Jan. 12, 2018
Gonzaga (12-4, 5-0 WCC) vs. San Francisco (8-8, 3-2 WCC)
Jan. 13, 2018 | 2 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 94.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Spokane, Wash. | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | SWX (Sam Adams, Michelle Clark, & Lindsay Joy) | Live Stats
The Last Meeting
March 6, 2017
Las Vegas, Nev. (Semifinals)
OFF THE BLUFF:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs used a balanced attack to dispel Portland on the road on Thursday night, 70-56 inside the Chiles Center.
- 10 Zags scored in the game, and GU led 46-29 on the glass. Zykera Rice led GU with 14 points and Chandler Smith finished with 11 points and eight rebounds to lead the Zags.
- GU forced 20 Pilot turnovers for 13 steals and a 23-11 advantage in points off turnovers. Jessie Loera led the Zags with four assists and Rice and Smith had three steals each.
- Gonzaga utilized 23 offensive rebounds, led by Smith and Jenn Wirth who had four each, and Jill Townsend added three to keep possessions alive. GU used their full roster, as no one played over 27 minutes on the night.
NOW IT GETS FUN:
- The Zags have started WCC play with a 5-0 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 5-0 every year from 2006 to 2011.
- The Zags lead the all-time series 39-26 and are 21-10 in Spokane, and 13-2 inside the McCarthey Athletic Center against the Dons.
- Gonzaga enters Saturday riding an 11-game home winning streak in the series dating back to 2007.
- GU's loss in San Francisco in 2016 ended a 21-game win streak in the series the Zags had been on. Over the past five meetings, GU is 3-2 including a dominating 77-46 win over USF in the West Coast Conference Tournament Semifinals last year. GU finished with five players in double-digit scoring in that game, led by Kiara Kudron's 15 points. She was 7-of-9 from the field, and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. Zykera Rice made six of her seven shots from the field and finished with 13 points. Jill Barta added 12 points, Laura Stockton had 11, and Emma Stach chipped in 10
- Dating back to 2003, Gonzaga has won 29 of the last 34 games, including 14 of 16 in Spokane. At home against USF last year, GU won 61-46 to kick off a 12-game WCC win streak. Kiara Kudron recorded her third double-double of the season and sixth of her career with 14 points and 11 rebounds in that game. Emma Stach led the three charge in the third quarter, and finished with nine points all in that quarter, all behind the arc, as GU hit five threes in the third to take control.
- The best game of the series, and one of the best in Gonzaga history, was a 91-84 four-overtime win on February 7, 2015 in Spokane. The game featured 21 lead changes and 14 ties. The game lasted two hours and 50 minutes with four overtime periods. The four overtimes were the most in WCC history during league play, and it was also the longest game this season at any level of women's college basketball. Keani Albanez led all scorers with 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field. Sunny Greinacher added 19 points and three blocks.
- San Francisco had the majority of their success in the series in the 1990's, winning nine straight from 1995-1998 and eight straight at home from 1992-1999.
SCOUTING THE DONS:
- The Dons are 8-8 and 3-2 in the West Coast Conference, with early wins over Portland and Pepperdine. They went 5-6 in the non-conference beating Cal Poly and San Jose State.
- They are coming off an impressive 78-60 win over Loyola Marymount on Thursday at home. LMU entered the game with their conference loss to the Zags being their only WCC loss.
- Three Dons average double-figures with Anna Seilund leading the way at 16 per game, joined by Michaela Rakova, 11.8 per game, and Kalyn Simon at 10.2 per game. Seilund had a career-high 36 points against Portland.
- Rakova leads them on the glass at 9.4 rebounds per game.
- In conference games only, USF ranks first in three-point field goals made (6.2 per game).
- Molly Goodenbour, a two-time national champion at Stanford, is in her second year leading the Dons. She finished her first year on the Hilltop in 2016-17 with an 18-13 overall record that included an 11-7 mark in West Coast Conference play, good for a fourth-place finish, the Dons' highest since the 2002-03 season.
- 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, 72.7, and points per game allowed, 61.1. They are the only WCC team in the top-three in both categories.
- GU has not let a late lead slip. They are 12-0 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 9-1 when leading on the glass.
- Defense leads to wins once again, as GU has eight wins when holding their opponent under 59 points.
- On Thursday night, Gonzaga was able to beat Portland by leading on the glass, 46-29, and holding them to 56 points.
WHATEVER IT TAKES:
- The Zags know conference road wins are about survival, and they have done what it takes to start 3-0 on the road in WCC play. GU has still scored 77.3 points per game and shot 45.1 percent from the field, but have also maintained a healthy +12 rebounding advantage, committed less turnovers than their opponent, averaged 8.7 steals per game, and shot 77.8 percent from the foul line.
- In front of the Zag fans in Spokane in conference action, GU has been impressive in style points in their two wins. They are winning by 16 points per game, a four-point jump from on the road. GU also has a turnover margin of 5.5, 4.5 per game higher than on the road and they average two more steals per game and two more blocks per game than away from Spokane.
- Gonzaga started this seven-game winning streak in 2017 that has now extended to 2018.
- During the streak, GU has outscored their opponent by 17.6 points per game with a +13.4 rebounds per game advantage.
- GU is shooting 46 percent and holding their opponent to 36.7 percent from the field.
- Gonzaga averages four more assists per game than their opponent, and Jill Barta (16.1), Zykera Rice (14), and Chandler Smith (11.3) are all averaging double figures in points.
- Currently, three new Zags, Jenn Wirth, Jill Townsend, and LeeAnne Wirth are making an early impact on the WCC conference. In conferece play they are averaging 18 points per game, eight rebounds per game, and shooting 52.1 percent from the field.