(Editor’s note: Gonzaga media release)
SPOKANE – The Gonzaga women’s basketball team has completed its 2017-18 season schedule with the announcement of its 2017 non-conference schedule on Wednesday.
The Zags will play five regular-season and one exhibition game at home. The Bulldogs will travel to Colorado State, Montana, and to Pullman to battle Washington State. They will spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas for the three-game Play4Kay bracket-style Shootout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, featuring a field of some of the biggest names in women’s college basketball.
“We have put together another very challenging schedule this year,” Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said. “There are some new teams, two of which were conference champions last season and several who will compete for titles this season. The teams, one through eight, at the Play4Kay Shootout are the most competitive in a non-conference tournament in the country this year, and we are looking forward to being a part of it. We are going to test ourselves both on the road and here in Spokane, and I believe that is the best way to prepare for the grind of conference play.”
The season begins at home on Nov. 5 against Northwest Christian in exhibition action. The Zags then travel down to Fort Collins, Colo. on Nov. 13 to open the regular season against the Rams, who won the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship and a game in the WNIT last season. It will be the first all-time meeting between the schools.
GU will reignite the series with Montana, dormant since 2012, on Nov. 18 in Missoula. The Zags will enter having won five straight over the Lady Griz. The Zags will join a loaded field at the Play4Kay Shootout in Las Vegas, Nov. 23-25.
Before the end of the month, Gonzaga hosts Eastern Washington on Nov. 30. GU leads the series 31-13 and has won 13 straight against the Eagles. The Bulldogs host Portland State on Dec. 2. The teams last met in 2014, and GU leads the series 13-6. Four days later Gonzaga heads south to play Washington State. The Cougars won four games in the WNIT last season and GU defeated them inside the McCarthey Athletic Center in impressive fashion, 79-61.
On Dec. 9, UNLV comes to Spokane, the first meeting in program history, as the Rebels advanced to the WNIT last season. On Dec. 17, GU will host Saint Francis (PA), who they defeated at home in 2012. The Red Flash return one of the top scorers in the nation in junior Jessica Kovatch who was 11th in the NCAA last year at 21.1 points per game.
Gonzaga completes their non-conference slate on Dec. 21 at home against Western Illinois. It will also marks the first all-time meeting between the schools, as the Fighting Leathernecks won The Summit League last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Times, broadcast coverages, and the Play4Kay Shootout field will be released at a later date.
Gonzaga Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 5 — Northwest Christian (Exhibition), Spokane, Wash.
Nov. 13 — at Colorado State, Fort Collins, Colo.
Nov. 18 — at Montana, Missoula, Mont.
Nov. 23-25 — Play4Kay Shootout, Las Vegas, Nev.
Nov. 30 — Eastern Washington, Spokane, Wash.
Dec. 2 — Portland State, Spokane, Wash.
Dec. 6 — at Washington State, Pullman, Wash.
Dec. 9 — UNLV, Spokane, Wash.
Dec. 17 — Saint Francis (PA), Spokane, Wash.
Dec. 21 — Western Illinois, Spokane, Wash.