Wildcats travel to Idaho to kick off season at NNU Classic

ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The Central Washington women’s basketball team is set to open its regular season by competing in the Northwest Nazarene Classic this coming weekend. The Wildcats and Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks will team up and take on two California teams in the Stanislaus State Warriors and California State-East Bay Pioneers.


friday november 11e

6:30 p.m.
Central Washington vs. Cal State-East Bay
Johnson Sports Center
Nampa, Idaho

Saturday November 12e

1:30 p.m.
Washington Center vs. Stanislaus State
Johnson Sports Center
Nampa, Idaho

“We are thrilled to kick off our season in Nampa this weekend,” said Richardson-Thornley. “We are up against two very strong opponents who will challenge us in different ways and I am delighted to see how we will respond and rise to the challenge. Our team has worked hard, has grown a lot already this pre-season, and they are ready to compete.”

The Pioneers are coming off a historic season where their program clinched the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament while amassing a 24-3 overall record and a 15-1 conference record. The Pioneers fell to national runner-up Western Washington in the regional finals last year. This season so far has seen the Pioneers fall in exhibition action at the University of San Francisco Division 1 79-66.

The Wildcats have two wins over the Pioneers in three tries, the most recent coming last season in the CCAA-GNAC crossover hosted by Stanislaus State. The Wildcats pulled off a 68-55 win over the Pioneers to hand CSU-EB their first loss of the season. Kizzah Maltezo and Samantha Bowman each finished with 20+ points in 25 and 21, respectively, while Bowman had 17 rebounds.

Stanislaus State is hoping to start the new year on the right foot after a 12-10 overall record and a 7-9 conference record. The Warriors finished last season with three straight losses in a tough California Collegiate Athletic Association conference. The Warriors picked up victories over GNAC rivals Northwest Nazarene and Seattle Pacific as well as NCAA Tournament entrant Academy of Art.

The Wildcats and Warriors have seen each other a bit more, meeting seven times with CWU stealing five of those matchups in their favor, and the Wildcats are currently riding a four-game winning streak against the Warriors. Last year, the ‘Cats traveled to Turlock, Calif., where Stanislaus State hosted the CCAA-GNAC crossover. It was a hard-fought battle as the ‘Cats sealed a 67-66 victory thanks to the offensive rebounding prowess that is Samantha Bowman. Bowman scored a stellar 23 points and 23 rebounds while Kassidy Malcolm poured in 15 more runs in the CWU win.


After the Northwest Nazarene Classic, the ‘Cats will turn their attention to two other teams they know well in the Metro State Roadrunners and the Westminster Griffins in Salt Lake City, Utah. CWU went 1-2 last year against the Roadrunners and Griffins losing in Ellensburg to MSU while parting ways with Westminster falling at the NNU Classic before taking revenge at the CWU tournament.

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