Jan. 9, 2018
Gonzaga (11-4, 4-0 WCC) at Portland (4-11, 0-4 WCC)
Jan. 11, 2018 | 7 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 94.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Portland, Ore. | Chiles Center (4,852) | Live Stats
The Last Meeting
January 21, 2017
Zags Come Out Firing, Sail Past Pilots Early
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jill Barta matched her half-only season-high of 23 points in the first half, and was a rebound short of a first-half double-double, and Laura Stockton set a single-game season-high in assists in the first half with eight as the Zags won 85-50.
BATTLE UP TOP:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs ended the day the final unbeaten team in West Coast Conference play on Saturday, downing Loyola Marymount, 77-67, inside the McCarthey Athletic Center, as both teams entered 3-0 in WCC action.
- The Zags led wire-to-wire with the game never being tied after the opening tip. Chandler Smith led the Zags with 19 points, hitting all 10 foul shots, joining Jill Barta who achieved that feat twice last year, and Smith made four late to ice the game. She added seven boards to lead the squad, three assists and two steals.
- Zykera Rice, 14 points, and Barta, 16 points, joined her in double figures. Barta added five steals, her season high and tying the team season high this year.
- The Zags were excellent from the foul line going 19-of-23 at an 82.6 percent clip. They outscored LMU in the paint, 32-22, and grabbed 11 steals for 24 points off turnovers.
NOW IT GETS FUN:
- The Zags have started WCC play with a 4-0 record just 10 times prior in their history, most recently in 2015-16.
- The Zags hit the 5-0 mark to start conference play two seasons ago, and started 15-0 in head coach Lisa Fortier’s first season in 2014-15.
- GU started the WCC season 4-0 every year from 2006 to 2012.
- Gonzaga leads the all-time series 49-26 and are 22-14 in Portland, and enter Saturday riding a 17-game win streak in the City of Roses dating back to 2002.
- The Zags have also won 17-straight overall in the series dating back to 2010, beating the 16-game stretch they put together from 2002-2009. The streak is the Zags second-longest active streak against a WCC opponent, as they have beaten LMU 21-straight times.
- The Zags were explosive offensively in Portland last year, as Laura Stockton set a single-game season-high in assists in the first half alone with eight as the Zags won 85-50. The 35-point win against a WCC opponent is the most under head coach Lisa Fortier. Elle Tinkle led with 16 points, two shy of her season high, and grabbed six rebounds in the 67-55 win in Spokane.
- Since 2002, Gonzaga has won 33 of the last 34 meetings, with Portland winning their lone game, 70-67 in Spokane on February 8, 2009. The Bulldogs also won 10 of 12 from 1986 to 1991.
- Portland’s last win at home in the series came on January 21, 2001, a 52-40 Pilot win.
- Gonzaga is 42-18 in regular-season West Coast Conference meetings in the series.
- The Pilots best run came from 1994-1998, when they won 11-straight games.
- GU has scored over 65 points in the last seven meetings, and held Portland to 24 points on January 3, 2014 in Portland, a Gonzaga single-game record.
- The Pilots won seven-straight games at home from 1995 to 2001.
SCOUTING THE PILOTS:
- Portland and Pacific are the only remaining teams without a WCC win through the first two weeks.
- They fell most recently, 43-50, at home to Santa Clara. Julie Spencer finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. With 50 seconds remaining the Pilots trailed the Broncos by 10, then scored eight unanswered in the next 30 seconds, but SCU got control and finished the game.
- Spencer leads them in scoring at 13.7 points per game and Darian Slaga joins her in double-figures at 12.1 per game. They did not have anyone selected to the Preseason All-WCC team.
- UP started the season 3-0 with wins over Hawaii and Utah Valley, the best start to a season since 2010-11, but have gone 1-11 since, including seven-straight losses heading into Thursday.
- The Pilots are a young squad with seven newcomers, which features six true freshmen and a junior transfer.
- The season is far enough along, some trends are starting to become consistent in Zags’ wins.
- The Zags are second in the WCC in points per game, 72.9, and points per game allowed, 61.4. They are the only WCC team in the top-three in both categories.
- GU has not let a late lead slip. They are 11-0 when leading or tied at halftime, ahead or tied to start the fourth quarter, and up with five minutes left.
- Shooting percentage is vital, as GU is 11-1 when shooting better than their opponent.
- Rebounding is just as important, as Gonzaga is 8-1 when leading on the glass.
- Defense leads to wins once again, as GU has seven wins when holding their opponent under 59 points.
PORTLAND? ON A THURSDAY?
- Historically, the Zags have played Portland on Saturday or Monday, and have not faced the Pilots on a Thursday since February 28, 2013. GU won that game 59-56 in Spokane.
- Jill Barta has recorded eight double-doubles this season, leading the team. She has achieved the feat in three of four WCC games.
- Against Western Illinois, Barta (21 points and 11 rebounds), Zykera Rice (14 points and 13 rebounds), and Chandler Smith (12 points and 11 rebounds) all had double-doubles, the first time three Zags did it in the same game since March 6, 2004, against Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference Tournament Semifinals. In 2004 it was Ashley Anderson (10 pts & 10 rebs), Ashley Burke (22 pts & 12 rebs), and Raeanna Jewell (15 pts & 13 rebs) who achieved the feat.
- Smith has three double-doubles this year.
- Barta’s eight rank first in the West Coast Conference and 17th in the nation.
- She has 15 double-doubles in her career.
- Gonzaga started this six-game winning streak in 2017 that has now extended to 2018. - - During the streak, GU has outscored their opponent by 18.2 points per game with a +12.8 rebounds per game advantage.
- GU is shooting 47.4 percent and holding their opponent to 36.3 percent from the field.
- Gonzaga averages four more assists per game than their opponent, and Jill Barta (18.2), Zykera Rice (14), and Chandler Smith (11.3) are all averaging double figures in points.
BARTA AND THE WCC:
- Jill Barta is making a strong case for WCC Player of the Year honors early on, as she leads the WCC in scoring, 19.4 points per game, and rebounds, 9.5 per game. She also leads with eight double-doubles.
- She is also fifth at 2.07 steals per game, and second, shooting 84 percent from the free throw line, along with fourth in field goal percentage at 49.2 percent.
SMART SENIORS LEAD ZAGS:
- Gonzaga seniors, Emma Stach and Emma Wolfram, were two of 17 Gonzaga student-athletes with perfect 4.0 GPA’s this past fall semester.
- GU Athletics had its second-highest fall GPA in school history at 3.35 GPA and women’s basketball maintained a 3.25 GPA.
- The Emma’s, along with Chandler Smith, were selected to the President’s List with above a 3.85 GPA. Zykera Rice was tabbed to the Dean’s List for having above a 3.50 GPA.
- Additionally, 13 of the 14 athletic teams at GU earned above a 3.0 cumulative GPA.