Zags Ride Three-Game Streak Into Santa Clara
Dec. 29, 2017


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Gonzaga (8-4, 1-0 WCC) at Santa Clara (4-8, 0-1 WCC)
Dec. 30, 2017 | 2 p.m. PT | theW.tv | 94.1 KJRB FM (Steve Myklebust)
Santa Clara, Calif. | Leavey Center (4,700) | Live Stats

The Last Meeting
Gonzaga50
Santa Clara49
February 4, 2017
Santa Clara, Calif.
Barta Sinks Two Late As Zags Beat SCU 50-49
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Gonzaga Bulldogs let a lead slip away late, but Jill Barta made two foul shots with two seconds left as Gonzaga got out of Santa Clara with a 50-49 win on Saturday afternoon.

CONFERENCE OPENER IN BOOKS:
- GU started 0-for-their-first-seven shots, but they went 25-for-their-next 29 in the first half as they defeated Pacific 99-72 in their conference opener in Stockton on Thursday night.
- Five players scored in double-figures in the game, led by Jill Barta with 15 points, and Jenn Wirth added 14, Emma Stach scored 12, Zykera Rice scored 11, and Jill Townsend added 10, the second time that has happened in three games.
- GU scored 60 first half points, the most since they scored 63 against Southern Utah on January 3, 2011 in Spokane.

RECORD NIGHT, AGAIN:
- At Pacific, the Zags had another night where multiple player highs and team highs were set. The 99 points was the most the Zags have scored this year and the most points GU has scored in a West Coast Conference game under coach Fortier, along with being the highest point total since they put up 102 against UC Irvine last year at home.
- Jenn Wirth scored a career-high 14 points and LeeAnne Wirth had a career-high eight points. Emma Stach, back from a concussion and illness, scored a season-high 12 points.
- Chandler Smith, one mark short of a triple-double for the second time this season with nine points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, set a career-high in assists, which is also the most under coach Fortier.
- GU’s 25 assists tied the high mark under coach Fortier. The Zags scored 40 second-quarter points, the most in a quarter since the quarter system was adopted three years ago. GU, who made 37 field goals, made 30 or more for the second time in three games.
- Gonzaga’s five players in double-figures marked the second time that has happened in three games and they had two players with double-doubles for the second-straight game.
- The win marked the 300th WCC win for GU in program history, the first WCC school to achieve that feat.  Saint Mary's is second with 272.

SERIES HISTORY:
- The Zags are 36-29 all-time against Santa Clara and 14-19 on the road. Since 2003 however, GU is 11-3 at Santa Clara, including nine-straight from 2007-2015.
- The Broncos won the last two games against the Zags in 2016, but GU took both ends of the season series last year. Both games were low scoring affairs, as GU won 51-39 at home and 50-49 on the road. In Spokane on January 19, the 39 points allowed tied the lowest allowed in a West Coast Conference game under head coach Lisa Fortier. The Broncos did not score more than 10 points in the final three quarters. Jill Barta scored 11-straight points in the third quarter and finished with 17 on the night with four steals. Elle Tinkle added 13 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. In Santa Clara on February 4, GU let a lead slip away late, but Jill Barta made two foul shots with two seconds left for the win. The Zags led by 13 at halftime, but went cold in the second half only scoring 13 points. Barta had 13 points and seven rebounds. Emma Wolfram matched her seven rebounds and Chandler Smith was a spark off the bench with four threes for 12 points.
- Overall since 2007, Gonzaga has won 22 of the 24 meetings, and scored 80 or more points 11 times. GU won 20-straight games against the Broncos from 2007 to 2016.
- Santa Clara had their success in the series in the 90s and early 2000s, winning 28 of the 31 games from 1990 to 2003. The Zags started the series well in the 80s, winning the first five meetings beginning in 1988.

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS:
- Santa Clara went 4-7 in the non-conference and opened WCC play with a 55-56 loss at Pepperdine.
- Ashlyn Herlihy is the only Bronco averaging double-figures at 10.3 ppg and Morgan McGwire leads at 8.6 rpg.
- Santa Clara’s 57.1 points per game allowed is tops in the WCC.
- On Dec. 14, the Broncos held San Diego State to just 34 points, less than half of the Aztecs average on the season.
- Against Illinois-Chicago (Nov. 26), the Broncos held the Flames to just 36 points. In that game Santa Clara forced 21 UIC turnovers and picked up eight steals.
- SCU added a quartet of transfers to its roster. Erica Meyer, Joeseta Fatuesi, and Lauren Yearwood will all have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA rules while Charise Holloway is eligible.
- Santa Clara will be without Emily Wolph after an injury. Wolph was All-WCC honorable mention last season after leading the WCC in 3-pointers made and the Broncos with 12.8 ppg and 3.7 apg.

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. GU backed that up with Barta (15 pts, 10 rbs) and Smith (10 rbs, 10 ast) both achieving the feat at Pacific.
- Barta has recorded double-doubles in six of her 11 games this season, leading the team. For Smith it was her third one this season.
- Barta’s six rank first in the West Coast Conference and 27th in the nation.

RIDE THE WAVE:
- The last three games, GU has won by an average of 21.7 points per game while scoring 92 points per game shooting 49.3 percent from the field.
- The Zags are +22 on the boards and averaging five more assists per game than their opponent, while averaging four blocks per game to two.
- Zykera Rice (16), Jill Barta (15), Emma Stach (12), Jenn Wirth (10), Chandler Smith (10), and Jessie Loera (10) are all averaging double figures in points.

DECEMBERISTS:
- 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 97-46 in the month of December since 2000 and 54-19 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. They can go 6-1 with a win at Santa Clara on Saturday.

FRESH FACES:
- Currently, three new Zags, Jenn Wirth, Jill Townsend, and LeeAnne Wirth are averaging over 10 minutes per game and as a group they are shooting 49.2 percent from the field, scoring 15 points per game and grabbing 10 boards per game.

MULTI-TOOL:
- The Zags take pride in developing players who can do multiple things, and that has been on display this season.
- Chandler Smith led the Zags in rebounds, assists, and steals against Portland State, rebounds, steals, and blocks at Washington State, and points, rebounds, and steals against UNLV.
- 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. Against Pacific she led in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks.


 

 

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