Dec. 7, 2017
Gonzaga (5-3) vs. UNLV (4-3)
Dec. 9, 2017 | 2 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 94.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Spokane, Wash. | McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) | SWX (Greg Heister & Stephanie Hawk-Freeman) | Live Stats
COUGS IN PULLMAN:
- The Zags won an absolute battle of attrition on Wednesday night in Pullman, 64-56, over Washington State, in front of the loud Zag fan base down from Spokane.
- Zykera Rice took over late with 19 points, 13 in the second half, seven rebounds, and big play after big play as GU took control in the fourth quarter.
- Jill Barta scored 15 and Jessie Loera added nine points as she continued her great play. Chandler Smith scored eight points and had a career-high 11 rebounds to lead the team.
- The Zags fought off 26 turnovers, in a game where WSU turned it over 17 times and there were 48 total fouls, by shooting 46 percent from the field and they were six-of-nine from three. WSU did most of their damage with 28 offensive boards, but GU held them to 28 percent shooting.
- The Zags take pride in developing players who can do multiple things, and that has been on display this season.
- Most recently, Chandler Smith led the Zags in rebounds, assists, and steals against Portland State and rebounds, steals, and blocks at Washington State.
- 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, and points, rebounds, and blocks at Montana and against Belmont.
ZAGS VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST:
- The Bulldogs and Lady Rebels have never met in program history.
- The Zags do not have a deep history against the Mountain West since 2000, but are 13-4 in those contests.
- The Bulldogs are 10-0 at home over MWC in that stretch, averaging 74.1 points per game while only allowing 51.
- Most recently at home, the Zags defeated Wyoming 61-57 and Air Force 88-35 in 2015. GU lost at Colorado State earlier this season, but the last MWC loss before that was to San Jose State, 61-69, in 2005.
- The Zags have recorded six double-doubles in their first eight games. Jill Barta had the first four of them, getting three in her first three contests. Zykera Rice and Chandler Smith both had double-doubles against Portland State, with Smith coming two assists short of a triple double.
- It took the Zags 10 games to get their sixth double-double last season, as this year is the fastest pace since two seasons ago when they also had six in their first eight games.
- The Zags will play seven games in the month of December this season, the same amount they played last season as they posted a 5-2 record.
- GU will be at home four times this month, one less than last year when they went 4-1 at home in December.
- Gonzaga is 93-45 in the month of December since 2000 and 52-18 at home.
- The Zags best run in December came in 2004 when they went 7-1 in the month. They have gone undefeated at home in December six times with the best record being 5-0 in 2009.
- The Lady Rebels started the season 4-0 with all those games coming at home. Since then they have dropped three in a row, including both games at the ASU Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Most recently they lost Buffalo, 80-53.
- Brooke Johnson and Nikki Wheatley are in the starting backcourt for the third straight season. Johnson averages 14.9 points per game and Wheatley averages 13.1. Katie Powell leads the team at 15.7 points per game.
- Wheatley averages 9.6 rebounds per game and Powell averages 9.4.
- Brooke Johnson became the 24th Lady Rebel to score 1,000 career points at UNLV after posting 17 points against UC Irvine on Nov. 14, 2017. She is currently 22nd all-time in career scoring.
- Down by 21 with just 5:27 left in the game, 72-51, UNLV rallied to claim an 88-80 overtime victory over Portland State on Nov. 10 at the Cox Pavilion. The Zags defeated Portland State 91-52.
- The Lady Rebels were picked to finish fifth in this year’s MW preseason coaches poll with two first-place votes.
- Kathy Olivier came to UNLV after serving as head coach at UCLA for 15 years (from May 3, 1993, to March 11, 2008).
- The Zags defensive prowess so far this season has been borne out of their three-quarter court trap, most effective with Chandler Smith running the point.
- The Zags have forced 143 turnovers for 81 steals and turned them into 162 points or 20.2 per game.
- Smith leads the team with 21 steals and is 72nd in the country. Jill Barta has 12 and Jessie Loera has 10.
HOME WIN STREAK:
- After the win against Portland State, Gonzaga has now won 10-straight games at home, the longest such streak under coach Fortier.
- The streak dates back to a 61-46 win over San Francisco on January 5 of last season.
- The run eclipsed the previous record of nine under coach Fortier, set from December 20, 2014 to February 21, 2015.