Bulldogs, Hawai'i To Meet Across Canadian Border in Vancouver
SPOKANE, Wash. - For just the second time in its NCAA Division I history, Gonzaga University's men's basketball team will play a game outside of the United States when the Bulldogs face the University of Hawai'i Nov. 19 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Idol Sports & Entertainment and Gonzaga University announced Monday.
The BC Basketball Classic will be staged in Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL and the home of the Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA prior to the franchise moving to Memphis, Tenn.
The game will be a real homecoming for Gonzaga senior center Robert Sacre who grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and attended Handsworth Secondary School located less than 10 miles from Rogers Arena. Sacre led the Handsworth basketball team to the 61st AAA Provincial Championship as a junior.
Two other Zags - forward Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, British Columbia) and freshman guard Kevin Pangos (Newmarket, Ontario) - will return to Canadian soil for the contest. Sacre, Olynyk and Pangos have represented Canada in some form of international competition, with Olynyk participating in the FIBA Americas Championship last month. The seven-footer started the last four games in the tournament, averaging 6.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg per game as the Canadian Men's National Team finished 3-5.
"It will be exciting to get Rob back home to play. He's one of the all-time great Zags. Plus, Kelly will be playing close to his hometown and Kevin will get to play a game in his homeland," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.
In addition to the Canadian players, Gonzaga will feature reigning All-West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year Marquise Carter. Carter was named the Zappos.com WCC Tournament MVP as he shot 63 percent in his final four WCC games and scored 14.5 ppg in the WCC Tournament.
Led by All-WAC honorable mention guard Zane Johnson, the Warriors return three starters from a team that won 19 games and advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament a year ago. Johnson led UH in scoring at 15.8 ppg.
The two teams last faced each other in the second round of the 1998 NIT, with Hawaii defeating the Zags, 78-70. Gonzaga leads the all-time series 2-1.
Tickets will go on sale Friday, Oct. 14 and will be available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Prices start as low at $14.
The only other time the Bulldogs have played a basketball game outside the United States was Nov. 25-26, 1966, when the Bulldogs participated in the Totem Tournament hosted by the University of British Columbia. The Bulldogs downed St. Martin's University (then College) of Lacey, Wash., 78-60 and host University of British Columbia 89-73 in the 1966-67 season openers.
A staple of downtown Vancouver, Rogers Arena is one of the premier sports and entertainment facilities in all of North America. Rogers Arena is a 475,000 square foot building that has hosted numerous national and international events, including the XXI Winter Olympic Games. The facility seats 17,391 spectators for basketball. The last basketball game at Rogers Arena took place last year when the Toronto Raptors defeated the Phoenix Suns in an NBA preseason game Oct. 6.
The Bulldogs also completed their schedule with the addition of Longwood University of Farmville, Va., Feb. 27 in the McCarthey Athletic Center. It will be the inaugural meeting between the schools, which will be Senior Night for Bulldogs Robert Sacre and Marquise Carter.
Longwood, a NCAA Division I independent, went 12-19 last season. They are coached by ninth-year head coach Mike Gillian.
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