March 3, 2018
(1) Gonzaga (25-5) vs. (5) San Francisco (16-14) | WCC Semifinals
Mar. 5, 2018 | 12 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 1510 KGA AM (Steve Myklebust)
Las Vegas | Orleans Arena (7,400) | BYUTV (Spencer Linton & Kristen Kozlowski) | Live Stats
The Last Meeting
January 27, 2018
FIRST HALF FUEL:
- Gonzaga built a big first-half lead and defeated Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference Tournament Quarterfinals on Friday at the Orleans Arena, 81-70.
- GU led 53-24 at half, their second highest point total in a half this season, as they scored 60 in the first half at Pacific.
- Jill Barta led Gonzaga with 24 points on seven-of-10 shooting, and Jessie Loera added 13, two short of her career high. Zykera Rice scored eight along with Emma Stach. GU shot 53 percent on the game, going nine-of-20 from three.
- The Zags’ nine threes were the most this season and tied the most they have made in WCC Tournament history.
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the West Coast Conference Tournament number one seed and regular-season champion.
- The Zags have been the number one seed 12 times since the tournament began in 1994, including nine-straight times from 2007-2015. Santa Clara has been the number one seed five times, the next highest total.
- The Zags are 24-4 all-time as the number one seed, winning the tournament championship seven times (2007, 2009-11, 2013-14, 2017).
- The Zags have reached the championship as a number one seed 10 times, and have never won the championship as anything but a number one seed.
- The Zags overall all-time tournament record is 26-17 and have won six of the nine titles in Las Vegas.
THE WHOLE PIE:
- The Zags have now won 13 of the last 14 WCC Titles and this marked their 14th in program history. It tied the quickest GU has ever claimed the outright title as they did it with three games remaining in the regular season.
- In 2014-2015 and 2004-2005 the Zags clinched the WCC title outright with three games left in the season.
- The Zags set a new conference record with 17 conference wins this season.
- Before the expansion of the league with BYU and Pacific, Gonzaga went 14-0 in 2010-11, 2009-10, and 2004-05.
- BYU also went 16-2 in 2015-16, tying the Zags for the conference record at the time.
ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAMS:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs had three players selected to the 2018 All-West Coast Conference Team. Jill Barta was named the Player of the Year, the first Zag to be honored since Taelor Karr in 2013, along with being a first team selection.
- Lisa Fortier was selected as the WCC Coach of the Year, the first coach in conference history to be selected coach of the year three times in their first four seasons.
- Juniors Chandler Smith and Zykera Rice were both selected to the second team, first time honors for both. Jenn Wirth was tabbed to the five-person All-Freshman Team.
- Barta was selected to the first team for the third time. She joins Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot as the only Zags to do that in program history.
- The Zags lead the all-time series 41-26 and are 3-2 all-time against USF in the WCC Tournament, and 2-0 in Las Vegas.
- GU met USF in the semifinals last season as well. GU finished with five players in double-digit scoring led by Kiara Kudron’s 15 points. 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 as GU won 77-46.
- GU won 81-68 in the quarterfinals in 2014. The Zags had five players in double figures in that game.
- The teams met in the semifinals in 2007, where Gonzaga won 59-38 in Portland. Jami Bjorklund finished with a game-high 20 points, along with four rebounds and two assists.
- Gonzaga swept both games this year, winning 74-47 at home. Jessie Loera led the Zags with a career-high 15 points on six-of-eight shooting in that one. At USF, GU won 81-57, as Jill Barta led Gonzaga with 24 points, her seventh 20+ point game of the year, and nine rebounds. Zykera Rice joined her in double figures with 14
- Dating back to 2003, Gonzaga has won 31 of the last 36 games.
SCOUTING THE DONS:
- The Dons tied a WCC Championships record, knocking down 14 3-point field goals in their 89-76 win over LMU in the quarterfinals.
- Anna Seilund was named to the 2017-18 All-WCC First Team. She leads the team averaging 15.3 points per game.
- Michaela Rakova and guard Kalyn Simon were named to All-WCC Second Team and recognized as honorable mention, respectively. Rakova averages 13.1 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. Simon scores 10.6 points per game.
- The Zags have won 25 games for the 11th time in program history and 10th time in 11 years.
- They won their 25th game with the sixth-lowest amount of losses in the 11 times
- The Zags completed 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 had never played five games against those opponents in a single month. GU went 5-1 against those teams for the fourth time.
- 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.
ROLLING INTO THE FOURTH:
- The Bulldogs have an average lead of 11.9 points when entering the fourth quarter.
- The Zags have won every game they entered the fourth quarter with a lead in.
- Jill Barta is currently third all-time in free throws made at 424, 31 behind Courtney Vandersloot for second. Barta is also eighth all-time in career points at 1548, 35 behind Kayla Standish for seventh.
- Laura Stockton is currently seventh all-time in career assists at 320, 35 behind Robin Allen for sixth.
- Emma Stach sits eighth all-time in made threes at 131, four behind Tiffanie Shives for seventh.
- All five Zag starters have scored and grabbed a rebound in the last 23 games.
- The Zags are second in the WCC in points per game, 72.4, and first in points per game allowed, 58.5. They are the only WCC team in the top-three in both categories.
- GU has not let a late lead slip. They are 25-0 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 24-1 when shooting better than their opponent.
- Rebounding is just as important, as Gonzaga is 18-1 when leading on the glass.
- GU has 16 wins when holding their opponent under 59 points.
NCAA TEAM OF THE WEEK:
- Gonzaga earned National NCAA.com Team of the Week honors on January 22.
- The conference-opener win at Pacific marked the 300th WCC win for GU in program history, the first WCC school to achieve that feat. Saint Mary’s was second with 273.
- Chandler Smith led the Zags in rebounds, assists, and steals twice, rebounds, steals, and blocks twice, points, rebounds, and steals once, and points, rebounds, and blocks once.
- Jill Barta has led GU in three categories a couple times this season. She led them in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks three times, and points, rebounds, and blocks five times. She led in points, rebounds, and steals twice. At USD she led in points, assists, and blocks. Against USD she led in rebounds, assists, and blocks.
- Laura Stockton has led in rebounds, assists, and steals once.
CHERYL MILLER FINALIST:
- Jill Barta was named one of 10 national finalists for the 2018 Cheryl Miller Award.
- The annual award in its inaugural year recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
- Barta was the only player from the West region selected.
13, NOW 14 IS A LUCKY NUMBER:
- Gonzaga has amassed a conference record of 191-27 (.876) during the last 14 years, which includes 13 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 186-26 (.877)
- Gonzaga has won 54 of the last 59 home games versus WCC opponents the last 14 years.
- Jill Barta has recorded 12 double-doubles this season, leading the team.
- 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.
- Barta’s has 19 double-doubles in her career. Smith has three double-doubles this year.
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 11 votes.
- They are currently 36th in RPI, with that being their best ranking.
ICE, ICE, GAME, BABY:
- Gonzaga has been impressive sealing games from the line this year. The Zags have not relinquished a lead after halftime this season, and are shooting 81.3 percent from the foul line in the last two minutes.
- A couple Zags, Jenn Wirth, Jill Barta, Katie Campbell, and Chandler Smith have not missed a free throw under two minutes this year.
- Against Santa Clara, Zykera Rice and Jill Barta both shot 70 percent from the field taking 10 shots each (7-10). Barta did it again against Pepperdine in the WCC Quarterfinals.
- The first time since two players did it since, Sunny Greinacher went 9-for-11 and Lindsay Sherbert went 7-for-10 against UC Riverside at home in 2013.
- The Zags were 11-1 on the road this season and are currently riding an 11-game winning streak.
- That is the fourth-longest active streak in the country.
- That streak is the longest road winning streak under head coach Lisa Fortier.
- GU averaged 71.5 points per game on the road while only giving up 59, winning by an average of 12.5 points per game.
- GU is shooting 43.8 percent in other teams’ gyms, and has a +4.2 rebounding margin. The Zags have been great forcing turnovers on the road, with a +1.9 margin in that category, leading to 9.4 steals per game, over two more than their opponent.
- Jill Bara (17.3), Chandler Smith (10.8), and Zykera Rice (10.7) are all averaging double figures on the road.
- They have not let games remain close, entering the fourth quarter up by an average of 12.27 points.
- They have outscored their opponents by 70+ points in the second and third quarters.