2006-07 Season Archive

Basketball scholarship established to honor Betty Lou Raker
Chico State Athletics is pleased to announce the establishment of the Betty Lou Raker Women’s Basketball scholarship. Thanks to generous support from Dr. Raker’s family, friends and colleagues, the scholarship campaign has already brought in over $16,000.

This permanent scholarship will be awarded annually to a returning Chico State women’s basketball player who indicates a career interest in coaching and is identified as a team leader and a student of the game.

The intent of the scholarship is to honor the memory of Dr. Raker, who died in February, 2007, and her significant impact on the evolution of women’s basketball at Chico State.  Raker played basketball at both Chico High School and Chico State.  After college she continued to play for a time in the Sacramento Women’s Basketball League.  Raker went on to coach the women’s basketball, track, softball, and field hockey teams at Chico State.

Raker received a master’s degree in physical education from Chico State and a doctorate from UC Berkeley.  After teaching five years at Tahoe/Truckee High School and one year in Southern California, Raker accepted a position in the Department of Physical Education at Chico State in 1958.  During her career at Chico State, she was head of women’s physical education, dean of students, and vice president of student affairs.

The recipient of the Raker Scholarship will be announced in the fall.  Anyone wishing to contribute to the Raker Scholarship can do so by sending their gift to: University Advancement, Chico State, ATTN: Cindy Dietle, Gift Processing, Chico, CA  95929-0155.  Checks should be made payable to University Foundation—Chico State and “Betty Lou Raker Women’s Basketball Scholarship” should be written in the memo portion of the check.

Women's basketball announces Goodenbour's first recruiting class
CHICO, Calif. – Chico High School product Taylor Lydon will simply be walking across the street to begin her collegiate basketball career. Lydon is one of five players Chico State head coach Molly Goodenbour announced has committed to play basketball at Chico State beginning this fall.

Lydon, who prepped across the street from Acker Gym at Chico High School, joins true freshmen Natasha Smith and Jasmin Thomas, transfers Samantha Oelsner and Jessica VonTillow, and freshmen early signees Molly Collins, Brandi Foster and Ashley Washington to make up Goodenbour’s first recruiting class.

“We are extremely excited about the group of student-athletes who have committed to the Chico State University women's basketball program for next year,” said Goodenbour. “Each individual brings a unique set of physical skills and attributes, but what they share in common is a strong work ethic and desire to accept the mental and physical challenges of playing in a highly competitive and successful Division II basketball program.  Collectively, I expect them to improve our overall depth and challenge the returners for playing time.  I look forward to working with each of them and know that each individual will work hard to excel as a member of our basketball program and to make a positive impact within the University and the community of Chico.”

A 5-foot-11 guard/forward, Lydon averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while leading the Panthers to the North Section title for the fourth straight time as a senior. She played in 114 games during her Chico High School career, helping lead the Panthers to three league titles and the four section crowns.

“Taylor is a good player now, but I see a tremendous amount of potential for her to develop into a great collegiate player,” said Goodenbour. “She has been a part of a successful high school program and brings an expectation of excellence. I think she will fit well and will enjoy the challenges of playing basketball at a very competitive level.  She is a local graduate and we are excited that she has chosen to continue her career at Chico State. Players like Taylor will help us to build a successful program for the future.”

Oelsner, a 5-8 transfer from San Joaquin Delta College, made 103 three-pointers in her two seasons at Delta, while leading the team to consecutive league titles. She prepped at Galt High School, averaging 20 points and three steals per game as a senior, and earned two First Team All-League honors.

Sam knows how to win,” said Goodenbour. “She’s been part of successful programs in the past and brings great competetiveness. I expect her to come in and immediately compete for time at the wing position.”

Von Tillow is a 5-10 transfer from Metro State College in Denver. Injured for much of her sophomore year, Von Tillow averaged 6.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 19 starts for the Roadrunners as a freshman. A 2005 graduate of Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Von Tillow was named the North Coast Section Player of the Year and a three-time First Team All-League selection.

“Jessica is a strong, tough competitor who loves contact and plays hard all the time,” said Goodenbour. “She will bring mental and physical toughness and has the versatility to play the wing or small forward positions.”

Smith is a 5-6 point guard from Sheldon High School in Sacramento. A two-time All-League selection, Smith averaged 14.8 points, 5.2 assists, 3.7 steals, and 6.0 rebounds per game as a senior.

“We are extremely excited that Natasha is joining the Chico State women’s basketball program,” said Goodenbour. “She is strong, quick, competitive, and has a great work ethic. I am looking forward to working with her.”

Thomas is another 5-6 point guard. She dished out 71 assists while leading her Canyon Springs High School team to a 21-7 mark as a senior.

“Jasmin is a superb athlete with excellent speed, agility, and quickness,” said Goodenbour. “She’ll need to gain strength, but has the ability to push the ball up court and plays great on-ball defense. Plus, she understands how to work hard and will excel in the competitive environment here at Chico State.”

Collins, Foster, and Washington committed to Chico State during the early signing period last November. Collins, a guard and Foster, a wing, both prepped at Davis High School. Washington, a 6-1 post player, is a product of Seaside High School in Marina.

These eight newcomers will join seven returners from last season’s 24-5 team that advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament Sweet 16.

Libbon heading across the pond
CHICO, Calif. – Chico State assistant women’s basketball coach George Libbon has accepted a position as head coach for the Basket Clubs Vienna, a men’s professional basketball team that competes in the Austrian Bundesliga A.

Libbon spent last season as Molly Goodenbour’s top assistant, helping lead the Wildcats to a 24-5 record and the NCAA Championship Tournament Sweet 16. Prior to coming to Chico, Libbon was the athletic director and head men’s basketball coach at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. He has also coached in Austria in the past.

“While I am sad to lose George, this is an opportunity that he cannot pass up,” said Goodenbour. “He will return to Austria, where he has coached successfully before, and be able to guide his own team while at the same time securing his financial future in a way that he could not do here at Chico State.  I will miss his experience and insight both on the floor and off. We all wish him the best and hope that he has great success with Basket Clubs Vienna."

Wildcats can't slow down UC San Diego in West Regional Championship game
LA JOLLA, Calif. – The train whistles that blow through Chico throughout the day tell the story of the UC San Diego women’s basketball team, which defeated Chico State 80-63 in the NCAA Championship Tournament West Region title game Monday. The Tritons have resembled a freight train during the second half of this season, rarely slowing for anything in their path en route to 16 wins in their last 17 games.

Chico State slowed the Tritons only once Monday, in the early moments of the second half, but UC San Diego’s 18-4 run to start the game proved enough. Chico State closed the gap all the way to 40-39 with a 13-1 run early in the second half, but UC San Diego responded by scoring 14 of the next 18 points and won going away.

Amber Simmons finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Chico State, which finished its 24-5 season with its third consecutive trip to the Sweet 16. Melissa Richardson finished with 12 points, and Audriana Spencer and Jade Smith-Williams scored nine apiece.

Two-time West Region Player of the Year Leora Juster – the Tritons’ engineer - finished with 19 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds to lead the Tritons, who improved to 26-4. Michelle Osier finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds, Hillary Hansen scored 15 points and grabbed eight boards, and Meaghan Noud scored 19 points.

“They definitely got us back on our heels and made us timid,” said Simmons, who has registered a double-double in each of her last seven postseason appearances. “When we attacked it worked, but we didn’t do that enough.”

“Their team reminded me of ours from last season. Last year we were determined to get back to the final and win it. Tonight, they seemed like the team that was more determined to win. I’m not saying we didn’t have the desire to win, but they had more and they played like it.”

They all played like it. The Wildcats had hoped to limit Juster to 20 points and the rest of the Tritons to around 10. But Osier, Noud, and Hansen knocked down shot after shot, and though Juster did not reach her season average of 23 points per game, she flirted with a triple-double.

“All the players who stepped up for them is probably the story of the game,” said Chico State head coach Molly Goodenbour. “They played with a lot of confidence and aggressiveness. They played like they believed every shot they took was going to go down.”

The Tritons played like they have throughout the second half of the season, in fact. They smashed Western Washington 78-45 in the first round of the tournament, and then led Alaska Anchorage by 30-plus before winning 66-51 in the semifinals. It looked like the Tritons had similar plans for the Wildcats in the early going. They scored the game’s first 12 points and led 18-4 midway through the first half.

Behind the play of true freshmen Smith-Williams and Richardson, the Wildcats righted the ship and played evenly over the final 10 minutes of the half. They trimmed the lead to 36-25 by intermission.

The Wildcats battled back in the early stages of the second half. Spencer sparked the 13-1 run with a 3-pointer. Simmons’ jumper and driving layup sandwiched a Goldoff bucket, and Richardson’s 3-pointer drew Chico State to within 40-39 with 15:49 to play.

“I was really proud of our team after halftime,” said Niki Simons, Chico State’s lone senior. “The entire team played at another level for a few minutes, but we couldn’t sustain it.”

Simons finished with five points and two assists in her final game as a Wildcat.

UC San Diego answered Chico State’s run with a run of its own, outscoring the Wildcats 14-4 over the next six minutes. Fittingly, five different Tritons scored during the run that put the game away.

“The key for us was to spread the offense and let our players take advantage of individual matchups,” said UC San Diego head coach Janell Jones, who is now 224-23 in seven years as a college head coach, and is taking the Tritons to the Elite Eight for the first time in just her second season in La Jolla. “They play such pressure defense that we felt like we could score if we could get by them.”

UC San Diego scored most of its points going at the basket and took only six 3-pointers all night. That aggressive style also got the Tritons to the foul line. Chico State committed 21 fouls to UC San Diego’s 11, and the result was a 23-of-27 performance from the line for the Tritons, compared to Chico State’s 5-of-6.

“We clearly didn’t play our best basketball, but we have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Goodenbour. “We overcame a lot this season and accomplished a lot of things. I’m proud of this team and I’m excited about the foundation we’ve laid for next season with all of the players we have coming back.”

With the graduations of four Tritons, including Hanson and Juster, the Wildcats hope the road to the regional title goes through Chico State’s Acker Gym next season.

“Juster got to play at home for her senior year,” said Simmons. “I want to play at home for mine.”

Perhaps the Wildcats will work extra hard in the offseason to accomplish that goal, spurred on every time they hear a train whistle.

Note: All-West Regional Team - MVP Leora Juster (UCSD), Amber Simmons (Chico State), Michelle Oster (UCSD), Hillary Hansen (UCSD), Meaghan Noud (UCSD)
Regional championship boxscores

Wildcats earn most lopsided postseason victory in history of program
Wildcats play UC San Diego on Monday for Regional title
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The Chico State women’s basketball team turned in the most lopsided postseason performance in the history of the program Saturday against Seattle Pacific to earn its third straight trip to the NCAA Championship Tournament West Regional title game. Amber Simmons finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds and paint mate Renee Goldoff scored 14 points and grabbed nine boards as the Wildcats hammered SPU 75-60 in a regional semifinal game at UC San Diego’s RIMAC Arena.

Chico State will face the tournament-host Tritons Monday at 7 p.m. with their second consecutive trip a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. Chico State beat Humboldt State 83-69 in the first round last season’s NCAA Tournament in what was previously their most lopsided postseason victory. Chico State is now 24-4 on the season thanks to nine consecutive wins.

“I’m really excited and just so proud of this team,” said Chico State head coach Molly Goodenbour. “This team’s had to deal with any number of difficult challenges, and every time they they’ve risen to the challenge.”

Most recently, the Wildcats rose to the challenge Saturday. Seattle Pacific’s 6-foot-2 center Kelsey Hill kept the Falcons close throughout the first half, and they actually took a 34-32 lead on Jackie Hollands’ layin with 17:28 to play.

The Wildcats responded by shooting 63 percent in the second half and outscoring SPU 43-16 after the Falcons took the brief lead.

“We wore them down,” said Goldoff. “You could tell that they were wearing down because of our defense, and when we starting hitting shots, there was nothing they could do.”

Hill finished with 16 points, but did not score in the final 11:33. Her final basket of the game trimmed Chico State’s lead to 47-44. But Cory Edwards took a pass from Audriana Spencer and converted inside to start what turned into a 19-3 game-deciding run. Simmons and Spencer followed with buckets before Seattle Pacific momentarily quelled the rally with its only field goal over an eight and a half minute span.

True freshman Melissa Richardson scored on a drive and buried a long 3-pointer following a Goldoff layup, and the Wildcats were completely in control of the game. By the time Jade Smith-Williams made two free throws with 3:14 to play, the Wildcats led 66-47.

“Melissa was great tonight, as were all of our role players,” said Goodenbour. “She really gave us the spark that put us over the top.”

Immediately following the game, Goodenbour may have been the only markedly excited member of the program. Simmons and Goldoff explained that the ’Cats were simply taking care of business Saturday.

“We expected to be here so it isn’t like it’s thrilling,” said Simmons. “We know we’ve accomplished a lot to get here and we feel good about that, but we have a lot more work we want to do.”

Seattle Pacific, which the Wildcats have beaten four straight times and knocked out of the NCAA Tournament two times in a row, finished 20-8 overall. The Falcons were the champions of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference this season.

Notes – Simmons became just the 12th player in CCAA history to score 1,500 points during the game...The Wildcats are the only team that played in last season’s Elite Eight still alive in the hunt for a return trip...Chico State has now won 51 straight games when leading at the half and 67 in a row when holding their opponents to fewer than 70 points...Chico State and UC San Diego split their home-and-away series this season, with each team winning in their opponents’ gym...Goldoff is shooting 64 percent over her last nine games.
Regional boxscores and match-ups

No. 2-seed Chico State uses second half run to beat No. 7-seed Cal State San Bernardino in West Regional action
Wildcats face Seattle Pacific on Saturday at 5 p.m.
LA JOLLA, Calif. – The third time was a charm for the Chico State women’s basketball team, just as the first and second time were. The second-seeded Wildcats hammered Cal State San Bernardino for the third time this season, opening the NCAA Championship Tournament West Regional with a 63-50 victory over the seventh-seeded Coyotes Friday at UC San Diego’s RIMAC Arena.

Amber Simmons scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocked shots as 11th-ranked Chico State improved to 23-4. Niki Simons finished with a game-high 16 points. The Wildcats defeated Cal State San Bernardino 68-49 in their first meeting this season, and 82-55 in their second meeting.

The Wildcats limited All-West Region forward Vanessa Wilt to just seven points using a combination of Renee Goldoff and Simmons in one-on-one matchups. Wilt was averaging 18.4 points and 10.1 rebounds entering play. Goldoff eventually fouled out, but not before scoring nine points and helping get Wilt into foul trouble. Goldoff and Simmons did their best work by keeping the ball out of Wilt’s hands all together. When Wilt did touch the ball, she only worked free for six shots.

“We spent a lot of time preparing for (Wilt) and focusing on her,” said Goldoff. “We knew if we could contain her, they really didn’t have anyone else who could beat us.”

Ashlee Ford and Jaclyn Rainville did their best. Ford averaged just four points per game entering play but finished with 11. Rainville was averaging five points per game and scored 10. But no other Coyotes finished with more than seven, and their season came to an end at 17-11.

With the win, Chico State earned its third consecutive trip to the round of 32 where it will face Seattle Pacific Saturday at 5 p.m. The Falcons were a 69-60 winner over sixth-seeded Sonoma State Friday. The Wildcats defeated Seattle Pacific 61-56 on a neutral court early in the season.

It was clear in the early going Friday that Chico State’s dominating victories over San Bernardino this season were on the minds of the Wildcats. They didn’t seem emotionally invested in the opening minutes, and did not take control of the game until early in the second half. Cal State San Bernardino led 17-11 midway through the first half, and the game was tied four minutes into the second half.

“It’s hard not to feel a little overconfident,” admitted Simons. “We kept talking about how they were going to play us tough, but we didn’t really play like we believed that in the first few minutes.”

After falling behind 17-11, Simons and Audriana Spencer each hit a pair of 3-pointers to key a 14-2 run and the Wildcats never trailed again. They stretched the lead to 29-21 before the Coyotes battled back, scoring the final eight points of the half.

A Ford free throw tied the game 33-33 with 15:48 to play, but then the Wildcats asserted control. Simmons capped a 9-3 run with just her third 3-pointer of the season. Beginning two minutes later, the Wildcats used an 11-0 run to put the game away. Goldoff scored three points and dished out an assist during the run that put the Wildcats ahead 51-40 with 6:19 remaining.

Cal State San Bernardino never got closer than nine after that.

“We kind of muddled our way to the win,” said Wildcats head coach Molly Goodenbour, who earned her first postseason win in the NCAA. “Our veterans played like they’ve been here before and some of our younger players played like they haven’t, which is to be expected. We’re going to need Jade (Smith-Williams) and Melissa (Richardson) to play better tomorrow.”

 Notes – Spencer knocked down a trio of 3-pointers on the night, moving her past her former coach, Alisha Valavanis, into fifth on Chico State’s all-time list with 141...With three steals, Simmons moved into a tie with Heather Brite for third on the school’s career steals list with 198...Chico State has now won 50 consecutive games when leading at the half, and 66 in a row when holding their opponents to fewer than 70 points...Chico State has now defeated Cal State San Bernardino seven times in a row...The Wildcats and Seattle Pacific will be meeting in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years...Grand  Valley State, which beat Chico State in the Final Four last season en route to the national title, was upset by Gannon in a Great Lakes region first-round game Friday.

Regional boxscores and match-ups

Amber Simmons named First Team All-West Region for second straight year
SPOKANE, Wash. - Amber Simmons, a 5-11 junior post from Chico State has been voted to the 2007 First Team Daktronics All-West Regional Team, an honor she also received last season.

Simmons, a 2006 Kodak/NABC All-American last season, currently ranks 53rd in the nation in field goal percentage, 69th in the nation in scoring, 76th in nation in rebounds per game, and 88th in steals per game. Among all CCAA players she was in the top five in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, steals, and blocks and was a three-time CCAA Player of the Week.

Leora Juster from UC San Diego was voted the West Region Player of the Year, a repeat performance for her, as well.

The region includes teams, which compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, Great Northwest Athletic Conference and Pacific West Conference.

Players selected to the region first team will be listed on the Daktronics All-American national ballot.  The All-American team will be announced later this month.

First Team
Leora Juster, UC San Diego (Guard 5-10 Sr. Los Angeles, CA)
Leada Berkey, Western Oregon (Forward 5-8 Jr. Amity, OR)
Amber Simmons, Chico State (Center 5-11 Jr. Chico, CA)
Rebecca Kielpinski, Alaska Anchorage (Center 6-2 So. Mandan, ND)
Vanessa Wilt, Cal State San Bernardino (Center 6-1 Jr. Hesperia, CA)

Second Team
Rosalyn Nelson, Grand Canyon (Guard 5-8 Fr. Glendale, AZ)
Katie Wilder, Humboldt State (Guard 5-7 Sr. Clear Lake, CA)
Mollie Stelmack, Western Washington (Guard 5-11 Sr. New Westminster, BC)
Latoya Wily, Brigham Young-Hawaii (Forward 6-0 Jr. Laie, HI)
Mia Spasowska, Humboldt State (Center 6-0 Sr. Bergan, Norway)
Kelsey Hill, Seattle Pacific (Center 6-2 So. Portland, OR)

Amber Simmons named First Team All-CCAA;
Jade Smith-Williams named Freshman of the Year
Goldoff, Simons, Spencer receive Second Team honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Chico State women’s basketball team had five players receive All-CCAA honors for the 2006-07 season. Amber Simmons was named First Team All-CCAA for the third-straight year and Jade Smith-Williams received the Freshman of the Year award. Renee Goldoff, Niki Simons, and Audriana Spencer each earned Second Team All-CCAA honors.

Simmons, a junior post, led the Wildcats with16.6 points/game, 8.4 rebounds/game, 26 blocks, 61 steals, and a .502 shooting percentage. Among all CCAA players she was in the top five in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, steals, and blocks.

Point guard Smith-Williams was selected as the Freshman of the Year, making this the second time in three years that a Wildcat has earned this honor. Simmons was named the top freshman player two seasons ago. During CCAA play, Smith-Williams ranked 10th in assists per game with a 2.63 average as she help directed a strong Chico State offense that averaged 73.3 points per game against conference opponents.

Goldoff, a junior, averaged 8.0 points/game and 8.0 rebounds/game on 49 percent shooting from the floor. Spencer, a junior, led the Wildcats with 2.69 assists/game and 53 three-pointers. She had the second most steals at 44 and averaged 12.0 points/game. Simons, a senior,  recorded 12.2 points/game and had the second most three-pointers (24) and second most assists per game (2.61) for the ‘Cats.
All-CCAA selections

Amber Simmons named Wilson CCAA Player of the Week
WALNUT CREEK — Chico State forward Amber Simmons has been named Wilson California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 26-March 4.

Simmons, a 5-foot-11 junior from Chico, averaged 25.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in leading the Wildcats to a 2-0 weekend over two regionally ranked teams as Chico State closed out the regular season 22-4 overall and 18-4 in the CCAA. Simmons shot 72.4 percent (21-for-29) in two games and had six blocked-shots, five steals and two assists to go with eight turnovers. She also made 8 of 12 free throws.

In Thursday’s 72-50 win over Humboldt State, Simmons scored 22 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the floor. She was also 8-for-10 from the line and grabbed seven rebounds with five blocks and three steals.

Two nights later, Simmons was 14-for-19 from the field (.737) for 28 points in leading Chico State to a 71-68 win over Sonoma State. She grabbed six rebounds to go with a blocked-shot, two steals and an assist

Wildcats headed to NCAA Championship Tournament
Chico State to make fifth straight appearance
For the fifth year in a row, the Chico State women's basketball team has received a berth in the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament.

The Wildcats received the No. 2 seed, just as they did last year, and will take on No. 7 Cal State San Bernardino in the opening round of the West Regional on March 9 in La Jolla, Calif. They earned the seed by finishing the regular season with a record of 22-4.

The No.1-seed and hosting honor went to UC San Diego (23-4). All seven games of the regional tournament will be played on UCSD's home court, RIMAC Arena, including the Saturday night, Mar. 10, semifinals and the Monday, Mar. 12, championship game.

March 9 opening-day schedule:
12:00 - No. 3 Seattle Pacific (19-8) vs. No. 6 Sonoma State (14-12)
2:30 - No. 2 Chico State (22-4) vs. No. 7 Cal State San Bernardino (17-10)
5:00 – No. 4 Alaska-Fairbanks (22-5) vs. No. 5 Cal State Dominguez Hills (16-10)
7:30 – No. 1 UC San Diego (23-4) vs. No. 8 Western Washington (18-9)

Game times on Saturday are 5:00 and 7:30 p.m. The championship game is Monday at 7:00 p.m.

In all, 64 teams received Division II berths nationwide. Winners of the eight regional tournaments will advance to the Elite Eight, Mar. 21-24 in Kearney, Neb. The winner of the West Region will face the winner of the East Region in the opening round.
Complete 64-team bracket

Join the Wildcats for the NCAA Tournament Selection Show
The public is invited to join the 13th-ranked Chico State women’s basketball team this Sunday at 6:00 pm at Madison Bear Garden as the Wildcats and their fans, friends, and family gather for the NCAA Tounament Selection Show. In what is becoming an annual tradition for the Cats, the team, currently ranked No. 2 in the West Region will find out where they stand in the final regional poll, the pairings for the tournament, and where the tournament will be played.
The no-host gathering will be held upstairs at The Bear beginning at 6:00 pm. Fans are invited to come and socialize, have something to eat, and cheer on the Cats when the selection show begins at approximately 7:30 pm.
Chico State is currently 20-4 overall.  The top eight teams in the region will earn a bid to the tournament which runs March 9-12.  The most recent NCAA West Region poll is as follows:

  1. UC San Diego
  2. Chico State
  3. Alaska Anchorage
  4. Seattle Pacific
  5. Cal State Dominguez Hills
  6. Sonoma State
  7. Cal State San Bernardino
  8. Humboldt State
  9. Western Washington
  10. Northwest Nazarene

Wildcats hold off Sonoma State in close win
CHICO, Calif. – The Chico State women’s basketball team was likely playing its last home game of the season Saturday night, but Amber Simmons gave the home faithful plenty of reasons to look forward to seeing her in Acker Gym again next season. Simmons scored 28 points on 14-of-19 shooting, and made 6-of-7 shots in the final 11 minutes to help the Wildcats fend off a furious Sonoma State rally in a 71-68 win.

Niki Simons, Chico State’s only senior, gave the home fans plenty to remember her by, scoring 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Chico State has now won seven straight games to improve to 22-4 overall and 18-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 13 in the nation and No. 2 in the West Region entering this weekend’s play, finished one game behind UC San Diego in the race for the CCAA title. They’ll now await Sunday night’s announcement of the NCAA Division II Basketball Championship Tournament field, which will take place Sunday night at 7:30. The Wildcats are likely to remain No. 2 and head to UC San Diego in La Jolla for the NCAA Tournament West Regional.

There’s a chance the Wildcats could have a rematch with Sonoma State in the opening round of the tournament, which begins Friday. Sonoma State (14-12, 13-9 CCAA) was ranked No. 6 in the region entering the weekend. With the Seawolves’ loss to Chico State and No. 7 Cal State San Bernardino’s two wins this weekend, it’s possible Sonoma State could fall to No. 7. Chico State, if it remains No. 2, will face the No. 7 seed Friday.

Though Chico State has beaten Sonoma State twice this season, the Seawolves have twice come close to pulling off the upset. Chico State was forced to come from behind in a 50-49 win in Rohnert Park in January. Tonight, the Wildcats led from whistle to whistle, but the win did not come easily, though it looked as though it might early on.

Simons and Simmons combined for 25 first-half points and the ‘Cats led 39-25 at intermission, but Sonoma State put together an excellent second half and pulled to within two on two occasions.

A Jade Smith-Williams jumper gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the night, 48-30, with 16:38 to play. Genny Anderson scored nine points during the 16-1 Sonoma State run thar followed, however, and with 11 minutes remaining, Chico State’s lead was only 49-46.

That’s when Simmons put the Wildcats on her back and carried them to victory, despite facing double-team after double-team. She started with a layup, and after Lauren Redfield made a 3-pointer, Simons and Simmons scored to stretch the lead out to 55-49. Anderson and Simmons traded baskets, and then traded baskets again over the minutes that followed.

After Danae Wellander and Nichola Hester made two free throws apiece for Sonoma, Simmons made the next three Chico State buckets, each one stretching the lead back to five points. But Sonoma State would not wilt, and Chelsey Armacost’s 3-pointer trimmed the lead to 69-67.

Simons made two free throws with 58 seconds left and the Wildcats held Sonoma State to 0-of-3 shooting with a turnover after Armacost’s three. Sonoma State had the ball down three with 24 seconds remaining, but the Seawolves failed to get off anything but a 40-foot heave at the buzzer.

Anderson led Sonoma State with 20 points, nine rebounds, and three steals. Wellander, Armacost, and Jennifer Russo finished with eight points apiece.

Simmons’ 28 points moved her past Kim Abts into third on Chico State’s career scoring list. She has 1,474 points. Abts scored 1,460 from 2001-05.

Chico State’s 22 regular-season wins are tied for the second most in the history of the program with the 2004-05 and 1995-96 teams. Only last season’s team won more regular-season games.

Women's basketball team gets revenge with victory over Humboldt
CHICO, Calif. – Amber Simmons scored a game-high 22 points and blocked a career-high five shots as the Chico State women’s basketball team exacted some revenge with a 72-50 win against Humboldt State Thursday night in Acker Gym.

Humboldt State handed Chico State one of its four losses on the season earlier this season in Arcata, but for the sixth straight time, the Wildcats won a game against a team that had beaten them in their previous meeting.

Chico State, ranked No. 13 in the nation and No. 2 in the West Region entering play, improved to 21-4 overall and 17-4 in the CCAA. The win was Chico State’s sixth in a row. The win also drew the Wildcats to within a half game of first place UC San Diego in the hunt for their third straight CCAA title.

Humboldt State, ranked No. 8 in the West, fell to 16-10 overall and 11-10 in the CCAA with its sixth loss in its last eight contests. Katie Wilder and Mia Spasowska scored 13 points apiece to pace the Lumberjacks, and Haley Andrews scored 12 points off the bench.

Humboldt State started the second half with a 5-0 run to trim Chico State’s lead to 29-27, but the Wildcats responded with an 11-0 run and never led by fewer than seven after that.

Niki Simons scored 12 points for Chico State and Renee Goldoff finished with 10 points, three steals, and three assists.

The Wildcats wrap up the regular season Saturday at home against Sonoma State at 5:30. Senior Niki Simons will be honored before the tip-off.

Amber Simmons named Wilson CCAA Player of the Week
WALNUT CREEK - Chico Stated forward Amber Simmons has been named Wilson California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 19-25.

Simmons, a 5-foot-11 junior from Chico, averaged 23.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in leading the Wildcats to a 2-0 road trip. She shot 63 percent from the floor and recorded a double-double in Saturday’s win at San Francisco State.

Against CSU Monterey Bay on Friday, in a game that was delayed 24 hours, Simmons led the ‘Cats to a 93-76 win by matching her career-high with 30 points and seven rebounds. She was 11-for-16 from the field and connected on 8 of 11 free throws. Simmons also had four steals, a blocked-shot and an assist to go with a turnover.

The next night, Simmons turned in her sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds in the 79-62 win over the SFSU Gators. She made 6 of 11 shots and was 5-for-7 from the foul line. Simmons also had two steals, a blocked-shot, an assist and four turnovers

Wildcats tally 20th win this season against San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Chico State women’s basketball team reached the 20-win plateau for the third straight season with a 79-62 victory at San Francisco State Saturday. Chico State improved to 20-4 overall and 16-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association behind Audriana Spencer’s 20 points and Amber Simmons’ 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Renee Goldoff chipped in 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting for Chico State, which entered play this weekend ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 2 in the West Region. Melissa Richardson and Niki Simons chipped in eight points apiece and Simons also dished out six assists and grabbed four rebounds.

The Wildcats still trail UC San Diego – a 68-51 winner at Cal State San Bernardino Saturday – by one game with two games to play in their search for their third consecutive CCAA title. They’ll wrap up the regular season with home games against Humboldt State Thursday and Sonoma State Saturday.

But before Spencer took control of the game Saturday, it looked as if the Wildcats’ title hopes might be in jeapordy in San Francisco. The Gators jumped out to 16-10 lead as Chico State shot just 5-of-14 and turned the ball over five times in the game’s first seven minutes. But then Spencer took over. The Wildcats’ junior guard scored 15 points during a 32-13 run to end the half that gave the Wildcats a 42-29 lead.

San Francisco State got as close as 53-46 midway through the second half. But Simmons hit a layup, Simons followed with a 3-pointer, Simmons tipped home her own miss, and then Spencer converted a three-point play and added a layup to put the Wildcats back in control 65-46.

The lead grew as large as 22 points and never dipped below 15 after that.

Simmons nets 30 in win over Monterey Bay
SEASIDE – Amber Simmons matched her career high and scored a season-high 30 points and Cory Edwards notched her first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Chico State women’s basketball team defeated Cal State Monterey Bay 93-76 Friday night for their fourth straight win.

True freshman Melissa Richardson finished with 14 points and Niki Simons chipped in 13 for Chico State, which improved to 19-4 overall and 15-4 in the CCAA. The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 2 in the West Region. Christine Vest finished with 12 points.

Alma Lopez led Cal State Monterey Bay (6-18, 5-14 CCAA) with 18 points.

Simmons, who shot 11-of-16 from the field, also grabbed seven rebounds and four steals. She scored 17 points in the first half, but a feisty Monterey Bay team limited the Wildcats’ halftime lead to 42-34.

A 7-0 run consisting of five Simmons points and capped by an Edwards layup gave the Wildcats a 67-52 lead with 10:20 to play, and the game was never again in doubt.

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.

Richardson nets career high in win over Pomona
CHICO, Calif. - True freshman Melissa Richardson came off the bench for a career-high 16 points, including four three pointers, as the 16th ranked Chico State women’s basketball team knocked off Cal Poly Pomona 73-53 tonight in Acker Gym.

Richardson was 4-for-5 from the field, all three-point attempts, and 4-for-5 from the charity stripe. Amber Simmons also added 16 points and she, along with Audriana Spencer and Renee Goldoff, grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Niki Simons ended the night with 12 points and Goldoff contributed 11.

The win was the seventh straight for Chico State (18-4, 14-4 CCAA) over Cal Poly Pomona and keeps the Wildcats in contention for their third-straight CCAA title.

Guard Ashley Moody led the Broncos (7-16, 6-12 CCAA) with 12 points, while Vanessa Domiguez added 11 and Lauren Kitaguchi came off the bench to net 10 points.

Spencer hit a jumper with eight minutes left in the first half to tie up the game for the sixth time, but the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes and never trailed again. Chico State held a five-point advantage, 30-25, heading into the second half and build their lead back up to 11 point in the first seven minutes of the period and were never threatened after that.

The Wildcats have just four CCAA games remaining in the regular season. After traveling to Monterey Bay and San Francisco State next Thursday and Saturday, respectively, they wrap up the season at home with games against Humboldt State (Mar. 1) and Sonoma State (Mar. 3).

Wildcats within striking distance of third straight CCAA title
CHICO, Calif. – Audriana Spencer scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting to lead the Chico State women’s basketball team to a decisive 82-55 victory over Cal State San Bernardino Friday night in Acker Gym. The Wildcats also moved to within a game of UC San Diego in the race for their third straight CCAA title, thanks to the Tritons’ loss to Cal State Bakersfield.

Chico State, ranked No. 16 in the nation and No. 2 in the West Region, improved to 17-4 overall and 13-4 in the CCAA as Niki Simons scored 15 points and Amber Simmons chipped in 11.

Cal State San Bernardino, which hoped to draw even with the Wildcats in the conference standings, fell to 15-7 overall and 11-6 in the CCAA. The Coyotes were paced by Vanessa Wilt’s 13 points. Denise Snyder added 10 points.

UC San Diego fell to 14-3 in the CCAA with its loss to Bakersfield, which is now 15-2 but ineligible for the conference title because of its impending move to Division I.

Chico State dominated the game in the paint where it scored 52 points to San Bernardino’s 34, and also grabbed a 42-28 edge on the glass.

The Wildcats, who never trailed in the game, jumped out to a 37-19 lead 14 minutes in and that lead never dipped below 11. The largest lead Chico State had was 76-47 with 4:53 to play.

Chico State is back in action Saturday night at home against Cal Poly Pomona at 5:30.

Huge second half propels Wildcats past Cal State L.A.
LOS ANGELES - After two straight losses, the Chico State women's basketball team, ranked No. 11 in the nation, got back on track with a 74-55 win over Cal State L.A. on the road Saturday night at the Eagles' Nest.

The Wildcats got 19 points from Audi Spencer, including six 3-pointers, and a double-double from Renee Goldoff (15 points, 11 rebounds).

The Wildcats (16-4, 11-4 California Collegiate Athletic Association) held only a one-point lead at halftime, then erupted for 41 in the second half on the strength of 51-percent shooting from the field. Amber Simmons added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who never trailed the Golden Eagles (3-17, 1-14). Chico State held Cal State L.A. to 8-of-25 shooting from the field in the second half.

Along with shooting her 3 pointers at a 50-percent clip, Spencer grabbed six rebounds and also had four assists.

11th-ranked Wildcats beaten at Bakersfield
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – With Cal State Bakersfield bidding farewell to the California Collegiate Athletic Association this season, there are few teams who will enjoy not having to come to Rabobank Arena any more than Chico State.

One season after dropping a 24-point loss to Bakersfield at Rabobank, the Roadrunners cruised past Chico State by an 83-50 margin on Thursday night to take a slight half-game lead in the CCAA standings while winning their eighth game in a row.

But the second that Chico State walked off the floor on Thursday night, the Wildcats became huge fans of the Roadrunners, now 16-6 overall and 13-2 in the CCAA. For Chico State to have a realistic chance of winning the 2007 CCAA title, it needs the Roadrunners to win out — including a win at UC San Diego next week — and will also need a little help along the way. Bakersfield, which is ineligible for the conference title, is equal with UC San Diego in the loss column and holds one more win in CCAA competition.

The Wildcats, who dipped to 16-4 overall and 11-4 in the CCAA, have now lost two straight games and three of their last four. Amber Simmons finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, and four steals and Jade Smith-Williams scored 12, but no one else scored more than five points.

Wildcats' home-winning streak snapped
CHICO, Calif. – This time, UC San Diego brought more than just Leora Juster to the party. Michelle Osier finished with 24 points thanks to a career-high six three pointers, and also pulled down 12 rebounds, while Hillary Hansen scored 12 points and grabbed eight boards as the Tritons snapped Chico State’s 28-game home winning streak 80-63 in front of a national television audience.

Juster put on quite a show for that audience and the 1,239 fans in Acker Gym. Last year’s CCAA Player of the Year finished with 32 points, eight rebounds, and six assists as the 19th-ranked Tritons improved to 15-3 overall and took over first place in the CCAA at 11-2. She scored 30 points against the Wildcats earlier this season, but no one else on the team scored more than 10 in Chico State’s 79-69 win at San Diego.

Eighth-ranked Chico State fell to 15-3 overall and 11-3 in the CCAA despite Audriana Spencer’s career-high 27 points on 6-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Renee Goldoff finished with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Amber Simmons chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds, but only played 26 minutes before fouling out.

The game was the first of four NCAA Division II women’s games to be broadcast nationally by College Sports Television this season, and it made for some good TV, especially early on. Chico State’s All-American Simmons controlled the early going, scoring nine early points to lift Chico State to a 17-11 lead. But she soon found herself in foul trouble and picked up her third in the waning seconds of the first half.

Meanwhile, Juster began to assert herself and scored 18 points in the final 10 minutes of the first half to completely change the complexion of the game. Chico State held its largest lead, 23-16, before Juster’s 3-pointer started a 12-5 run that tied the game 28-all.

Two Goldoff free throws gave the Wildcats one last lead at 32-30 before Hansen hit a jumper and Juster followed a layup with a 3-pointer to start a 17-4 run that put UC San Diego up 47-36 at the half. The Wildcats trailed by at least nine for the remainder of the game despite Spencer’s long-range arsenal. The junior from Chico High School made four triples in the first half and two more in the second half to keep the Wildcats within striking distance through much of the second half.

Two Simmons free throws with 6:48 to play, which accounted for her only two points of the second half, drew the Wildcats within 64-53, but Michelle Osier scored five straight points and Juster buried a jumper to stretch the lead back to 71-53 for the Tritons and the Wildcats were unable to recover.

Chico State wins 28th straight at home with close one over Dominguez Hills
Next up for the 'Cats - Nationally televised game vs. UCSD on Saturday at 1:00.
CHICO, Calif. – Amber Simmons finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and four steals as the Chico State women’s basketball team avenged one of only two losses on the season with a 53-48 win against visiting Cal State Dominguez Hills Thursday.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the West Region and No. 8 in the nation, improved to 15-2 overall and 11-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with their 28th straight home victory. Cal State Dominguez Hills, ranked No. 4 in the West Region, handed Chico State its first loss of the season, 73-54, on Dec. 2. But a 47-32 rebounding deficit and their inability to counter Simmons doomed the Toros (10-6, 7-5 CCAA) Thursday night.

Audriana Spencer finished with 11 points for the Wildcats. Niki Simons chipped in nine points and seven rebounds, just one off her career high. Renee Goldoff pulled down nine rebounds to go along with six points.

Brittney Blankenship paced Dominguez Hills with 18 points, Brigayle Iglehart notched four steals to go along with her eight points, and Michelle Kribell scored seven. But the rest of the Toros combined for just 15 points on 7-of-25 shooting.

The Wildcats didn’t fare any better shooting the ball, making just 33-percent of their attempts. They were 10-of-16 from the free throw line, however, compared to Dominguez Hills’ 1-for-7.

Despite shooting 28 percent in the opening half, the Wildcats led 27-21 as Simmons finished the half with nine points and nine rebounds. An 11-2 run capped by consecutive Simmons layups built the Wildcats’ lead to 38-25 with 14 minutes to play.

Blankenship quickly got the Toros back in the game by scoring six straight points to spark a 14-2 run that cut the lead to 40-39. Spencer and Simons scored to stretch the lead to five, and then more than three minutes passed before either team could score again.

Ennisha Kyles scored with 3:58 remaining and Aujanee Baldwin made a free throw, but a Jade Smith-Williams jumper put the Wildcats’ cushion at 46-42. Iglehart’s jumper cut it to 46-44 before Simmons answered with a layup and the Wildcats made three free throws to lead 51-44 with 52 seconds to play.

Iglehart converted on a layup Blankenship scored another with 19 seconds remaining to pull the Toros to 51-48. A steal by Jessica Liang later, Iglehart was fouled with 11 seconds to play and missed both. Simons’ free throw with three seconds remaining sealed Chico State’s 59th straight win when holding an opponent to fewer than 70 points.

The Wildcats host 19th-ranked UC San Diego Saturday at 1 p.m. in a nationally televised game.

Amber Simmons named Wilson CCAA Player of the Week
WALNUT CREEK - Chico State forward Amber Simmons has been named Wilson California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 22-28.

Simmons, a 5-foot-11 junior from Chico, had an outstanding week despite her team going 1-1 on the road. She scored the game-winning basket in Thursday’s win at Sonoma State, which extended No. 6 Chico State’s win-streak to 11 games.

In the 50-49 win over the SSU Seawolves, Simmons tallied 21 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and an assist. She made what proved to be the game-winning lay-up with nine seconds remaining to help the Wildcats complete their comeback. The performance was her fifth double-double of the season.

In Saturday night’s loss to a hot-shooting Humboldt State team, Simmons netted 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds. She made 9-of-13 free throw attempts and also had three steals and two blocks for a balanced night.

For the week, Simmons averaged 23.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and two blocks per game. The Wildcats, the No. 1 in the West Region, continue to lead the CCAA with 14-2 overall and 10-2 league records.

Hot-shooting Humboldt snaps Wildcats win streak
ARCATA, Calif. – The Chico State women’s basketball team had its 11-game winning streak snapped in a 90-82 loss at Humboldt State Saturday night. The Lumberjacks became the first team to break down Chico State’s vaunted defense all season, shooting 57 percent from the floor and 59 percent from 3-point range. Their 90 points were 17 more than any team has scored against the 2006-07 Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the West Region and No. 6 in the nation entering the weekend.

Amber Simmons and Niki Simons scored 25 points apiece for Chico State, which dipped to 14-2 overall and 10-2 in the CCAA. Simmons also had eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots. Audriana Spencer chipped in 12 points, all in the second half, and Renee Goldoff pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with her nine points.

Still, the Wildcats were one-upped by the Humboldt State guard duo of Jennifer Enos and Katie Wilder who combined to score 52 points on 14-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-7 from downtown and 18-of-23 from the charity stripe. The Lumberjacks, ranked No. 6 in the region, improved to 13-4 overall, 11-1 at home, and 8-4 in the CCAA.

Enos entered the game averaging seven points per contest on 42-percent shooting, but poured in a career-high 25 and missed only one shot all night. Wilder, who entered the contest averaging 13 points on 37 percent shooting, missed only two shots and led the Lumberjacks with 27 points.

Despite those efforts, the Wildcats still had a chance to win late in the game. They trailed just 69-66 after a Spencer 3-pointer with 7:26 remaining. But Wilder and Biava Arganda answered with 3-pointers to spark a 12-1 Humboldt State run that put the game away, giving the Lumberjacks an 81-67 lead with 2:42 to play.

The Lumberjacks hit their first four shots from the field, adding a pair of free throws to take an 11-7 lead. Chico State, meanwhile, made only three of its first 15 shots and never fully recovered. The Wildcats gained some momentum heading toward halftime with an 11-3 run, capped by Jade Smith-Williams’ 3-pointer, to trim the lead to 39-37, but Wilder dropped in a long jumper at the buzzer to send HSU into the locker room with a 41-37 lead.

The Wildcats missed 3-of-5 shots and turned it over three times in the early minutes of the second half and Humboldt State took advantage by building its lead to 56-47 with 14:32 remaining. The run stagnated for a brief time, but Enos hit a three and a jumper to provide HSU with a 64-52 lead. Chico State responded with its own run behind the efforts of Smith-Williams, who hit a jumper and assisted on Spencer's three-pointer to cut the lead to five points. Simmons made two free throws and HSU's Jessica Haayer and Spencer exchanged threes before the Jacks began their final flurry, snapping their six-game losing streak to Chico State, and giving former Wildcats star Joddie Gleason her first coaching victory against her alma mater.

With the loss, the Wildcats’ lead atop the CCAA slipped to one-half game. UC San Diego and Cal State Bakersfield are each 9-2 in conference action. The Wildcats will have a chance to strengthen that lead when they host Cal State Dominguez Hills Thursday at 7:00 and then UC San Diego in a nationally televised game Saturday at 1 p.m. The Wildcats have won 27 straight game in Acker Gym.

Simmons, Spencer lead Wildcats past Sonoma
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – Amber Simmons scored 21 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Audriana Spencer’s 3-pointer with 2:50 to play gave the Chico State women’s basketball team its first lead of the second half in a tough 50-49 victory at Sonoma State Thursday night.

Sonoma State took the lead eight minutes into the game and held it until Spencer’s 3-pointer almost 30 minutes of playing time later. Spencer finished with nine points and a season-high eight rebounds. Renee Goldoff chipped in nine points, 10 rebounds, and two blocked shots for the Wildcats, ranked No. 6 in the nation and No. 1 in the West Region. They have now won 11 straight games to improve to 14-1 overall and 10-1 in the CCAA.

Lauren Redfield paced Sonoma State (6-9, 5-6 CCAA) with 15 points, while Danae Wellander chipped in 14.

Simmons and Spencer scored four points each early as Chico State built an 8-4 lead. The host Seawolves answered with a 12-2 run and parlayed it into a 32-23 halftime advantage. It was just the third time this season the Wildcats had trailed at intermission.

Baskets by Simmons, Jade Smith-Williams, and Goldoff to start the second half quickly trimmed the lead to 32-29. But Sonoma State was not going to make the comeback easy. Redfield and Wellander hit back-to-back 3-pointers to stretch the lead back to nine.

The Wildcats made another push a few minutes later, and Amanda Monteith’s layup with 13 minutes left trimmed the deficit to 40-38. At that point, the defenses took over. The Wildcats were just 4-for-15 with five turnovers down the stretch. Sonoma State, meanwhile, was even worse. The Seawolves made just three of their final 17 shots and also turned the ball over five times during that stretch.

Sonoma State’s lead hovered between one and three points from the 13-minute mark to the four-minute mark. Goldoff’s layup with 3:45 to play cut Sonoma State’s lead to 46-45. Goldoff then rebounded a Seawolves miss and Spencer capitalized with a 3-pointer off of Niki Simons’ assist to finally give the Wildcats the lead, 48-46, with 2:50 remaining.

After Sonoma State failed to convert on its next possession, the Wildcats pulled down three consecutive offensive rebounds off missed shots, and even though they did not score, they ensured that the Seawolves would not get the ball back until only one minute remained.

Wellander missed a jump shot on that possession, Simmons rebounded it, and then made a layup with nine seconds to play to salt the game away.

Chico State has now won 58 straight games when, limiting its opponent to fewer than 70 points.

The Wildcats will wrap up their weekend road trip at Humboldt State Saturday night at 5:30. The Lumberjacks, who defeated Cal State Stanislaus Thursday, are currently ranked No. 6 in the West Region.

Wildcats ranked No. 1 in the West
INDIANAPOLIS - The Chico State women's basketball received the top ranking in the West Region in the first NCAA regional polls released today.

The Wildcats, riding a 10-game winning streak, are currently ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 women’s basketball national poll. Next up for Chico State are games at Sonoma State and Humboldt State on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Wildcats claw their way past Montery Bay 67-54
'Cats win 10th straight, 27th straight at home
CHICO, Calif. – Niki Simons led four Wildcats in double-figures with 16 points and dished out a career-best seven assists for the second time in three nights as the Chico State women’s basketball team held off Cal State Monterey Bay 67-54 Saturday night in Acker Gym. The win was Chico State’s 27th straight at home and its 10th straight overall.

The Wildcats used a 24-9 run that spanned from the final four minutes of the first half to seven-and-a-half minutes into the second half to pull away from Monterey Bay, which trailed just 25-24 late in the second half. Amanda Monteith capped the run with her second 3-pointer in a minute’s time that gave Chico State a 49-33 advantage.

Cal State Monterey Bay could never recover enough to reduce the lead back to single digits.

Chico State, ranked No. 6 in the nation, improved to 13-1 overall and 9-1 in the CCAA. Cal State Monterey Bay fell to 3-11 overall and 2-7 in the CCAA.

Audriana Spencer joined Simons in double-figures with 14 points and added seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Monteith chipped in 12 points and Renee Goldoff finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Amber Simmons led the Wildcats on the glass with 11 rebounds, though her four points were the lowest total since her freshman season.

Alma Lopez paced Cal State Monterey Bay with 13 points, but she also turned the ball over 11 times. Dana Andrews and Tina Stetson chipped in 11 and 10 points off the bench, respectively.

Chico State will take to the road next week with games at Sonoma State Thursday night and Humboldt State Saturday. The Wildcats will then return home to face Cal State Dominguez Hills – the team that handed them their only loss of the season – Feb. 1. The Wildcats will then take on UC San Diego Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. in a nationally televised game.

Wildcats roll to 26th straight home victory, ninth straight overall
CHICO, Calif. – Playing without starting point guard Jade Smith-Williams, the 6th-ranked Chico State women’s basketball team got a number of strong contributions and rolled to an 80-50 victory over San Francisco State Thursday night at Acker Gym.

Niki Simons started at the point and turned in 18 points and a career-high seven assists, both game highs. Melissa Richardson played her most significant minutes of the season and finished with a season-high 10 points, seven rebounds, and a pair of steals. Amber Simmons chipped in 15 points, six rebounds, and four steals as Chico State won its 26th straight home game and its ninth straight overall.

Smith-Williams was out of town due to a death in the family.

Chico State, which won its ninth straight game, improved to 12-1 overall and 8-1 in the CCAA. San Francisco State dropped to 3-10 overall and 3-5 in the CCAA.

Chico State dominated the game in the paint, grabbing a 54-30 edge on the glass. Christine Vest came off the bench to lead that effort with nine boards. Cory Edwards pulled down eight. Renee Goldoff scored seven points and also tallied seven rebounds in just 16 minutes of action.

Krystle Mays paced San Francisco State with 14 points and Chloe Grimm chipped in 10.

Richards scored eight of her 10 points and grabbed six of her seven rebounds in the first half as the Wildcats built a 40-25 lead. After the teams traded baskets to open the second half, the Wildcats put the game away with an 11-0 run. After Goldoff’s layup, Simons buried three straight jumpers and Teresa Karcher railed home a 3-pointer to build Chico State’s lead to 53-27.

San Francisco State failed to pull back within 20 points after that.

Chico State hosts Cal State Monterey Bay Saturday at 5:30.

Simons, defense lead Wildcats to eighth straight win
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Niki Simons scored a career-high 26 points and the Chico State defense did the rest as the Wildcats hammered Cal State San Bernardino 68-49 Saturday night.

Chico State, currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, improved to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the CCAA with its eighth consecutive victory. Only two Chico State teams have ever gotten off to a stronger start. The 1973-74 Wildcats started 12-0, and the 1975-76 Wildcats won 17 of their first 18 games.

The Wildcats got off to a strong start Saturday. Amber Simmons scored six of Chico State’s first eight points and Cory Edwards’ layup six minutes in gave them a 12-6 lead they would not relinquish. Simons closed the half by scoring eight of the Wildcats’ last 10 points and they went into the break up 26-16.

The Coyotes (8-4, 4-3 CCAA) remained within striking distance early on in the second half, but Chico State’s Simons and Simmons combined for seven points and Teresa Karcher buried a 3-pointer during a 10-0 run midway through the half that gave the Wildcats a commanding 56-38 lead.

Simons nailed 10-of-16 shots and is now shooting 59 percent (44-75) over her last seven games. She also dished out four assists. Simmons finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Karcher, Amanda Monteith, and Simmons notched three steals apiece as the Wildcats forced 24 San Bernardino turnovers.

Chico State will be back home Thursday for a game against San Francisco State at 5:30. The Wildcats will host Cal State Monterey Bay Saturday at 5:30.

Wildcats off to best start in 29 years with win at Pomona
Simmons breaks career double-doubles record with 37th
POMONA, Calif. – The Chico State women’s basketball team is off to its best start in 29 years, and Amber Simmons looks like she’s just getting started. Simmons scored a season-high 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes as the 7th-ranked Wildcats smashed host Cal Poly Pomona 88-64 Friday night to improve to 10-1 on the season.

The 1976-77 Wildcats also started 10-1. Only the 1973-74 team that started 12-0 and won 17 of their first 18 games can boast a stronger start than this year’s team.

Simmons, meanwhile, notched her third double-double in four games and the 37th of her career to break Michelle Vanden Bosch’s career double-doubles record. Simmons has come on strong of late, averaging 18.3 points and 10 rebounds over the last four games.

Simmons scored seven straight points during a 26-7 run that started the game and, in effect, ended it. Jade Smith-Williams and Audriana Spencer each buried 3-pointers during a 9-2 run to end the half that put Chico State in control 44-17.

Smith-Williams finished with 13 points and Spencer added 11 as Chico State improved to 6-1 in California Collegiate Athletic Association action and won its seventh straight overall. Cory Edwards also had a solid game, finishing with seven points, six rebounds, and a trio of assists.

Porsche Kirksey led Cal Poly Pomona (3-8, 2-4 CCAA) with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Chico State will face Cal State San Bernardino on the road Saturday at 5:30.

Wildcats keep rolling, six straight, 25 at home
CHICO - Amber Simmons and Renee Goldoff each recorded their third double-double of the season as the 9th-ranked Chico State women’s basketball team handed Cal State Bakersfield their first CCAA loss of the season with a 70-62 vicotry in Acker Gym.

The Wildcats, which have now won six straight and extend their home winning streak to 25 games, improve to 5-1 in CCAA play and 9-1 overall. Bakersfield is now 7-5 overall, 4-1 in conference.

The first half was tight after an opening 5-0 run by Bakersfield, but after tying the game 18-18 with seven minutes left, Bakersfield slowly built a six-point, 30-24, halftime lead.

It was just the second time this season the Wildcats found themselves down at the break and they reacted accordingly, kicking off the second half with an 11-0 run to take the lead.  Neither team backed down. The score see-sawed back and forth and was tied up six times before Chico State took the lead for good at 48-46 with nine minutes still left in the game.

The Wildcats built the lead to nine points with five minutes left, but the ‘Runners chipped away again and got it down to just two point with 1:45 remaining. A layup by Niki Simons bumped the lead back to four and a 6-for-6 effort from the free throw line from Jade Smith-Williams, Simons, and Audriana Spencer down the stretch gave the Wildcats some breathing room.

Goldoff finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in her double-double effort, while Simmons recorded 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four steals. Smith-Williams led the team with four assists and tallied four steals. Simons netted 14 points and Spencer recorded 10 points, hitting 3-of-5 from the field and 2-ofr-3 from three-point range.

Bakersfield was led by Florida Siaosi who came off the bench to score 13 points and pull down eight rebounds. Jessi Loring was one rebound shy of her own double-double with 10 points and nine boards. Krista Arase ended the evening with 11 points, five assists, and four steals.

The Wildcats take to the road next weekend to face Cal Poly Pomona on Friday and San Bernardino on Saturday.

Wildcats win 24th straight at home
CHICO - The Chico State women’s basketball team extended its home-winning streak to 24 games with a 79-54 win over Cal State L.A. tonight in Acker Gym in California Collegiate Athletic Association action.
Chico State controlled the game from the tip off, building an 11-point lead less than five minutes into the game. The Golden Eagles got as close as nine points, 25-16, with five minutes remaining in the half, but the ‘Cats finished out the half with an 16-8 run to lead by 17 at the break, 41-24.
The Wildcats built their advantage to 22 points early in the second half and cruised to the 25-point win. In their last four games, the Wildcats have outscored their opponent by an average of 34 points.
The Wildcats 11th -straight win over the Golden Eagles improves their record to 8-1 overall, 4-1 in CCAA play. Cal State L.A. drops to 2-7 overall, and is still looking for its first CCAA win at 0-4.
Amber Simmons led all players with 18 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the freethrow line. Jade Smith-Williams tied her season-bests with 14 points and three steals, while Niki Simons recorded a career-high six steals to go with her 13 points.
Christine Vest had one of her best games of the season, coming off the bench for 12 points and led all players with a season-high seven rebounds. Melissa Richardson led the team with four assists in her 13 minutes of play. Audriana Spencer was the fifth Wildcat in double figures with 10 points.
CSLA was led by Amber Fause’s 11 points.  De’Anna Baldwin and Amber Wittington added 10 points a piece and Balwin was the team’s top rebounder with six.
The Wildcats host Cal State Bakersfield tomorrow night at 5:30. The last time the Roadrunners played in Acker Gym the Wildcats clinched a share of their second-straight CCAA title with a 78-68 victory. Bakersfield is currently the only undefeated team in the CCAA women’s standings with a record of 4-0 in conference, 7-4 overall.

Wildcats to be featured in TV game on CSTV
NCAA Division II and CSTV: College Sports Television recently announced their list of basketball games to be broadcasted in 2007 and one California Collegiate Athletic Association contest will be featured.

CSTV will broadcast live the Feb. 3 women’s basketball game between regional championship contender UC San Diego and defending West Region champion and two-time defending CCAA champion Chico State in Chico. The tip-off and broadcast time is 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

“The CCAA is excited about this opportunity. It gives us a chance to showcase two of our premier programs,” CCAA Commissioner Robert J. Hiegert said. “It is going to be another competitive year between our women’s basketball programs after sending five teams to the tournament last year. This is an outstanding product and it is great that it is going to be shown outside of our region.”

To accommodate the broadcast, the CCAA has made changes to the conference schedule. Cal State Dominguez Hills will now play at Chico State and UC San Diego will play at Cal State Stanislaus on Thurs., Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

The Chico State-UC San Diego game will air on CSTV, a national cable network from CBS dedicated to the coverage of college sports.

The regular-season partnership is the first of its kind for Division II and was first implemented with the broadcast of football this academic season.  The arrangement provides for nine televised games (three football and six basketball) and 72 games via broadband (40 football and 32 basketball). The regular-season partnership is in addition to Division II’s extensive postseason television menu (21 telecasts in 2005 -06).

The CSTV agreement, which runs through 2009, provides an amplified platform to highlight Division II contests and student-athlete accomplishments, while also promoting the intercollegiate athletics philosophy for Division II member institutions.  There are more than 74,800 student-athletes competing at 290 NCAA Division II colleges and universities nationwide.

Wildcats hold at No. 9 in latest poll
The Chico State women’s basketball team (7-1) holds at No. 9 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Top 25 women’s basketball poll and remains the only California Collegiate Athletic Association team in the rankings.

Henderson State (11-0) holds onto the top spot for the third-straight week and is one of four undefeated teams in the top ten. University of North Dakota (17-1) jumps from fourth into the second-place spot, while Washburn University in Kansas (10-1) also jumped two spots to land at No. 3. Emporia State in Michigan (9-2) and Southern Connecticut State (12-0) round out the top five.

The Wildcats put their 23-game home winning streak on the line this weekend when they host Cal State L.A. on Friday and Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday. Both games tip off at 5:30.

Spencer sparks 100-49 victory for Wildcats
CHICO, Calif. - Audriana Spencer scored 22 first-half points to spark the Chico State women’s basketball team’s 100-49 victory over Western Oregon in the final game of the CCAA/GNAC Challenge Thursday night at Acker Gym.

Teresa Karcher scored a career-high 17 points for the Wildcats, and Tournament Most Valuable Player Niki Simons added 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting as 9th-ranked Chico State improved to 7-1 with its 23rd consecutive home victory.

Amber Simmons finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Chico State, and fellow post Renee Goldoff scored 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Amanda Monteith, meanwhile, turned in perhaps the night’s most well rounded performance. She scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and finished with eight rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and a steal.

Leada Berkey led Western Oregon (1-10) with 11 points, but the Wolves’ leading scorer was limited to just 5-of-19 shooting mostly thanks in large part to the defense of Simons and Monteith.

Spencer came out of the gates red hot, burying 8-of-12 shots in the first half, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, as the Wildcats built a 55-17 lead.

In addition to Simons' MVP honor, Spencer (Chico State), Leada Berkey (Western Oregon), Karaya Gage (Cal State Stanislaus), and Shristy Kumar (Cal State Stanislaus) were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Chico State will be back in action at home January 5-6 when it hosts Cal State L.A. and Cal State Bakersfield.

Wildcats smother Saint Martin's 80-50
CHICO, Calif. – The Chico State women’s basketball team forced 41 Saint Martin’s turnovers and five Wildcats scored in double-figures in an 80-50 victory Wednesday night in the CCAA/GNAC Challenge at Acker Gymnasium.

Amber Simmons scored 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the 9th-ranked Wildcats, who improved to 6-1 on the season and won their 22nd consecutive home game. The Wildcats have also won 35 in a row when leading at the half and 50 straight when limiting their opponents to fewer than 70 points.

Niki Simons finished with 13 points and three steals. True freshman Christine Vest scored a season-high 12 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals. Jade Smith-Williams chipped in 11 points, and Audriana Spencer notched 10 points and four steals.

Breanne Lindquist led Saint Martin’s, now 4-6, with 11 points. Whitney Golob scored eight points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, while Kassie Ludeman added 10 points.

The Wildcats are now 4-0 all-time against Saint Martin’s.

In Wednesday night’s first game, Cal State Stanislaus (1-5) earned its first win of the season, 82-70 over Western Oregon (1-9). Shristy Kumar led the Warriors with 18 points and Gwendolyn Page chipped in 15 points and 12 rebounds. Leada Berkey paced Western Oregon with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.

Thursday, Cal State Stanislaus will face Saint Martin’s at 5:30 p.m. and the Chico State-Western Oregon game will follow at 7:30.

Goldoff sets career record in Wildcat win over Stanislaus
TURLOCK, Calif. - Renee Goldoff pulled down a career-high 20 rebounds – tied for the fifth most in Chico State women’s basketball history – while Audriana Spencer scored 20 points and added seven rebounds, seven assists, and five steals as the eighth-ranked Wildcats won at Cal State Stanislaus 90-60 Saturday night.

Goldoff grabbed 13 defensive rebounds and seven offensive boards to tie Michelle Vanden Bosch, Jan Banks, and Leah Rice for the fifth most in Chico State history. Rice, who grabbed 20 rebounds against Cal Poly Pomona during the 2000-01 season, was the last player to accomplish the feat. Val Ritchie’s 22 rebounds are the most in a game by a Wildcat.

Goldoff also scored 13 points and blocked a pair of shots for Chico State, which improved to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Cal State Stanislaus, led by Gwendolyn Page’s 19 points, dipped to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in the CCAA.

Niki Simons matched her season high with 19 points for Chico State, and Amber Simmons finished with 14 points and a pair of blocked shots despite playing only 17 minutes due to foul trouble.

The Wildcats return home Wednesday and Thursday to host the CCAA/GNAC Challenge. Games will take place at 5:30 and 7:30 each night.

Women's basketball team improves to 3-0 vs. ranked opponents
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – The Chico State women's basketball team picked up its third victory over a nationally-ranked team this season with a 61-56 victory over 17th-ranked Seattle Pacific University Saturday at Sonoma State, host of the the GNAC/CCAA Challenge.

The Wildcats, now 4-1 and ranked No. 8 in the nation, defeated then-No. 23 Regis in their season opener and beat then-No. 18 UC San Diego in their CCAA road opener earlier this season.

Sophomore Renee Goldoff led the way for Chico State with career-highs in points (15) and steals (three) to go along with six rebounds. Amber Simmons chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots, while Niki Simons finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and a pair of steals.

Sparked by Simon's 3-pointer to open the scoring, Chico State jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and never trailed in the game. After SPU trimmed the lead to 9-8, Goldoff and the Chico State defense took control. Goldoff scored seven points during a 16-0 run in which the Wildcats defense forced four turnovers and the Falcons missed nine straight shots.

A Simons jumper with 3:08 remaining in the half gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game at 35-15, and they went into intermission with a 35-22 advantage.

Chico State's lead remained comfortable until the Falcons went on a 10-2 run to get as close as 50-45 with 4:30 to play. A Cory Edwards bucket and her assist on Simons' layup kept SPU at bay, however. After the lead was trimmed to 54-50, Simons buried her second 3-pointer to make it 57-50 with 2:25 remaining.

SPU was relentless, though, and thanks in part to three Chico State turnovers in its next four possessions, the Falcons trailed just 57-54 with 1:11 to play. But an Edwards steal led to a pair of Audriana Spencer free throws with 23 seconds remaining, and Jade Smith-Williams iced the game with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left.

Chico State is back in action Saturday when it travels to face Cal State Stanislaus in its second conference game of the season. The Wildcats will then host their own CCAA/GNAC Challenge Dec. 20-21.


Wildcats sign three players to National Letters of Intent
CHICO, Calif. – First year head coach Molly Goodenbour has announced that three players have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Chico State women’s basketball team next season. They are Davis High School seniors Molly Collins and Brandi Foster and Seaside High School (Marina) senior Ashley Washington.

“We’re very excited about this group,” said Goodenbour. “Each player has the ability to help make us better right away.”

Washington, a 6-foot-1 post player, averaged 8.8 points and more than 10 rebounds per game as a junior last season, while helping to lead the Spartans to a 20-7 record. Her size and athleticism make her a player with tremendous potential according to Goodenbour.

Collins and Foster make up the starting back court for the Lady Blue Devils, who finished 20-9 last season. The 5-10 Collins, rated among Northern California’s top-20 recruits by MaxPreps, is in her fourth season as the team’s starting point guard. She is coming off a junior year in which she averaged 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game and was named the Monticello Empire League’s Co-Player of the Year.

Foster, the team’s 5-9 shooting guard, averaged 13.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots per game as a junior. A First Team All-League selection, she brings a ton of versatility to the program, having played all five positions during her first two varsity seasons.

Women fall at Dominguez Hills
CARSON, Calif. – The Chico State women had their 13-game regular season winning streak snapped in a 73-54 loss at Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday night. The sixth-ranked Wildcats, who were just 24 hours removed from a win at 18th-ranked UC San Diego, shot just 30 percent (16-for-54) and surrendered 16 offensive rebounds.

Chico State fell to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with the loss. Cal State Dominguez Hills improved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the CCAA.

Jade Smith-Williams led Chico State with 14 points and Amber Simmons finished with 11. Brittney Blankenship and Jessica Liang paced Dominguez Hills with 16 points apiece, while Alana Bailey notched 10 points and 10 rebounds.

No. 6 Wildcats defeat 18th-ranked UC San Diego
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Chico State women’s basketball defeated UC San Diego 79-69 in an early-season battle between two top-25 ranked teams Friday night at RIMAC Arena in San Diego. Niki Simons scored 19 points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds for the 6th-ranked Wildcats, who won despite Leora Juster’s game-high 30 points for the 18th-ranked Tritons.

Chico State improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the CCAA. The Wildcats were motivated by the CCAA preseason coaches’ poll, in which conference coaches picked UC San Diego to win the conference crown instead of the two-time defending champion Wildcats. UC San Diego fell to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the CCAA.

“We came out ready to play. We knew this was a big game so I was really proud of how we played tonight,” said Chico State’s Haley Ford, who finished with 18 points and four 3-pointers. “(Head coach Molly Goodenbour) has really emphasized defense from day one and we just proved again tonight that we’re going to be a tough defensive team.”

The Wildcats, who snapped a three-game losing streak at UC San Diego, have now won 47 straight games in which they’ve limited their opponents to fewer than 70 points, including three times to open this season. And though Juster - the CCAA’s reigning Player of the Year - hit 12-of-19 shots, the rest of the Tritons shot just 14-for-37 (38 percent).

True freshman point guard Jade Smith-Williams helped the Wildcats jump out to a 27-14 lead and finished with 11 points and six assists. Amber Simmons, meanwhile, finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds to move past Terriane Young (1978-82) and Joddie Vossler (1989-93) into third place on the school’s career rebounding list. Simmons now has 630 career boards. Renee Goldoff chipped in six points and nine rebounds.

Chico State will wrap up its road trip with at game at Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Wildcats steal victory in CCAA opener
CHICO, Calif. - The Chico State women’s basketball team set a school record with 29 steals and Amber Simmons scored 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting in a 96-63 victory over Cal State Stanislaus Tuesday night at Acker Gym. Simmons tacked on six rebounds, a career-best six assists, two blocked shots, and four steals in just 18 minutes of action as the Wildcats ran their home winning streak to 21 games.

Haley Ford and Erin O’Conner joined Simmons with four steals as the Wildcats forced 40 turnovers. Chico State, meanwhile, turned it over 31 times. The sixth-ranked Wildcats improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with the win. Cal State Stanislaus was playing its season opener.

Shristy Kumar and Karaya Gage led the Warriors with 13 points, though Gage also notched 13 turnovers. Lysandra Williams finished with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

Simmons dominated the early going to stake Chico State to a 50-29 halftime lead. She finished the half with 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting and added five rebounds, four assists, four steals, and a blocked shots in just 12 minutes of action.

Every Chico State player scored and all but two Wildcats registered a steal. Audriana Spencer finished with 11 points and Ford chipped in 10 points and four assists. Freshman Christine Vest scored nine points and pulled down six rebounds. Amanda Monteith finished with eight points, two assists, two steals, and a blocked shot.

The Wildcats will now turn their attention to a showdown at 18th-ranked UC San Diego Friday night. The Tritons were picked by CCAA coaches to win the conference title. The Wildcats, the two-time defending conference champions, have not won at UC San Diego since the final game of the 2001-02 season. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Goodenbour wins first NCAA game as 5th-ranked Wildcats hammer No. 23 Regis
Audriana Spencer ties school record with eight threes
CHICO, Calif. – That was worth the wait for the Chico State women’s basketball team. The Wildcats played their season opener a night later then they had hoped after a power outage Friday. Ironically, Audriana Spencer shot the lights out in a 77-52 victory over nationally-ranked Regis University in the final game of the 34th annual Enloe Medical Center Coslet Classic Saturday.

Spencer tied the Chico State record with eight 3-pointers en route to a career-high 26 points to help first year head coach Molly Goodenbour earn her first NCAA head coaching win. The fifth-ranked Wildcats limited the 23rd-ranked Rangers to 13-of-39 shooting and recorded a 40-22 advantage on the boards in their 20th-straight home victory.

Amber Simmons scored 11 points for the Wildcats and Renee Goldoff pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.  Niki Simons, in just her second career start finished with six points, a career-high five assists, and three steals.

Diana Lopez led Regis (1-1) with 16 points. Denise Lopez finished with 12, and Paulina Tuell chipped in 11.

In Saturday’s early matchup, Tarleton State came from behind to defeat Sonoma State 49-44.

The Wildcats started a bit slowly Saturday, and trailed 13-10 eight minutes into the game. But Simons scored five points during a 13-0 run that put Chico State in front for good. Spencer buried five 3-pointers in the first half while dishing out four of her game-high seven assists as the Wildcats built the lead to 38-22.

After Regis scored the first four points of the second half, the Wildcats put the game away with a 10-2 run capped by Teresa Karcher’s 3-pointer.

Chico State is back in action Nov. 28 when it hosts Cal State Stanislaus in the California Collegiate Athletic Association opener for both teams at 7 p.m.

Power outage dims women's basketball team's season opener
Fifth-ranked Wildcats host 23rd-ranked Regis Saturday
CHICO, Calif. - The opening night of the 34th annual Coslet Classic ended abruptly Friday night with a power outage at Acker Gymnasium during halftime of the Chico State women's basketball team's season opener against Tarleton State (Texas). The TexAnns led 25-23 at the half before the game was canceled.

In the opening game of the tournament, a 40-minute power outage with five minutes remaining in the game charged up Regis University (Colorado), which rallied to defeat Sonoma State 75-71 in overtime.

Saturday night, Tarleton State will take on Sonoma State at 5:30 and Chico State, ranked 5th in the nation, will face 23rd-ranked Regis at 7:30.

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.

Women's basketball team opens season by hosting Enloe Medical Center Coslet Classic
CHICO, Calif. - A new era in Chico State women’s basketball will begin Friday when the Wildcats open the season against Tarleton State University in the 34th annual Enloe Medical Center Coslet Classic at 7:30 p.m. But while the era is changing thanks to the arrival of first-year head coach Molly Goodenbour, the Wildcats, who have claimed the last seven Coslet Classic titles, are hoping the results are similar this year.

This season’s Coslet Classic features a trio of teams that played in the NCAA Championship Tournament last season in Chico State, Tarleton State, and Regis University. The other team, Sonoma State, upset Division I UC Davis in a preseason exhibition game. Regis and Sonoma State will open the Coslet Classic with a 5:30 p.m. game Friday. Saturday, Sonoma State will face Tarleton State at 5:30 and Chico State will face 23rd-ranked Regis University at 7:30.

Chico State is coming off the best season the program’s history. The Wildcats finished 28-4 last season, won their second straight California Collegiate Athletic Association crown, and advanced all the way to the national semifinals before losing to eventual national champion Grand Valley State. They return four starters, including Kodak/WBCA All-American Amber Simmons and First Team All-CCAA selection Haley Ford.

Thanks in part to the CCAA Preseason Coaches Poll, the Wildcats have some extra motivation to win their third straight conference title. In a vote of the conference’s head coaches, UC San Diego was picked to finish first. The Tritons received five first place votes and had a slight advantage over Chico State in the final tally of the Preseason Coaches Poll.

Chico State, which garnered six first-place votes, was picked to finish second. NCAA West Regional tournament participant Cal State Bakersfield picked up one first place vote and was predicted to come in third. CSUB, however, is not eligible to participant in championship tournaments in 2006-07. Cal State Dominguez Hills was picked to finish fourth, followed by Cal State L.A., another NCAA tournament team from a year ago. CCAA newcomer Humboldt State was selected to finish sixth. As a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Lumberjacks also participated in the postseason last season.

CCAA Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
Rank, Team (first place votes)    2005-06 Records   
1. UC San Diego (5)        23-5, 17-3 CCAA
2. Chico State (6)            28-4, 18-2   
3. Cal State Bakersfield (1)        24-5, 16-4
4. Cal State Dominguez Hills    15-11, 10-10
5. Cal State L.A.            20-9, 14-6
6. Humboldt State        17-11, 12-6 (GNAC)
7. Cal State San Bernardino    16-11, 10-10
8. Sonoma State            10-17, 7-13
9. Cal Poly Pomona        11-16, 8-12
10. San Francisco State        8-19, 3-17
11. Cal State Stanislaus        8-19, 4-16
12. CSU Monterey Bay        4-23, 3-17

Women's basketball team falls at Division I power Stanford
PALO ALTO, Calif. – For the first 20 minutes Tuesday, the Chico State women’s basketball team gave Division I powerhouse Stanford quite a challenge. For the next 20 minutes, the Cardinal proved why they are the 4th-ranked team in the nation entering the season. Stanford handed the Wildcats a 103-57 loss after leading just 39-31 late in the first half in an exhibition game at Maples Pavilion.

Amber Simmons scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the first half for the Wildcats, who overcame a slow start to keep it close throughout the first half. Chico State, ranked No. 5 in the preseason Division II national rankings, trailed 15-2 before closing the gap to 17-12. They remained within striking distance throughout the remainder of the half, though Stanford scored three of the final four buckets before intermission to take a 49-36 lead into the locker room.

Stanford limited the Wildcats to just 21 second-half points to break the game open.

Niki Simons was the only other Chico State player in double-figures with 11 points. Jennifer Borror chipped in eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Brooke Smith, an Honorable Mention All-American selection last season, paced the Cardinal with 28 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Kristen Newlin, Cissy Pierce, and Michelle Harrison added 12 points apiece.

The game, though an exhibition, was Chico State’s first ever under Goodenbour, who helped lead Stanford to national titles in 1990 and 1992, and was the MVP of the Final Four in 1992.

Wildcats ranked No. 5 in preseason poll
The Chico State women’s basketball team is ranked No. 5 in the nation in the USA Today/ESPN preseason Top 25 basketball poll released Tuesday. The Wildcats, coming off their best season in school history in which they went 28-4 and advanced to the national semifinals, return four starters and eight letterwinners.

Grand Valley State, the team that knocked the Wildcats out of the postseason and went on to win the national title last season, earned 17 of the 25 first-place votes cast and is ranked No. 1. University of North Dakota, Emporia State, Saint Cloud State, and Chico State make up the remainder of the top five.

Chico State is one of four West Region schools represented in the Top 25. Western Washington begins the season ranked No. 16, UC San Diego is No. 21, and Seattle Pacific is No. 24.

The Wildcats open the season Thursday night with an exhibition game at Stanford. Tickets for that game are still available through the Chico State women’s basketball office. The Wildcats open the regular season at home Nov. 17-18 with the 34th annual Coslet Classic.

Tickets for showdown with Stanford, alumni reception on sale now
Tickets for the sixth-ranked Chico State women’s basketball team’s game at Stanford Nov. 2 are on sale now. The Wildcats will face the Division I powerhouse Cardinal at Maples Pavilion at 7 p.m. Stanford was recently ranked No. 4 in the nation in the Division I preseason rankings.

Tickets for the exhibition game are just $10 and are available by calling Chico State basketball coach Molly Goodenbour at (530) 898-5123. Goodenbour played collegiately at Stanford where she was part of two national championship teams and the MVP of the 1992 Final Four.

The Chico State Alumni Association and women’s basketball team are also sponsoring a pre-game reception and chalk talk at Fanny and Alexander (412 Emerson Street, Palo Alto) prior to the game from 5-6:30. Tickets, which include admission to the game, are $20 and can be purchased by calling the Chico State Alumni Association at (530) 898-6472.

Women's basketball team ranked preseason No. 6
BEAVERTON, Ore. - The Chico State women’s basketball team is ranked No. 6 in the nation in the 2006 Division II Bulletin preseason basketball Top 25. California Collegiate Athletic Association foe UC San Diego opens the season at No. 13. Western Washington, at No. 20, is the only other West Region team in the preseason rankings.

Perennial power North Dakota sits atop the rankings. Defending national champion Grand Valley State, which knocked off the Wildcats in last season’s semifinals, is No. 2. Emporia State is No. 3, followed by No. 4 St. Cloud State and fifth-ranked West Texas A&M.

The Wildcats, who return nine players, including four starters, from last season’s 28-4 team that advanced to the national semifinals, open the regular season at home with the Coslet Classic Nov. 17-18. Prior to that, they’ll face Stanford University in an exhibition game in Palo Alto Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

Basketball tipoff dinner to feature Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer
CHICO - Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and Stanford University Head Coach Tara VanDerveer will be the special guest at the 2006 Chico State Women’s Basketball Scholarship Dinner and Preseason Tipoff Wednesday, Sep. 13, at California Park’s Lakeside Pavilion.

The evening will also serve as an introduction to new Chico State Head Coach Molly Goodenbour, an All-American player under VanDerveer at Stanford, and as a celebration of last season’s run to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

Social begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45. Tickets are $75 each or $140 per couple. Sponsorship team tables can be purchased for $750. Space is limited to the first 250 paid reservations. Please call (530) 898-4265 for more information or to donate items for the silent auction.

Molly Goodenbour hired as women's basketball coach
CHICO, Calif. - Chico State athletic director Anita Barker announced today that former Division I assistant and WNBA player Molly Goodenbour has been hired as the Wildcats’ head women’s basketball coach.

“Molly has experienced women’s basketball at the highest levels possible and brings both a knowledge and intensity that this program has come to expect,” said Barker. “Lynne Roberts came in four years ago and took our women’s basketball program to a new level and I am absolutely convinced that Molly is the person who can build on that and keep Chico State’s name in the national spotlight.”

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to come in and build on the winning tradition that Chico State has created,” said Goodenbour. “This program is in great shape and I’m looking forward to getting to work to maintain that success.”

Goodenbour was the head assistant at the University of San Francisco last season. Prior to that she was the head coach at Santa Rosa Junior College for three seasons (2003-2005), where her teams compiled a record of 69-21. She was associate head coach at Santa Rosa before taking over the position. Goodenbour earned Coach of the Year honors in 2005 after winning the Bay Valley Conference title for the second straight year and finishing with a No. 3 ranking in the State. 

Goodenbour began her coaching career during the 1994-95 season when she helped USF to their first of three consecutive NCAA tournament berths before departing for a professional playing career with the Swedish Basketball Federation. After a year abroad she returned to play for the Richmond Rage (1996-97) and Portland Power (1997-98) of the now-defunct American Basketball League. The Stanford All-American then played for the Sacramento Monarchs in the WNBA's inaugural season in 1999.

A highly decorated collegiate player, Goodenbour was a starting guard for Stanford, which made three Final Four appearances and won two NCAA Championships in 1990 and 1992. During her four-year collegiate career (1990-93), the Cardinal posted a 114-16 record, including a 62-1 mark at Maples Pavilion. As a junior, Goodenbour captured Final Four MVP honors after setting a NCAA Tournament record for most postseason 3-pointers made (18).

Goodenbour litters the Stanford career record book, ranking fifth in 3-pointers (178), sixth in assists (441), and seventh in free throw percentage (.793). As a senior Goodenbour made 74 threes, the third best single-season mark in program history and tossed in nine threes at Tennessee, the best single-game mark for the Cardinal. She was also a member of the U.S. National team, which won a gold medal at 1993 Pan-American Games.

The Wildcats return all but one player from last year’s record-setting 28-4 squad, which made the school’s first trip to the NCAA Elite Eight, advancing to the Final Four before losing to Grand Valley State, 76-63 in a semifinal match-up.