LAS VEGAS – Jill Barta and the Gonzaga women were again picked as the West Coast Conference preseason favorite, the league announced Wednesday.
Barta, the former Fairfield High School star, earned her second consecutive preseason all-WCC nod, as well. The 6-foot-4 junior is a two-time first-team all-WCC selection. She led the Zags at 16.8 points per game last season, which ranked fourth in the WCC, and averaged 6.0 rebounds per game. Barta scored a career-high 37 points in Gonzaga’s West Coast Conference championship win over Saint Mary’s to break the tournament record. She became only the second sophomore in the Division I era to score 1,000 career points at Gonzaga.
Laura Stockton was also selected to the preseason all-WCC team. She led the Bulldogs with 4.4 assists per game last season.
The 2016-17 Gonzaga team set program records for 3-pointers made (224) and free throw percentage (77.4 percent). The Bulldogs went 26-7, eclipsing 25 wins for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the first round.
This year’s team was picked to win the WCC for the fifth consecutive season. The Bulldogs have won 12 of the past 13 regular-season titles.
Gonzaga begins its season with an exhibition game against Northwest Christian on Nov. 5.
2017-18 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
(First place votes in parentheses and total points at right)
1. Gonzaga (8) 79
2. Saint Mary’s (2) 72
3. BYU 68
4. San Diego 54
5. Loyola Marymount 48
6. Santa Clara 39
7. San Francisco 36
8. Pacific 28
9. Pepperdine 14
10. Portland 12
2017-18 ALL-WCC PRESEASON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM
Jill Barta, Gonzaga, RJR, F
Stella Beck, Saint Mary’s, SR, G
Cassie Broadhead, BYU, SR, G
Maya Hood, San Diego, RSR, F
GeAnna Luaulu-Summers, Pacific, SR, G
Sydney Raggio, Saint Mary’s, JR, F
Yasmine Robinson-Bacote, Pepperdine, JR, F
Anna Seilund, USF, SR, G
Laura Stockton, Gonzaga, JR, G
Cheyanne Wallace, LMU, JR, G/F
(Editor’s note: Portions from a Gonzaga media release were used in this report)