it a five-point game with 40 seconds left.

Baird and Bocian were each 2-for-2 from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds as the Wildcats wrapped up their fourth straight home victory and improved to 5-2 at Acker Gym.

The Wildcats host Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday at 7:30.

Wildcats nearly upset 15th-ranked San Bernardino
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The Chico State men’s basketball team led at 15th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino with three minutes to play, but the Wildcats missed seven shots and turned the ball over once in their final eight possessions as their upset bid fell short, 62-56.

Jon Baird scored 22 points and made seven of Chico State’s season-high 14 three-pointers. But the Wildcats made just 5-of-16 two-point shots and 4-of-9 free throws to fall to 5-8 overall and 3-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Ivan Johnson, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the game’s last seven minutes, led San Bernardino (10-2, 6-1 CCAA) in scoring. Prentice Harris chipped in 11 points. The Coyotes dominated on the glass with a 33-21 rebounding advantage, and also forced Chico State into 22 turnovers.

Brandon Sligh’s second 3-pointer gave Chico State a 56-54 lead with just over three minutes to play in the game. San Bernardino tied the game for the sixth time when Chet Johnson answered with a layup. Chico State then missed four consecutive shots as the Coyotes got a Johnson layup and two free throws to build their lead to 60-56 with 51 seconds to play.

San Bernardino made just two of six free throws down the stretch, but a turnover and three straight missed 3-pointers kept the Wildcats from getting any closer.

Chico State returns home Thursday to face San Francisco State at 7:30 p.m.

Baird stays hot but 'Cats burned at Pomona
POMONA, Calif. – Jon Baird remained red hot, scoring 22 points, but the Chico State men’s basketball team was cooled off at 19th-ranked Cal Poly Pomona Friday night. The Wildcats saw their three-game winning streak snapped by the host Broncos, who pulled away midway through the first half and won 76-44.

Baird, now averaging 19.3 points per game over his last six, was 8-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-11 from three-point range. But the rest of the Chico State team shot just 8-of-26 overall and 2-for-12 from downtown. Frank Igbekoyi’s seven points were the second most on the team. Justin Argenal added six points and seven assists. The Wildcats, now 5-7 overall and 3-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, were also hurt on the boards where Cal Poly Pomona earned a 35-20 edge and scored 15 second-chance points.

Larry Gordon’s 20 points, 12 rebounds, and five steals led Cal Poly Pomona, now 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the CCAA. Dion Cook chipped in 17 points and five steals.

Chico State will wrap up its tough weekend swing through Southern California with a game at 15th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino Saturday night at 7:30.

Wildcats upset CCAA leader Bakersfield
CHICO - Chico State men’s basketball fans were treated to another spectacular victory in Acker Gym tonight as the Wildcats upset conference leader Cal State Bakersfield, handing the Roadrunners their first CCAA loss of the season, 61-55.

The Wildcats third-straight win, evens their CCAA record at 3-3 and improves their record to 5-6 overall. Bakersfield, 5-7 overall, is still at the top of the CCAA standings, but is now tied with Pomona and San Bernardino at 4-1.

Chico State trailed by 12 points midway through the first half, but went on a 15-3 run to tie it 29-29 with 2:38 remaining. Brian Erickson then hit a three pointer to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game since the opening minutes. Bakersfield took back a point on a free throw, but Justin Argenal’s two free throws with two seconds left gave the Wildcats a four-point halftime advantage, 34-30.

The Wildcats built their lead to seven points on a Michael Stockhammer three pointer, five minute into the second half, but that would be their largest lead of the night. Bakersfield came back to tie the game 41-41 with 10:36 left and the lead continued to change hands over the next five minutes with neither team taking more than a two-point advantage.

The Wildcats finally broke through when Stockhammer’s blocked a shot and then converted on a layup to give the ‘Cats a three-point lead with 2:17 left.  On Bakersfield’s next possession, Stockhammer was credited with a steal, although the Wildcats didn’t take advantage, Stockhammer pulled down a defensive rebound on the Runner’s next effort, which led to a Bocian’s layup and a five-point lead, 57-52, with 34 seconds left. Bocian and Baird each hit two freethrows down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

Bocian led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, just shy of his season-high 25. Baird, who’s averaged 21 points over the last four games, was held to eight points,  but added two more three’s to his team high 31. Argenal, like last night, led all players with six assists.

Dwuan Rice led the Roadrunners with 16 points and five assists, while Carl Damus ended the night with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds, five of them offensive.

The Wildcats continue CCAA play next weekend when they travel to face Cal Poly Pomona on Friday and Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday.

Baird leads the way again for Wildcats
CHICO - Jason Baird put together another impressive game for the Chico State men’s basketball team with a 22-point performance in the Wildcats 79-54 win over Cal State L.A. tonight in Acker Gym.
Baird, who was named CCAA Player of the Week after the Wildcats last two games in December, didn’t miss a beat after the two-week break. Tonight he shot 55 percent from the field (6-of-11) and 60 percent from the three-point line (3-of-5). In his last four games, Baird is averaging 21.5 points per game, while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 55 percent from the three-point line.
The win gives the Wildcats a 10-9 advantage in the overall series against Cal State L.A. and improves Chico State’s record to 4-6 overall, 2-3 in CCAA play. CSLA drops to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in conference.
Neither team did much scoring early on, with Cal State L.A. holding a slim 9-7 advantage seven minutes into the game, but the Wildcats took a 10-9  lead on a three pointer by Baird with 12:33 remaining in the half and never looked back, outscoring the Golden Eagles 25-15 in the final seven minutes for a 11-point halftime lead.
CSLA cut the lead to seven points three minutes into the second half, but that is as close as they would get. Chico State built its lead to 18 points over the next six minutes to finish with a easy 14-point victory.
Andy Bocian netted 10 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats, while Justin Argenal led all players with eight assists to go with his nine points and seven rebounds.
The Golden Eagles had three players in double figures, led by Robert Reynaga’s 13 points. Jontae Vinson recorded 12 points and Vincent Camper tallied 11 points and led all players with a game-high eight rebounds.
The Wildcats face off against Cal State Bakersfield tomorrow night at 7:30. The Roadrunners overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Cal State Stanislaus, 59-57, tonight in Turlock and enter the game with the Wildcats on Saturday at 5-6 overall, 4-0 in conference.

Jon Baird named CCAA Player of the Week
WALNUT CREEK - Chico State guard Jon Baird has been named Wilson California Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 18-25.

Baird a  6-foot-2 junior from Mount Vernon, Wash., had season highs in the Wildcats two games last week as Chico State went 1-1, including an upset over No. 13 Seattle.

In last Wednesday's 85-77 loss to Cal State Stanislaus, Baird matched a season-high 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting and nailed 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. He also pulled down a season-best five rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and notched a steal in 25 minutes of play.

Two days later, Baird led the Wildcats over the No. 13-ranked Redhawks as he scored a season high 28 points on 9 of 13 shooting and buried 6 of 9 three-point attempts. He also grabbed four rebounds with a steal and an assist without turning the ball over in 35 minutes of action.

For the week, Baird averaged 23 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1 turnover and an assist per contest. He was 16 for 24 from the field (.667 percentage) and was 10-for-16 (.625) on three-point field goals.

Wildcats shock 13th-ranked Seattle University
CHICO, Calif. – This holiday season, thanks to a shocking 75-47 shellacking of 13th-ranked Seattle University, the Wildcats will sleep all tucked in their beds with visions of Jon Baird 3s and smothering defense dancing in their heads. Baird hit his first five shots and scored a season-high 28 points, and the Chico State defense limited Seattle to 31-percent shooting.

Andy Bocian scored 23 points and pulled down seven rebounds for Chico State, which improved to 3-6 heading into their winter break. The Wildcats limited the Redhawks’ leading scorer, Sam Kirby, to just six points on 3-of-16 shooting. Seattle fell to 7-2.

Justin Argenal finished with 11 points, nine assists, and five rebounds while turning it over just twice in 36 minutes. Baird did not turn it over in 35 minutes, and the Wildcats had a season-low 10 turnovers. Brandon Sligh added six points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Leigh Swanson paced Seattle with 16 points and seven rebounds. Ryan Webb added 15 points and four assists. But the rest of the Redhawks shot a combined 7-for-36.

Baird and Bocian combined for 15 points during a 20-2 run midway through the opening half that broke an 8-8 deadlock and left the Wildcats with a commanding 28-10 lead. A 7-0 run just before intermission made it 40-16 Chico State, and the Wildcats went into the half up 40-18.

Seattle opened the second half with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to 44-29, but Baird answered with a 3-pionter that sparked a 7-2 run, and after four Webb free throws made it 50-35, Chico State put together a 21-6 run to salt the game away. Bocian scored six quick points early in the run, and Baird finished it off with a pair of threes.

Chico State will be back in action at home January 5-6 when it hosts Cal State L.A., and Cal State Bakersfield, respectively; Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 both nights.

Wildcats fall to Warriors for second time in five days
TURLOCK, Calif. - Jon Baird scored a game-high 18 points and Justin Argenal and Andy Bocian chipped in 17 apiece, but the Chico State men’s basketball team dropped an 85-77 decision at Cal State Stanislaus Wednesday night.

The host Warriors, who improved to 7-4 overall and 3-1 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, also defeated Chico State at home Saturday night. The Wildcats fell to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the CCAA.

Turnovers plagued the Wildcats, who gave the ball away 20 times. But they shot 9-of-19 from beyond the arc, 46-percent from the field, and 18-of-23 from the charity stripe to stay close.

Chico State returns home to face 13th-ranked Seattle University Friday at 7:30.

Stanislaus 3-pointer beats buzzer for win
CHICO, Calif. - Rick Cardoso’s 3-pointer at the buzzer negated a 14-point comeback by the Chico State men’s basketball team and lifted visiting Cal State Stanislaus to an 87-85 victory Saturday night in Acker Gym.

Jon Baird sank a 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining to five Chico State its first lead of the second half a complete a comeback from 55-41 down with 18 minutes to play. After a trap in the corner forced the Warriors to call timeout with 3.8 seconds remaining, they swung the ball around the perimeter to Cardoso, who made just his fifth 3-pointer of the season from the right wing as the buzzer sounded.

Cal State Stanislaus improved to 6-4 overall and 2-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with the win. The Warriors also snapped a six-game losing streak at Acker Gym. Chico State fell to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the CCAA.

Andy Bocian paced Chico State with 24 points and three steals despite playing much of the game in foul trouble. Baird scored a season-high 18 points. Justin Argenal, whose career-best 13th assist set up Baird’s late 3-pointer, also scored 10 points. Brandon Sligh finished with 14 points and tied his career high with four assists. Brian Erickson chipped in 11 points and also pulled down a game-high six rebounds.

Cameron Quick led a balanced Stanislaus scoring attack with 16 points. Calvin Westbrook added 13 points, Nic Pederson notched 12, and Scott Behrs scored 11.

Quick and Westbrook combined for 21 first-half points and Chico State turned the ball over 12 times before intermission as the Warriors took a 50-37 lead into the half. The lead grew to 55-41 on Marcus Martinez’s 3-pointer.

Chico State began chipping away at the advantage at that point, however, and cut the lead to 57-49 on a Baird 3-pointer with 15:17 remaining. The Wildcats could get no closer until Sligh scored back-to-back buckets to make it 68-62 with nine minutes to play.

Chico State got as close to 70-68 on a Bair layup a minute later, but the Warriors responded with a 5-0 run and Chico State got no closer than three until the final two minutes. That’s when Bocian made a pair of free throws with 1:58 remaining to cut the lead to 79-78.

After Heath Colvin made it an 81-78 game with a pair of free throws, Bocian scored a layup, and he again kept Chico State within striking distance after Quick’s 3-point play with a layup with 26 seconds remaining that made it 84-82 Stanislaus.

Martinez missed two free throws with 21 seconds left and Argenal pushed the ball, drove the lane, and kicked to Baird for the 3-pointer that gave Chico State the lead until the heartbreaking finish.

Chico State is back in action at home Friday, Dec. 22, vs. Seattle University.

Basketball team falls despite Bocian's double-double
CARSON, Calif. – Andy Bocian scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, but the Chico State men’s basketball team dropped a 68-60 decision at Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday night.

Cal State Dominguez Hills, which improved to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, did its biggest damage from the free throw line. The Toros hit 16-of-28 free throws, while the Wildcats were 3-of-5 from the line.

 Justin Argenal and Jon Baird finished with eight points apiece for the Wildcats (2-4, 1-1 CCAA). Olajuwon Jones finished with seven points, four assists, four steals, and three rebounds. Michael Stockhammer scored seven points and pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds.

Bocian sparks men's basketball team's upset of UCSD
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Andy Bocian scored 19 points, including 10 of the Chico State men’s basketball team’s first 13, as the Wildcats upset UC San Diego 74-67 Friday Night at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons entered the game having won back-to-back games against two of the nation’s top-five ranked teams. But Bocian helped lead the Wildcats to a 13-2 advantage in the early going and they never trailed in the game.

Chico State improved to 2-3 overall with its victory in the California Collegiate Athletic Association opener for both teams. UC San Diego dipped to 2-3.

Led by Bocian’s 8-for-10 effort, the Wildcats shot a season-high 55 percent from the field. Jon Baird scored 16 points and buried 4-of-7 three-pointers. The Wildcats nailed 10-of-19 shots from beyond the arc as a team. Olajuwon Jones added 10 points, Justin Argenal chipped in six points and six assists, and Brian Erickson finished with eight points, four assists, and three rebounds.

Clint Allard scored 18 points to pace UC San Diego and Shane Poppen finished with 14.  But the Chico State defense dominated much of the game. Only in the final eight-plus minutes – when the Tritons scored 26 points, did their offense get untracked.

Baird’s game-opening 3-pointer that preceded 10 straight points by Bocian, staked the Wildcats to a 13-2 lead. UC San Diego cut the lead to single digits four minutes before the half, but Argenal’s three kept the Tritons at bay. The lead remained in double-figures until Clint Allard connected from beyond the arc just before the half, trimming the lead to 31-22.

After Argenal sank a pair of free throws to open the second half, UC San Diego got as close as it would all night with a 7-0 run punctuated by A.J. Mulhardt’s layup.

Jones and Baird connected on consecutive 3-pointers to regain a double-digit cushion for the Wildcats, however, and after the Tritons cut the lead back to 40-33, Erickson answered from long distance to make it a double-digit advantage again.

The lead hovered around 10 until the closing seconds when Allard buried a 3-pointer to make it 72-67 with 10 seconds remaining, but Michael Stockhammer made a pair of free throws to put the game away.

Chico State will wrap up its weekend road trip Saturday with a game at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Tipoff is scheduled for 7: 30 p.m.

Central Washington holds off Wildcats 97-78
CHICO, Calif. – Olajuwon Jones scored a career-high 24 points, but the Chico State men’s basketball team could not overcome a large early deficit and dropped a 92-78 decision to Central Washington University Saturday night in the finale of the Enloe Medical Center Mac Martin Tournament.

Central Washington shot 56-percent in the first half, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range, to build a 56-38 halftime advantage. Tyler Monk led the way with 11 points in the half, while Lance Den Boer buried a trio of 3-pointers and pulled down four rebounds in the first half alone.

The host Wildcats got to within striking distance with a 16-6 run midway through the second half that cut the lead to 76-68. Jon Bair nailed a pair of 3-pointers during the run, which was capped by Jones’ three with 5:45 remaining. Central Washington scored the next six points, however, and then made 10 consecutive free throws in the final minutes, to remain comfortably ahead.

Central Washington, which was ranked No. 12 in the nation in the preseason but has struggled early on, improved to 2-3 overall. Monk and Den Boer led the team with 18 points apiece and each hit four 3-pointers. Julius McMillion finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and contributed stellar defense in the post. Nate Jackson chipped in 10 points.

Andy Bocian scored 17 points for Chico State, which fell to 1-3 on the season. Jon Baird scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Justin Argenal chipped in 10 points and five assists, but turned the ball over seven times for the second straight night. Brandon Sligh led Chico State with eight rebounds, and freshman Frank Igbekoyi blocked a game-high four shots.

Chico State’s Jones and Central Washington’s Monk both earned All-Tournament team honors.

Chico State will open California Collegiate Athletic Association play next weekend when it travels to face UC San Diego Friday at 7:30 and Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday at 7:30.

Humboldt State rallies to beat Western Oregon for Mac Martin title
After trailing 26-9 early on, the Humboldt State men’s basketball team slowly crept even with Western Oregon and then past the Wolves in route to an 89-82 victory Saturday night in the third game of the Enloe Medical Center Mac Martin Tournament.

Jeremiah Ward scored 14 of his team-high 22 points in the second half as the Lumberjacks overcame a 45-38 halftime deficit. Tournament MVP Will Sheufelt scored 11 of his 14 points after intermission. Kevin Johnson, who was also named to the All-Tournament team, finished with 20 points and nine rebounds for Humboldt State, which improved to 3-0 on the season. Cy Vandermeer chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds.

All-Tournament selection Jacob Mitchell paced Western Oregon (0-2) with 28 points on 13-of-19 shooting. Ryan Schmidt scored 23 points thanks to 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, and also pulled down 10 rebounds.

After watching Humboldt State take the lead midway through the second half, Mitchell tied the score at 66-all with a 3-pointer with 7:14 remaining. Ward scored eight points to spark a 12-4 run that stretched the Lumberjacks lead to 78-70 with just over two minutes to play, however, and the Wolves never got back within striking distance.

Wildcats open home schedule with dominant win
Chico State vs. Central Washington tomorrow at 7:30
CHICO, Calif. – The Chico State men’s basketball team allowed Western Oregon to score just 11 first-half points and went on to win their home opener 83-54 Friday night in the Mac Martin Invitational Tournament in Acker Gym.

Andy Bocian led all players with 25 points and 12 rebounds as Chico State improved to 1-2 on the season. Jon Baird added 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, and Olajuwon Jones finished with 12 points and four steals.

Jacob Mitchell paced Western Oregon with 18 points and Brad Krichevsky notched seven steals to go along with his seven points. But the Wolves, playing their season opener, made just 5-of-22 field goals in the opening half and turned the ball over 28 times.

Jones sparked the Wildcats early on and scored all 12 of his points and notched all four of his steals prior to intermission. Justin Argenal, meanwhile, dished out seven of his game-high nine assists before the half. Chico State had 13 steals in the first half and forced 21 Western Oregon turnovers.

In Saturday’s Mac Martin action, Western Washington will face Humboldt State at 5:30 p.m. and Chico State hosts Central Washington at 7:30.

GAME ONE: Humboldt State defeats Central Washington in overtime

In a battle of two of the region’s most hyped teams in the preseason, Humboldt State came from behind to force overtime and then dominated the extra minutes in route to a 90-79 victory Friday night in the opening game of the Mac Martin Invitational Basketball Tournament. Humboldt State, which improved to 2-0, entered the season ranked No. 6 in the nation by Street and Smith’s. Central Washington, which fell to 1-3, entered the season ranked No. 12 by the NABC.

After trailing for much of the night, Humboldt State battled back and took a late lead. But Lance Den Boer converted a 3-point play with 16 seconds remaining to give Central Washington a 73-71 advantage. Humboldt State’s Devin Peal answered with a layup with five seconds remaining to force overtime.

Central Washington then took a 77-76 lead on Nate Jackson’s layup with 3:08 to play, but the Lumberjacks ended the game on a 14-2 run as Will Sheufelt scored seven of his game-high 22 points to put the game away.

Jeremiah Ward finished with 18 points for the Lumberjacks, Kevin Johnson tallied 17, and Peal chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Tyler Monk and Bryan Freshwater led Central Washington with 15 points apiece, while Den Boer and Derek Groth each scored 12, but he Wildcats turned the ball over 30 times, which eventually led to their undoing.

Chico State men fall to Texas A&M Commerce
STEPHENVILLE, Tex. – Freshman Frank Igbekoyi provided a bright spot, leading the Chico State men’s basketball team with 16 points and seven rebounds, but the Wildcats dropped an 89-66 decision to Texas A&M Commerce at the Tarleton State Classic Saturday.

Chico State fell to 0-2 with the loss. Texas A&M Commerce improved to 2-1.

Jon Baird finished with 10 points for the Wildcats, and Michael Stockhammer,, making his first career start, joined Brian Erickson with nine points.

Archie Beason paced Texas A&M Commerce with 22 points.

The Wildcats will open the home half of their schedule Friday night in the Mac Martin Invitational against Western Oregon University at 7:30 p.m.

Wildcats drop season opener at third-ranked Tarleton State
STEPHENVILLE, Tex. - The Chico State men’s basketball team dropped its season opener at third-ranked Tarleton State 86-63 in Texas Friday night. Tarleton State, coming off back-to-back seasons in the Final Four, opened up a tight game with a 34-12 run spanning the final three minutes of the first half and the first eight minutes of the second half.

Justin Argenal led the Wildcats (0-1) with 20 points. Andy Bocian finished with 13 points and Frank Igbekoyi chipped in seven points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Preseason All-American John Davis led Tarleton State with 27 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals.

Chico State will take on Texas A&M Commerce tonight at 4 p.m., PST.

SportsFan 101.7 FM the new radio home of Chico State Athletics
CHICO, Calif. – SportsFan 101.7 FM, featuring ESPN Radio, is the new radio home of Chico State athletics. Some games will also be broadcast on News-Talk 1290 KPAY AM. The two stations, both part of Deer Creek Broadcasting, will feature every Chico State men’s and women’s basketball game this season, as well as Wildcats baseball.

Fans from outside of the Chico area can listen to the broadcast, which will again feature Mike Baca and Mike Wessels, via Internet broadcast by clicking the Internet broadcast link on the Chico State athletics Web site.

All four of this weekend’s games will be broadcast on SportsFan 101.7 FM and the Internet. Friday, the Chico State men’s pregame show will start at 5:30, and following the men’s game, the women’s game will be joined in progress. Saturday, the men’s game will begin at 4 p.m. and the women’s game is at 7:30.

Men's Basketball opens season at 3rd-ranked Tarleton State
STEPHENVILLE, Tex. — The Chico State men’s basketball team is looking forward to the challenging schedule it will face this season. That challenge begins Friday when the Wildcats open the season at the third-ranked team in the country, Tarleton State University. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., PST. The game will be broadcast locally on SportsFan 101.7 FM and will also be available via Web cast beginning with the pregame show at 5:30.

The Wildcats will be taking part in the Tarleton State Classic and will face Texas A&M Commerce Saturday at 4 p.m., PST. Chico State will open its home slate Nov. 24-25 with the Enloe Medical Center Mac Martin Invitational featuring the Wildcats, sixth-ranked Humboldt State, Western Oregon, and Central Washington, which was picked by Great Northwest Athletic Conference coaches to win the conference title.

Chico State is picked to finish ninth in the conference by California Collegiate Athletic Association coaches. But the Wildcats return All-Conference performers Andy Bocian and Justin Argenal, along with starters Brian Erickson and Olajuwon Jones. Newcomers Jon Baird, a sure-shooting transfer from Shasta Community College, and Frank Igbekoyi, a 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman center, are also expected to be crucial components of the team.

Humboldt State, a newcomer to the CCAA, was picked to win the conference by its coaches. The Lumberjacks received nine first place votes, while Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Bakersfield, and Sonoma State received one first-place vote apiece. Pomona is picked to finish second overall, Bakersfield third, and Sonoma State fourth.

CCAA Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

Rank, Team (first place votes)    2005-06 Records   
1. Humboldt State (9)        17-10, 11-7 GNAC
2. Cal Poly Pomona (1)        17-10, 13-7 CCAA
3. Cal State Bakersfield (1)    21-8, 15-5
4. Sonoma State (1)        18-9, 16-4
5. Cal State San Bernardino    13-13, 12-8
6. UC San Diego            15-14, 12-8
7. Cal State Dominguez Hills    11-16, 8-12
8. Cal State Stanislaus        14-13, 11-9
9. Chico State            9-18, 8-12
10. Cal State L.A.            10-17, 7-13
11. San Francisco State        1-26, 1-19
12. CSU Monterey Bay        10-20, 7-13

Wildcats hang tough at 24th-ranked Nevada
RENO, Nev. - For the second time in four days, the Chico State men’s basketball team played well against a Division I foe Tuesday night. The Wildcats fell at Nevada 93-77 in an exhibition game in front of 3,201 fans at Lawlor Events Center, but Chico State actually led the Wolf Pack until midway through the opening half. Nevada enters the season ranked No. 24 in the nation among Division I schools.

Justin Argenal led the Wildcats with 18 points and junior college transfer Jon Baird chipped in 15. Redshirt freshman center Frank Igbekoyi had a homecoming to be proud of. The graduate of Bishop Manogue High School in Reno scored 16 points for the Wildcats. Brandon Sligh came off the bench to contribute eight points and three assists. Brian Erickson led the Wildcats with six boards.

The Wildcats jumped out to an 8-2 lead behind a pair of Baird 3-pointers and then two Baird free throws. Nevada took its first lead of the game, 17-14, with 14:43 left in the first half, but Chico State remained within striking distance and eventually reclaimed the lead at 24-23 on Andy Bocian’s 3-pointer at the 10:17 mark.

Nevada put together a 20-2 run and never trailed again after that, however. The Wolf Pack led 55-38 at halftime and build the lead to 86-56 with 5:44 remaining before the stubborn Chico State squad closed the gap over the game’s final minutes.

Marcelus Kemp led Nevada with 18 points. Preseason All-American Nick Fazekas finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Wildcats turned the ball over just 12 times and dished out 21 assists, led by Argenal’s four. However, they were outrebounded 49-28 and had 12 shots blocked, including five by Fazekas.

The schedule does not get much easier for Chico State. The Wildcats will open regular season play Friday, Nov. 17 when they travel to Texas to take on Tarleton State, the 3rd-ranked Division II team in the nation, to open the Tarleton State Tournament. They’ll Texas A&M Commerce on the 18th before coming home to prepare for the home-opening Mac Martin Invitational Nov. 24-25.

Wildcats travel to Pacific for exhibition game
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Chico State men’s basketball team got off to a strong start, sparked by the play of freshman center Frank Igbekoyi, but eventually succumbed to the University of Pacific 78-53 in an exhibition game at the Spanos Center Saturday night.

Igbekoyi scored eight of his team-high 11 points in the game’s opening six minutes as the Wildcats built an 11-5 lead against the Tigers, who are hoping to earn their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship Tournament this season. Andy Bocian chipped in 10 points for Chico State, which shot just 34-percent from the field.

Despite their shooting struggles, the Wildcats remained within striking distance and trailed just 40-32 with 18 minutes to play. UOP went on a 15-1 run to put the game away, however.

The Wildcats will take on another strong Division I opponent Tuesday when they travel to face Nevada-Reno in their final exhibition game of the season. They open the regular season at the Tarleton State Tournament in Texas Nov. 17-18 before opening the home half off their schedule with the Mac Martin Invitational Tournament Nov. 24-25.

Men's basketball team announces two signings
Junior College transfers Jon Baird and LaCurtis Sumlin, III, have both signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Chico State beginning this fall.

Baird transfers from Shasta College where he averaged 15.4 points per game and shot his 3-pointers at 44 percent as a sophomore. A 6-foot-2 guard, he chipped in three rebounds, two assists, and one steal per game while shooting 54 percent from the field for the Knights. He was also a 78-percent free throw shooter.

“Jon gives us the outside shooting threat that we were looking for,” said Chico State head coach Puck Smith. “He’s a good shooter and a competitor. He should fit in well with the group we have.”

Baird was named the MVP of the Golden Valley Conference last season and was named First Team All-Conference following his freshman and sophomore year. He originally hails from Mt. Vernon, Washington, and is a 2003 graduate of Sedro Wooley High School.

Sumlin comes to the Wildcats as a sophomore. As a freshman at West Los Angeles City College, the 6-6 forward averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in Western State Conference play to earn First Team All-Conference honors. He shot 51 percent from the floor, 71 percent from the free throw line, and 36 percent from 3-point range. Sumlin also averaged 1.4 assists, one steal, and one blocked shot per game.

“LaCurtis has the ability to be very good,” said Smith. “He’s long and athletic. He can score inside or outside. We’re very excited about his future.”

They join Chico High School product Mike Anderson to form the nucleus of this season’s recruiting class. The Wildcats lost just one senior from last season’s team that finished 9-18 and showed vast improvement as the season wore on.

Wildcats land top local recruit
Chico High School product Mike Anderson has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Chico State University according to Wildcats Head Coach Puck Smith. The North Section Player of the Year last season, Anderson led Chico High School to a section title while averaging 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game.

“We’re really excited about Mike,” said Smith. “After he’s had a little time to adjust to this level of basketball, Mike has a chance to become a really special player in this program.”

At 6-foot-5, Anderson is not only a presence in the post, but he is also a very good shooter. He boasted a 50-percent field goal percentage as a senior while hitting 43-of-109 three-point attempts. He also shot 84-percent from the free throw line. In 27 games last season, Anderson scored 20-or-more points 13 times. And because Chico High School is directly across the street from Chico State, he will immediately have a large fan base that includes his former head coach.

“Mike is very gifted. He’s one of the most gifted basketball players I have coached,” said Chico High School Head Coach Sam Simmons. “I’m thrilled that he just went across the street. It’s a treat for me because I will be able to watch him play all the time.”