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Gowans late drive key Warriors win
Cal State Stanislaus guard Alishea Kelly, right, utilizes a screen set by teammate Katie Busi during the Warriors’ 62-59 win over Cal State L.A. on Saturday night. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
Guard Christin Gowan had many reasons to be nervous, but she wasn’t.
She had the ball in her hands, and her Cal State Stanislaus women’s basketball team was ahead by one point with less than a minute left after owning a 15-point advantage in the California Collegiate Athletic Association game against Cal State L.A. on Saturday night. The Warriors still had thoughts of blowing a big lead the night before.A moment earlier, Gowan missed a 3-pointer that would have sealed the game. But a lot was riding on this particular drive. Then she saw 6-foot forward Katie Busi come up to the wing to set a screen, and that’s when Gowan drove up the middle for a strong layup to help the Warriors gain a late edge in the 62-59 win at Warrior Arena, capping off her team’s third game in five days.
And Gowan did it all while a disease ate at her feet.
Her layup put the Warriors ahead 59-56 with 27 seconds left. It also capped off a 13-point, five-assist and four-steal night, but not before she forced Cal State L.A.’s Kelli McClintick to airball a 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession — which led to Alishea Kelly knocking in three of four free throws to end the game.
“They stepped up at the right time,” coach Sharon Turner said.
The Warriors were in a similar situation the previous night. They had a 12-point cushion before Cal State Dominguez Hills rallied to take a 71-68 win. So Turner was quite nervous when she saw her Warriors’ lead of 15 become smaller and smaller late in the second half, when Cal State L.A. (4-12, 2-9 CCAA) issued a 20-6 run to cut the deficit to one, with Shatori Dearman contributing six of her team-high 16 points during that stretch.
And then Gowan’s number was called. The junior guard has a heredity disease that causes blisters every time she applies pressure on her feet. But she wasn’t concerned about it at that point. In fact, she said her coach had given her some time off to let her feet heal leading up to the current five-game homestand.
“It’s rough for everybody,” Gowan said. “We have injuries and stuff like that, but I think Coach knows how to taper us back and gets us ready for the game. We have a lot of preparing time and I think we really prepare well and so, we’re prepared going in.”
The preparation resulted in the Warriors (4-11 overall, 3-8 CCAA) capturing just their third win in seven games before Friday’s home conference showdown at 5:30 p.m. with San Francisco State. Katie Busi led the charge with 15 points and 15 rebounds — her eighth double-double of the season — while Kelly added 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, helping Stanislaus finish with a 39-28 edge on the boards.
“Last night was a tough game,” Kelly said, “but I think we did a pretty good job leaving it in the past and coming out getting a must-win. I feel like every win is good for us and we can only build on it. And it’s good momentum.”
Surprisingly, Gowan doesn’t mind the amount of court time the Warriors have been putting in lately. In fact, she said, “I love it.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.