Nov. 17, 2017
The Last Meeting
December 11, 2011
Gonzaga (0-1) at Montana (0-2)
Nov. 18, 2017 | 6 p.m. PT | Big Sky Network | 101.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Missoula, Mont. | Dahlberg Arena (7,200) | Pluto TV | Live Stats
- GU opened their season falling 65-49 at Colorado State on Monday night in Fort Collins, Colo.
- The Bulldogs raced to a 20-11 lead after one quarter, shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, but shot 22 percent for the remainder of the game, not making another three.
- Jill Barta led the Zags with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Zykera Rice added 10 points, and blocked two shots along with Barta. Chandler Smith added nine points and Laura Stockton had three assists and five boards.
BOUNCE RIGHT BACK:
- The Zags have dropped 14 regular-season openers in their history, but came back with a win in the next game 10 times.
- The Zags have won the next game after their last six regular-season opening losses, dating back to 2001.
- GU dropped their openers in 2009 and 2010, but defeated Idaho and Whitman in their next game. The game against Idaho in 2009 was also on the road, and GU won 80-57.
- In those six wins since 2001, GU has averaged 78 points per game while allowing 54 points per game.
BACK TO MISSOULA:
- The series against Montana has been dormant since 2011, and Gonzaga has not traveled to Missoula since 2010.
- Gonzaga enters Saturday’s game riding a five-game win streak in the series.
- Montana holds the all-time edge, 17-12, but won 14 of those games prior to 2001.
- The games have been historically close, with Montana winning by an average of 66-61 in the series history, but GU winning by an average of 69-60 since 1999.
- The Bulldogs have won two-straight in Missoula, a 69-63 win in 2008, and an 80-62 win in 2010. In 2008, GU broke UM’s 21-game home winning streak. Courtney Vandersloot paced the Zags, scoring a game-high 22 points, along with dishing out eight assists and grabbing five rebounds in a full 40 minutes of action. In 2010, Vandersloot scored a game-high 27 points, her ninth double-figure point contest of the season to that point.
- In this five-game win streak, GU has averaged 82 points while allowing 56.
- GU has scored 80 or more points on three separate occasions over that stretch.
- Montana has won two games in Missoula since 2001, a 73-68 win in 2002 and an 88-78 win in 2006.
- The Griz opened their season losing 67-62 at Wyoming on the road. They followed with a 54-71 loss to Kentucky at home on Thursday. Against Wyoming, Sierra Anderson and Madi Schoening both scored a team-high 14 points, McKenzie Johnston and Schoening had 12 and 11 against Kentucky, with Jace Henderson adding 11.
- Henderson leads averaging eight rebounds per game and the team is shooting 34 percent.
- Prior to the season, Spokane-native Kayleigh Valley reinjured the same knee that ended her season before it began last year. Valley had one of the best individual seasons in program and Big Sky Conference history as a junior in 2015-16. She was voted unanimous First-Team All-Big Sky after leading the league in scoring at 21.9 points per game. She was voted Big Sky Preseason Player of the Year prior to this year and last.
- The Griz were picked to finish third in the Big Sky, and had no players chosen to the five-person all-conference team after Valley’s injury.
- Alycia (Sims) Harris, a fifth-year senior 6-foot-2 forward, also chose to not play this season because of reoccurring issues with a knee injury.
TURN THE DIAL:
- The game against Montana will be broadcast on the radio on 101.1 KJRB FM. This change is for this game only.
- Gonzaga Preseason All-WCC selection Jill Barta, a native from Fairfield, Mont., will play her first game in her home state since walking off the court as a four-time State B Champion in 2014.
- Barta’s high school career is the stuff of legends in Big Sky Country, as she went 104-0 leading the Fairfield Eagles, the longest winningest streak in Montana High School history.
- She finished her high school career with 39 20-point games and was the Gatorade Montana Girls Basketball Player of the Year her senior year.
- This summer, MontanaSports.com picked Barta as the 10th best player in the history of Montana women’s high school basketball.
- Former Zag and all-time wins leader Elle Tinkle played her high school basketball in Missoula at Big Sky High School, winning a AA State Championship.
- Gonzaga women’s basketball head coach Lisa Fortier announced the signing of two new Zags to National Letters of Intent for the 2018-19 season.
- Kylee Griffen from Marysville, Wash. and Lake Stevens High School is an agile six-foot-two guard with tons of versatility.
- ESPN ranks her 87th overall in her class and the 11th best wing player in the nation.
- She is a three-time First Team All-WESCO selection.
- Melody Kempton from Post Falls, Idaho and Post Falls High School is a six-foot-one forward that is quick around the basket and in the paint.
- ESPN ranks her 96th overall in her class and the 20th best forward in the country.
- She was voted the 5A Inland Empire League Player of the Year for the third consecutive season after averaging 15 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game her junior season.
- She was one of five members of the 5A All-Idaho Team and named the North Idaho Female Athlete of the Year, along with the North Idaho Female Basketball Player of the Year.
- Kempton was selected First Team All-State as well.
CHERYL MILLER AWARD WATCH LIST:
- Jill Barta has been named one of 20 national candidates 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 and UCLA forward Kennedy Burke are the only players from the West region selected.
PACKED IN MCCARTHEY:
- The Zags led the nation last season in the percentage of building capacity being filled at 93.63 percent in attendance per game.
- 5,435 fans rolled through the turnstiles for GU’s exhibition game, a 429-person increase from last year’s exhibition game.
- Gonzaga welcomed an average of 5,618 patrons per game last season to the 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center.
- They were 12th in the nation in overall average attendance. Those 5,618 fans were the most in the West, with New Mexico being the closest at No. 16 with 4,719 fans per game.
- 84,266 fans passed through the gates last season, 12th in the nation and the most in the West.
13 IS A LUCKY NUMBER:
- Gonzaga has amassed a conference record of 176-26 (.871) during the last 13 years, which includes 12 West Coast Conference regular-season titles and seven WCC Tournament championships.
- 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 174-24 (.879)
- Gonzaga has won 46 of the last 50 home games versus WCC opponents the last 13 years.
- Six teams that participated in last season’s NCAA Women’s Tournament will be among the eight-team field for the second-annual Play4Kay Showcase, Nov. 23-25, 2017.
- The event supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, an organization that funds women’s cancer research.
- The Bulldogs will cap the first night of play by facing Belmont at 8 pm on November 23.
- FloHoops will offer live and on-demand coverage of the tournament. The games will stream online exclusively at www.FloHoops.com.
ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL:
- The Zags are receiving four votes in the Associated Press Poll released November 13.
- GU is the only non-power five conference program ranked or receiving votes in the West.
USA TODAY POLL:
- The Zags are receiving 18 votes in the Preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll released October 26.
- GU is the highest ranked non-power five conference school in the West.
COLLEGE INSIDER MID-MAJOR POLL:
- The Zags are ranked second trailing only Green Bay in the College Insiders Mid-Major Preseason Poll released November 13.
- GU received 717 points and a nine-place votes.