Zags And Gaels Set For Saturday Showdown
Feb. 9, 2018


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Gonzaga (20-4, 13-0 WCC) vs. Saint Mary's (15-9, 8-5 WCC)
Feb. 10, 2018 | 2 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 94.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Spokane, Wash. | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | SWX (Greg Heister, Michelle Clark, & Lindsay Joy) | Live Stats

The Last Meeting
Gonzaga73
Saint Mary's65
January 18, 2018
Moraga, Calif.
Zags Hold Off Gaels For Win In Moraga
MORAGA, Calif. – The Gonzaga Bulldogs led wire-to-wire in a tightly contested game at Saint Mary’s on Thursday night, 73-65.

ANOTHER 20-WIN SEASON:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs won their 20th game for the 11th time in the last 12 years, and their 15th-straight game as they defeated Pacific, 90-66, at home on Thursday night.
- After five Zags scored in double figures in Stockton earlier in the year against the Tigers, four made their way on Thursday, with Jill Barta leading the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds, on eight-of-17 shooting, for her 10th double-double of the year and 17th of her career.
- Zykera Rice scored 13 and Chandler Smith had 12 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Laura Stockton scored 10 points with five rebounds and five assists.
- The Zags dominated the points in the paint, 44-18, while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 50 percent from three with seven makes. They dominated the boards, 47-33, blocked six shots, led by Barta with three
- Hitting the 20-win mark at 20-4 is the fifth-best record at the 20-win point in school history. The Zags have had three 20-3 starts and started 20-2 in 2004-05.

NOW IT GETS FUN:
- The Zags have started WCC play with a 13-0 record just four times prior in their history, most recently in 2014-15. In three of those cases the Zags went undefeated in conference play at 14-0, prior to BYU and Pacific joining the West Coast Conference.
- The Zags started 15-0 in head coach Lisa Fortier’s first season in 2014-15.

SERIES HISTORY:
- The Zags lead the all-time series, 41-27. GU swept all three meetings last season, and won 73-65 in Moraga this year, putting them on a four-game streak entering Saturday.
- In that game, the Bulldogs led wire-to-wire and forced 22 SMC turnovers for 13 steals and 22 points off turnovers, while only turning it over 10 times themselves. Jill Barta led GU with 19 points and six rebounds, and Chandler Smith added 17 points and four steals, as Barta had four steals as well
- The Zags lead the all-time series in Spokane, 21-9, and are 12-2 inside the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Zags took the game at home on February 11 last season. Laura Stockton nailed a game-winning jumper from the elbow with nine seconds left, and Elle Tinkle stood the Gaels up on defense at the other end as Gonzaga secured the 59-58 win. Kiara Kudron led the Zags with 14 points, five assists, and three steals.
- GU won their seventh West Coast Conference Tournament Championship in program history, and third in five years, with an 86-75 victory over third-seeded Saint Mary’s in the Orleans Arena in the WCC Title Game last year. Jill Barta exploded for a tournament record 37 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the field. She connected on five of her eight attempts from three-point range, and made all eight of her shots from the free-throw line. The redshirt sophomore scored 22 points in the first half. Her 37-point total was one-point shy of the program record set by Amy Simpson in 1983. Barta’s 12 made field goals tied the tournament record. The Fairfield, Mont. native eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in her short career in that game.
- The series has always been a West Coast Conference matchup, dating back to the first meeting in 1988. Gonzaga leads the series 35-26 in regular-season WCC meetings.
- GU has taken 11 of the last 16 dating back to 2012.
- Prior the SMC’s 66-63 win in Spokane in 2012, Gonzaga had won 17-straight games dating back to 2004.
- The Zags won nine-straight games at home from 2003-2011, including the first eight ever played in the McCarthey Athletic Center. That included a 106-66 Gonzaga win in 2011, the largest margin of victory in the series. Janelle Bekkering scored 22 points, hitting 10-of-15 from the field, for her third 20-plus point outing of the year. Courtney Vandersloot registered her 15th double-double on the season, with 22 points, and 13 assists in that game.
- The Gaels won six-straight games in Spokane from 1996-2002.

SCOUTING THE GAELS:
- Saint Mary’s started 5-1 in the WCC, but have gone 3-4 since including the loss to the Zags.
- Stella Beck, Megan McKay and Sydney Raggio shoot above 50.0 percent from the field, with McCay leading at 60.4 percent. McKay averages a team-high 15.3 points per game while averaging 6.9 rebounds. Raggio averages a team-high 8.6 rpg to go with 13.9 ppg. Beck leads the team with 34 steals and averages 14 ppg.
- Saint Mary’s leads the conference with a 47.5 field goal percentage. McKay leads the conference in field goal percentage.
- The Gaels are WCC leaders in rebounding defense, holding opponents to 30 rpg.
- Madeline Holland shoots 46.6 percent from beyond the arc -- first in the WCC. Jasmine Forcadilla dishes out a team-best 3.5 apg.

MAGIC NUMBER:
- The Zags hold a current four-game lead in the West Coast Conference. They can clinch their 14th WCC Regular-Season Title with two wins. The most WCC wins in program history is 16, last accomplished in head coach Lisa Fortier’s first season in 2014-15.
- In 2014-2015 and 2004-2005 the Zags clinched the WCC title outright with three games left in the season.

BACK-LOADED SCHEDULE:
- The Zags have a back-loaded WCC schedule with five of their last eight games in conference coming against San Diego, BYU, and Saint Mary’s. The Zags have never played five games against those opponents in a single month.
- The Zags were 5-1 in those games last year, just dropping the game at BYU. They also went 5-1 in 2014-15, losing at San Diego, and 2012-13, losing at Saint Mary’s, the best marks since BYU joined the conference in 2011.
- In the remaining games, home against all three, GU is 32-10 since 2011.

THE SECOND, AND THE THIRD:
- Gonzaga has outscored their opponent by 121 points in the second quarter this year, and 70 in the third quarter.
- The Bulldogs have an average lead of 12.46 points when entering the fourth quarter.

TOP TO BOTTOM:
- Over the past nine games, nine Zags have scored and grabbed a rebound in every contest.
- All five Zag starters have scored and grabbed a rebound in the last 17 games.

WINNING FORMULA:
- 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, 73.9, and points per game allowed, 58.6. They are the only WCC team in the top-three in both categories.
- GU has not let a late lead slip. They are 20-0 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 19-1 when shooting better than their opponent.
- Rebounding is just as important, as Gonzaga is 15-1 when leading on the glass.
- GU has 13 wins when holding their opponent under 59 points.

17-18 STREAKING:
- Gonzaga started this 14-game winning streak in 2017 that has now extended to 2018.
- The winning streak is the fifth-longest active streak in the country.
- GU has won nine-straight road games, the longest under coach Fortier.
- The 15-game win streak is one short of the longest under coach Fortier, set from December 2014 to February of 2015.
- It is also the fifth-longest win streak in program history. The longest was a 23-game run from December 2004 to March of 2005.
- During the streak, GU has outscored their opponent by 20.3 points per game with a +8.9 rebounds per game advantage.
- GU is shooting 46.9 percent and holding their opponent to 35.5 percent from the field.
- Gonzaga averages over four more assists per game than their opponent, and Jill Barta (18.6), Zykera Rice (12.6), average double figures with Chandler Smith at 9.8 per game.
- All totaled, nine Zags are averaging over four points per game and two rebounds per game, including freshman Zags Jenn Wirth, LeeAnne Wirth, and Jill Townsend.

MULTI-TOOL:
- The Zags take pride in developing players who can do multiple things, and that has been on display this season.
- Chandler Smith led the Zags in rebounds, assists, and steals against Portland State, rebounds, steals, and blocks at Washington State and against San Francisco, points, rebounds, and steals against UNLV, and points, rebounds, and blocks against Loyola Marymount.
- Jill Barta has led GU in three categories a couple times this season. She led them in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks at Colorado State, at Saint Mary’s and against Pacific, and points, rebounds, and blocks at Montana and BYU, and against Belmont and Pepperdine. Against Pacific and USF she led in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks and points, rebounds, and steals at Santa Clara. At USD she led in points, assists, and blocks.

13 IS A LUCKY NUMBER:
- Gonzaga has amassed a conference record of 187-26 (.878) during the last 13 years, which includes 12 West Coast Conference regular-season titles and seven WCC Tournament titles.
- Gonzaga has appeared in post-season play for 13 of the last 14 years.
- Since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004, Gonzaga has gone 184-25 (.880)
- Gonzaga has won 51 of the last 55 home games versus WCC opponents the last 13 years.

ASSOCIATED PRESS & USA TODAY POLL:
- The Zags were receiving four votes in the Associated Press Poll released November 13 and 18 votes in the Preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll released October 26.
- Gonzaga returned to the AP Poll on January 22, and are currently receiving four votes.
- They are currently 39th in RPI, their best mark this year.
- GU is ranked ninth in the national mid-major poll, but are receiving a first place vote.


 

 

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