Zags Look To Stay Atop WCC As BYU Cougars Come To Town

            SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University (7-1) is starting to widen the gap in the West Coast Conference chase as Saint Mary’s (5-2) is the lone remaining team with less than three losses.

            The Bulldogs got some help Thursday when Portland (4-4) handed BYU (5-3) its third conference setback with a 114-110 triple-overtime victory. Cougars come to the McCarthey Athletic Center Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip to be aired nationally on ESPN2 and broadcast on the IMG Gonzaga Radio Network 1510 KGA CBS Sports Radio in Spokane.

            Gonzaga leads the all-time series with BYU 4-2 in their NCAA Division I meetings, a series that began with an NCAA Tournament meeting in 2011. The Bulldogs have won four straight in the series since dropping the inaugural West Coast Conference meeting between the two schools 83-73 in 2012 in Provo, Utah. The Zags took the re-match in 2012 in Spokane and claimed a WCC Tournament semifinal matchup that same season.

            The Bulldogs won the first meeting last season 83-63 in the McCarthey Athletic Center and completed the season sweep with a 70-65 victory at the Marriott Center in Provo. The Cougars, behind All-American Jimmer Fredette, took an 89-67 victory in the 2011 NCAA Third Round in Denver, Colo., the season prior to BYU joining the WCC. The Zags claimed a 46-41 victory Dec. 16, 1949, prior to Gonzaga entering the NCAA Division I ranks.

            There’s no place like home, and the McCarthey Athletic Center has become a pretty special place for Gonzaga. Gonzaga is currently fourth for the longest current home winning streak at 20 games. Duke heads the list with 27. The Bulldogs played their 100th game in the McCarthey Athletic Center Dec. 15, 2011, downing Oral Roberts University. Gonzaga is 129-8 in the building that opened for the 2004-05 season. The Zags are 62-6 in non-conference games, 68-2 in West Coast Conference play and 2-0 in WCC Tournament play.



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