(13) Zags open up NCAA Tournament against (4) Stanford - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

(13) Zags open up NCAA Tournament against (4) Stanford

Photo: Gonzaga Athletics Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

By Gonzaga Athletics

#13 Gonzaga (27-5) at #4 Stanford (22-10) NCAA First Round
Mar. 17, 2018 | 3 pm PST | Watch ESPN | 1510 KGA AM (Steve Myklebust)
Stanford, Calif. | Maples Pavilion (7,233) | ESPN2 (Elise Woodward & Dan Hughes) | Tickets

The Last Meeting
Gonzaga 68
Stanford 63
November 18, 2016
Stanford, Calif.
Zags Get First Win Over No. 11/7 Stanford In Thriller In Maples Pavilion
STANFORD, Calif. - The Gonzaga Bulldogs got their first program win over Stanford and the Cardinal lost for only the eighth time at home since 2007, as GU defeated Stanford 68-63 inside Maples Pavilion on Friday night.
 

WCC CHAMPIONS:
- The Zags won their second straight West Coast Conference tournament title, defeating sixth-seeded San Diego, 79-71.
- They were led by Jill Barta’s 32 points. She was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for the second-straight year.
- Zykera Rice, who was named All-Tournament Team, added 17 points and Emma Stach had 14 points and joined her on the All-Tournament Team. Laura Stockton dished out eight assists.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR ZAGS PRIOR TO GAME: 
- Gonzaga’s news conference will be Friday, March 16, from 3:50 pm – 4:20 pm in Maples Pavilion.
- The first 15 minutes of Gonzaga’s practice on Friday will be open to the media. Practice begins at 4:30 pm. Mini-cameras are allowed at this time from the baseline, behind the media table, and from the public seating area.

TOURNAMENT FACTS:
- Gonzaga was selected for its ninth NCAA Tournament in 10 years and 10th overall.
- The Bulldogs are 10-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, with four trips to the Sweet 16 and one to the Elite Eight.
- This marks the eighth time the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament via winning the WCC Tournament and the second-straight year, the third time they have won back-to-back titles.
- The Zags’ first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007 was at Stanford, a 46-85 loss to fifth-seeded Middle Tennessee State, the only NCAA Tournament game GU has ever played at Stanford.
- GU has never been a 13-seed before, but were a 12 when they played at Stanford in 2007.
- The Zags are 5-4 all-time in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
- The Zags last played a four-seed in 2009, falling to Pittsburgh 65-60 as a 12-seed in the second round in Seattle. That is the only time GU has ever faced a four seed.
- 11th-seeded Gonzaga battled but fell 62-75 to sixth-seeded Oklahoma in the First Round in Seattle last season. Laura Stockton led Gonzaga with 14 points and Jill Barta added 13 in the game.
- Gonzaga is 36-31 (.537) in the postseason since joining the NCAA.

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.

WCC TOURNAMENT:
- The Zags won their eighth West Coast Conference Tournament Championship, March 2-6 in Las Vegas, beating San Diego 79-71 in the title game. The Zags have won two-straight and seven of the 10 that have been played in Las Vegas.
- Zykera Rice went seven-for-seven from the field in the WCC Championship game, setting a new school record in the tournament.
- The Zags also tied their tournament record with nine threes in the quarterfinal game against Pepperdine, also their season high.
- GU set their tournament record going 16-for-16 from the line against San Diego in the championship.
- Jill Barta was named the WCC Tournament Most Outstanding Player for the second consecutive season, and is first all-time in school history averaging 20.9 points per game in her seven WCC Tournament games. In this year’s championship, she added to her school record with her seventh 30+ point game, scoring 32.
- The Gonzaga Bulldogs were the West Coast Conference Tournament number one seed.
- The Zags appeared in the WCC Championship Game for the 14th time and 12th time as the top seed.
- The Zags are 26-4 all-time as the number one seed, winning the tournament championship eight times (2007, 2009-11, 2013-14, 2017-18).
- The Zags have reached the championship as a number one seed 12 times, and have never won the championship as anything but a top seed.
- In the 2018 tournament, Gonzaga averaged 75 points per game while holding their opponent to 64.7

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.

NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE:
- The Zags are 2-2 all-time under head coach Lisa Fortier in the NCAA Tournament, which included their Sweet Sixteen run in 2015.
- Last season was the first NCAA Tournament experience for Laura Stockton, Zykera Rice, Jill Barta, and Jessie Loera. In the loss to Oklahoma, Stockton led with 14 points, Barta scored 13, and Rice had two. Stockton added four assists and three steals, and Barta grabbed five rebounds with a block and two steals.
- As a freshman, senior Emma Stach scored three points against George Washington and four points against Oregon State in 2015, both wins. She scored seven to go with four rebounds last season. She has averaged 3.5 points per game in her four appearances.
- Redshirt junior Chandler Smith scored four points for Nebraska as a freshman against Syracuse in the NCAA First Round in 2015 and had one point and one rebound last year.

SERIES HISTORY:
- The Zags are 1-7 all-time against Stanford since the series began in 2009, but riding a one-game winning streak in the series.
- In the fall of 2016, Gonzaga won 68-63 at Maples Pavilion, the last meeting between the schools. At the time the Cardinal lost for only the eighth time at home since 2007. The Cardinal crept back with free throws and trailed 64-63 with 27 seconds left, but Elle Tinkle made a huge block on Brittany McPhee to gain control. Jill Barta led the Zags with 26 points, going eight-of-10 from the field, and Elle Tinkle scored 18, had five rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and three steals. Laura Stockton added 12 points in 38 minutes of action.
- GU was right in the game in 2015 in Spokane. In front of a sellout crowd in the McCarthey Athletic Center, No. 14 Stanford pulled away from the upset-minded Zags. Trailing 47-46 with 6:23 left in regulation, the Cardinal scored 19 of the game’s final 20 points. Gonzaga missed its final 12 shots from the field over the last seven minutes. Jill Barta led Gonzaga with 11 points and Elle Tinkle had 10.
- In the 2010 battle in Spokane, Jeanette Pohlen’s timely shooting lifted Stanford past spirited Gonzaga. Pohlen hit consecutive three-pointers to break a late tie and help the No. 3 Cardinal to an 84-78 win over the Bulldogs. The Zags’ Courtney Vandersloot led all players with 24 points. The game, featuring the highest ranked women’s team to visit Gonzaga, and the sold out the 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Zags have met Stanford just once prior in the NCAA Tournament, and it was memorable, as GU lost to No. 2 Stanford 83-60 in the 2011 Elite Eight in the Spokane Arena.
- With a trip to the Final Four on the line, as Courtney Vandersloot finished with 25 points and nine assists in the game. Kayla Standish added 17 points for Gonzaga, while Katelan Redmon scored 13. Stanford headed back to its fourth-straight Final Four.

SCOUTING THE CARDINAL:
- No. 6 Oregon won its first Pac-12 Conference tournament title beating No. 16 Stanford 77-57.
- Brittany McPhee leads Stanford scoring 17 points per game. Alanna Smith adds 13.1 and Kiana Williams scores 10.1 per game.
- Smith also leads on the glass at seven boards per game. McPhee and Smith were All-Pac 12. Williams was All-Freshman. Kaylee Johnson and Marta Sniezek received Pac-12 All-Defensive honorable mention accolades.
- Stanford went 6-6 in the non-conference but picked it up going 14-3 in conference and advancing to the Pac-12 Tournament Championship.

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 11.72 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 436, 19 behind Courtney Vandersloot for second. Barta is seventh all-time in career points at 1599, 32 behind Ashley Burke for sixth.
- Laura Stockton is currently seventh all-time in career assists at 331, 24 behind Robin Allen for sixth.
- Emma Stach sits sixth all-time in made threes at 139, seven behind Courtney Vandersloot for fifth.

WINNING FORMULA:
- The Zags are second in the WCC in points per game, 72.4, and second in points per game allowed, 58.8. They are the only WCC team in the top-three in both categories.
- GU has not let a late lead slip. They are 27-0 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 26-1 when shooting better than their opponent.
- Rebounding is just as important, as Gonzaga is 20-1 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 three times. 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 AWARD 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 eight WCC Tournament titles.
- Gonzaga has appeared in post-season play for 14 of the last 15 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 16 votes, the highest among teams not ranked.
- They are currently 34th in RPI, with that being their best ranking this season.

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 82.9 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. Barta is 14-for-14 and was six-for-six in the WCC Championship Game.

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.

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. Gonzaga welcomed an average of 5,618 patrons per game last season to the 6,000-seat McCarthey Athletic Center.
- This season the Zags are filling the arena at 92.68 percent, third in the nation. They sit 12th in average attendance at 5,561 per game, the highest number of any team in the West.
- The leaders in percentage capacity, UCONN and Louisiana, play occasionally in arenas bigger than what they consider their home arena, skewing their percentage higher.
- Gonzaga had a sellout (6,000) against Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s.

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