Central Men Win Battle Of Wildcats, Defeat Chico State 89-81Posted: Updated:
ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Four Central Washington players scored in double figures, including a team-high 25 points from junior Jake Beitinger, as the Wildcats defeated Chico State, 89-81, in the final game of the Tarp It Wildcat Classic at Nicholson Pavilion on Saturday night.
Central Washington is now 1-1 on the season, splitting two games at its own tournament. Chico State, also nicknamed the Wildcats, finished the tournament 0-2. The win by CWU was also the 200th career victory for 13th-year coach Greg Sparling.
Earlier in the evening, Northwest Nazarene defeated Notre Dame de Namur, 69-65.
Central fell behind 14-3 out of the gates, as Chico State went on a 12-0 run to take the commanding lead. CWU then stormed right back with a 12-0 run of its own to go back and front by one, and after the teams exchanged leads and tie scores, the host Wildcats went in front to stay at the 6:14 mark of the opening half on a three-pointer by junior Matt Penoncello. The lead was trimmed to one at one point less than two minutes later, only to be pushed to eight twice in the final 2:06 of the first half, including the 50-42 halftime margin.
After allowing Chico State to shoot 65.2 percent (15 of 23) in the first half, Central Washington held its visitors to just a 37.1 percent efficiency (13 of 35) in the second stanza. CWU had a double-digit lead for most of the first 13 minutes of the half before Chico State began chipping away at the deficit, and the visitors eventually made it a one-point differential with 1:56 remaining. However, a basket by Beitinger, followed by consecutive free throws from the 6-foot-8 forward, extended the lead to five, and two more foul shots by junior Giovonne Woods (Lacey, Wash./River Ridge HS) gave Central a seven-point cushion in the final minute. Woods then capped the game's scoring with 11 seconds left to provide the final eight-point margin.
Central Washington finished with another consistent shooting night offensively, making 48.1 percent (26 of 54) for the game. The Wildcats also drained 6 of 11 three-pointers, led by 3 of 4 from Beitinger, who also led all players with nine rebounds. Woods had a career-high 18, while Foote, who joined Beitinger as an all-tournament selection, scored 17 in 30 minutes off the bench. Junior Colton Monti finished with 13 for the winners.
Chico State was led by the 26-point effort of Darroll Phillips, while Mike Martin (15) and Frank Igbekoyi (12) also finished in double figures.