Zags Set To Open WCC Play With Pair Of Road Games
Dec. 27, 2017


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Gonzaga (7-4) at Pacific (6-5)
Dec. 28, 2017 | 7 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 94.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Stockton, Calif. | Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150) | Live Stats

The Last Meeting
Pacific59
Gonzaga91
March 3, 2017
Las Vegas, Nev. (Quarterfinals)
Gonzaga Women Roll into WCC Semifinals
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Gonzaga women's basketball team eased to a 91-59 victory over Pacific in the West Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals inside the Orleans Arena Friday.

WRAPPING UP THE NON-CONFERENCE:
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs picked up a signature and impressive win last Thursday night, 80-65, over Western Illinois, who had defeated No. 18 Stanford on the road on Monday night prior.
- Jill 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.
- The Zags attacked the WIU 1-3-1 zone with precision passing and great mid-range shooting, and dominated the rebounds, 61-42, and 29-13 on the offensive glass for 26 second-chance points. Rice led that charge with eight offensive boards and Smith added six.

CONFERENCE OPENER LOOKBACK:
- The Zags are 17-13 all-time in their conference openers, but 12-2 since 2003.
- GU fell on the road in their opener to Pepperdine last season, 69-79, and at Saint Mary's, 78-79, in overtime in 2013-14. Prior to that GU won 10-straight from 2003-2013.
- In that 10-game run, GU averaged 76.7 points per game and allowed 54.3 points per contest. Only one team, Portland in 2011-12, scored more than 60 points in that stretch.
- The Zags are 5-10 all-time in road openers, but 4-2 in their last six. Since 2003, GU has averaged 76.14 points in those contests while only allowing 58.57 points per game, and they scored 80 or more three times.
- The Zags are opening conference play on the road for the third consecutive season and are opening with Pacific for the first time in program history. Over the last five seasons, GU is outscoring their opponent 75-69 in conference openers.

SERIES HISTORY:
- The Tigers have had more success than most against GU since joining the league in 2013-14, as GU leads the all-time series 7-5. Pacific won two of those games prior to them joining the league, in 1999 and 2001.
- The Zags started the WCC series by winning the first three, but since the series is all square at 3-3.
- Last season, Pacific won in Spokane, 65-63, on New Year's Eve, but GU got their revenge, twice, winning 74-58 in Stockton and 91-59, the largest spread in the series history, in the first round of the WCC Tournament in March.
- In Stockton last year, Elle Tinkle (14), Jill Barta (13), and Kiara Kudron (12) joined Emma Wolfram in double-figure scoring, who had her first double-double of the season and second in her career with a season-high 13 points and career-high 14 rebounds. Then in Vegas, Barta led all scorers with 23 points, making 9-of-11 from the field. Wolfram and Zykera Rice both finished with 11 points, while Tinkle added 10. Kudron grabbed 11 boards. Laura Stockton dished out five of GU's 19 assists.
- The Zags are 3-2 all-time in Stockton and Barta had the breakout game of her freshman season as she scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Zags in 2016.
- The series began with a 65-64 Gonzaga win in Tempe, Ariz. as part of the Wells Fargo Classic on the campus of Arizona State University in 1998. GU leads 5-3 in WCC regular-season meetings.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS:
- At the Alex G. Spanos Center, the Tigers are averaging 83.5 points per game and shooting 47 percent from the field. Pacific is also averaging 40 rebounds, 18 assists, and eight steals per game when hosting opponents.
- The Tigers are 6-5 on the season and 5-3 at home, playing eight of their 11 non-conference games at home.
- Four of the five Pacific starters are averaging double figures this season (Anaya Brooklyn McDavid - 10.5, Ameela Li - 11.5, Desire Finnie - 13.5, GeAnna Luaulu-Summers - 16.1).
- Luaulu-Summers scored her 1,000th career point in the win against Seattle U and finished with 14 points. Luaulu Summers became just the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 points. She completed the third triple-double in program history against Cal dropping a team leading 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. This was her second career triple-double as the senior holds two of the three in program history.
- The Tigers outscore their opponents 245-196 in the fourth quarter this year.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TRIPLE:
- Against Western Illinois, Jill 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 has recorded double-doubles in five of her 10 games this season, leading the team. For Smith and Rice, it was their second double-doubles this season.
- Barta's five rank first in the West Coast Conference and 34th in the nation.

RIDE THE WAVE:
- After beating WIU, the Zags have won the last non-conference game leading into the conference season the last five seasons.
- The last two games, GU has won by an average of 19 points per game while scoring 88.5 points per game shooting 47 percent from the field.
- The Zags are +27 on the boards and averaging two more assists per game than their opponent, while averaging four blocks per game to one.
- Zykera Rice is averaging a double-double at 18.5 ppg and 11 rpg.
- Rice, along with Jill Barta (15), Chandler Smith (11), and Jessie Loera (10.5) are all averaging double figures in points.

BARTA WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN:
- The West Coast Conference has named Jill Barta its Women's Basketball Player of the Week for December 25, 2017.
- Standout forward Barta scored 21 points to go with 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double in 10 games this season.
- She was 8-of-18 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line as Gonzaga defeated Western Illinois, 80-65, days after the Leathernecks defeated No. 18 Stanford on the road. Barta added four steals, three assists, and a block in the Bulldog's lone game this week.
- The WCC weekly honor is the second of the season for Barta, the 2017 West Coast Conference Championship Most Outstanding Player, the only WCC player to earn the award twice this season. She earned the award twice last season and GU has won three of the seven awards handed out this season, as Zykera Rice took the other.

FRESH FACES:
- The Zags knew they would need to utilize their heralded recruiting class this season, but early injures have placed a bigger onus on the production of that class.
- Currently, three new Zags, Jenn Wirth, Jill Townsend, and LeeAnne Wirth are averaging over 10 minutes per game and accounting for 17 percent of the points and 22 percent of the rebounds.
- As a group they are shooting 47.6 percent from the field.


 

 

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