Jill Barta and the Gonzaga women are dancing again.
After receiving a No. 11 seed for the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, the Zags received a No. 13 seed in 2018. They’ll play at fourth-seeded Stanford in the first round at 4 p.m. (MT) Saturday.
Gonzaga (27-5) clinched its tournament berth with its 79-71 win over San Diego in the West Coast Conference Tournament championship. Barta, a redshirt junior who was named the WCC player of the year, scored 32 points in the championship and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for a second consecutive year.
Barta scored a WCC-record 37 points in the 2017 championship.
Montana’s 2014 Gatorade player of the year, Barta starred at Fairfield High School from 2010-14, helping the Eagles compile a 104-0 record during her high school career. In one of the all-time great performances in Montana basketball history, Barta scored 41 points in Fairfield’s 60-55 double-overtime win over Malta for the 2014 Class B state championship.
The NCAA Tournament likely marks the end of Barta’s career in Spokane. The 6-foot-3 forward told MTN Sports in January that this would be her final season at Gonzaga. Barta is set to graduate this spring, making her eligible to transfer to another university for her final year of eligibility. She has yet to determine if or where she’ll continue her career.
Barta is averaging 18.8 points, on 48.9 percent shooting, and 8.4 rebounds per game, leading Gonzaga in both categories this season. Zykera Rice is contributing 12.0 points per game, and Chandler Smith adds 9.5 points per game.
The Zags lost to Oklahoma, 75-62, in the first round of last year’s tournament.
— Gonzaga WBB (@ZagWBB) March 12, 2018