Bulldogs And Toreros Set To Meet In WCC Title Game
March 5, 2018


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#1 Gonzaga (26-5) vs. #6 San Diego (17-14) WCC Championship
Mar. 6, 2018 | 1 p.m. PT | Watch ESPN | 1510 KGA AM (Steve Myklebust)
Las Vegas | Orleans Arena (7,400) | ESPNU (Bob Wischusen & Elise Woodward) | Live Stats

The Last Meeting
San Diego54
Gonzaga58
February 22, 2018
Spokane, Wash.
Bulldogs Pick Up Win Over USD As Game Tightens Late
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Laura Stockton hit a game-sealing three with 33 seconds left and the shot clock winding down, and Gonzaga defeated San Diego 58-54 inside the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday night.

GRITTY WIN:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs fought through a scrappy game to come out ahead, 65-53, over San Francisco in the WCC Semifinals.
- Jill Barta led all scorers with 19 points, going eight-of-13 from the field with 10 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the year. Zykera Rice grabbed 10 boards herself.
- Emma Stach was huge down the stretch, scoring 14 points, her season high, going four-of-seven from three. Chandler Smith added eight points, five rebounds, three steals, and five assists.

TOURNAMENT FACTS:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the West Coast Conference Tournament number one seed and regular-season champion.
- The Zags are appearing in the WCC Championship Game for the 13th time and 11th time as the top seed.
- 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 25-4 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 11 times, and have never won the championship as anything but a number one seed.
- The Zags overall all-time tournament record is 27-17 and have won six of the nine titles in Las Vegas.
- In the 2018 tournament, Gonzaga is averaging 72 points per game while USD scores 63.5 per game.
- The Zags are shooting 46 percent from the field, holding their opponent to 40.2 percent, while USD is at 40.5%/39.2% opp.

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.

RECORD SET:
- 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.

SERIES HISTORY:
- Gonzaga leads the all-time series 43-23 and are 2-1 all-time in WCC Tournament games with them all coming in the final, and 2-0 in Las Vegas. They last met in the 2013 title game, which GU won 62-50 behind Tournament MVP Haiden Palmer’s 18 points.
- GU won 66-55 in the 2009 championship game, the first one in Vegas. Tournament MVP Courtney Vandersloot had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The year prior, San Diego won 70-66 in the title game in San Diego.
- Gonzaga won 15-straight games overall from 2009-2015 and has taken the last four in the series.
- The Zags had a 63-44 win at San Diego on February 1. Jill Barta led all scorers with 13 points, and Chandler Smith added 12 points. In Spokane, GU won 58-54 as Laura Stockton hit a game-sealing three with 33 seconds left and Jill Barta had 11 points and 12 rebounds to lead GU.

SCOUTING THE TOREROS:
- USD took the 61-56, victory Thursday evening over BYU then beat Pacific 66-56 in the semifinals.
- Aubrey Ward-El was named All-WCC first team, Maya Hood was named to the second team and Myah Pace claimed All-Freshman Team recognition. Ward-El averages 14.4 points per game. Hood adds 11.8 per game and 7.5 rpg and Pace scores 5.4 per game.
- Maya Hood is in the top-10 all-time in nine major categories for the Toreros. She is already the all-time leader in offensive rebounds and total rebounds, and second in steals.

25 WINS:
- 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

BACK-LOADED SCHEDULE:
- 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 11.7 points when entering the fourth quarter.
- The Zags have won every game they entered the fourth quarter with a lead in.

CAREER ZAGS:
- Jill Barta is currently third all-time in free throws made at 426, 29 behind Courtney Vandersloot for second. Barta is also eighth all-time in career points at 1567, 16 behind Kayla Standish for seventh.
- Laura Stockton is currently seventh all-time in career assists at 323, 32 behind Robin Allen for sixth.
- Emma Stach sits seventh all-time in made threes at 135, three behind Reanna Jewell for sixth.

STARTING RIGHT:
- All five Zag starters have scored and grabbed a rebound in the last 24 games.

WINNING FORMULA:
- The Zags are second in the WCC in points per game, 72.2, and first in points per game allowed, 58.4. They are the only WCC team in the top-two in both categories.
- GU has not let a late lead slip. They are 26-0 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 25-1 when shooting better than their opponent.
- Rebounding is just as important, as Gonzaga is 19-1 when leading on the glass.
- GU has 17 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.

300:
- 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.

MULTI-TOOL:
- Chandler Smith led the Zags in rebounds, assists, and steals twice, rebounds, steals, and blocks twice, points, rebounds, and steals once, points, rebounds, and blocks once, and assists, steals, 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.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TRIPLE:
- Jill Barta has recorded 13 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 20 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 13 votes, the second highest among teams not ranked.
- 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.

EFFECTIVE:
- 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.

ROAD WARRIORS:
- 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.


 

 

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