Zags Host Montana in Regular-Season Home Opener Wednesday

Marks second-straight season the Bulldogs have faced the Griz


Gonzaga (0-0) vs. Montana (0-0)
NOV. 7 | 6 P.M. | SPOKANE | McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER


TV: SWX
RADIO: KJRB 790 AM
LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS



INSIDE THE SERIES:

Overall: 31st meeting (Montana leads 17-13)
In Spokane: 8-7 | In Missoula: 5-10| Neutral: 0-0
Current Streak: Gonzaga, won 6
Last Meeting: Nov. 18, 2018; Gonzaga won 70-55 in Missoula.
Series Notes: Gonzaga and Montana meet for the 31st time in program history and the second-straight season. The two programs met annually from 1987-2012 but took a brief hiatus from 2013-17. Montana dominated the series early, winning 10-straight contests to open the series from 1981-93. The Bulldogs have won eight of the last 10 meetings including the last six. In the last six matchups, Gonzaga has defeated the Griz by an average of 16.3 points per game with their largest margin of victory coming in 2010 with a 75-48 win in Spokane. In the last meeting, three Bulldogs finished in double-figures, led by Jill Barta with 23 points while Chandler Smith and Laura Stockton added 16 and 11, respectively.


SCOUTING THE GRIZ:

- Montana returns six letter winners and four starters from last season's squad that finished 14-17 overall with a 9-9 mark in Big Sky play, good for a tie for seventh.
- Last season, Montana averaged 64.1 points per game shooting 39.8 percent from the floor including 27.5 percent from long range. The Griz averaged 39.5 rebounds per contest with a +5.0 rebounding margin in addition to 2.8 blocked shots per game. As a team, the Griz dished out an average of 13.8 assists per game to go along with 5.7 steals while forcing 12.8 turnovers per game.
- Returning junior guard McKenzie Johnston led the Griz is scoring at 12.5 points per game; Montana loses 10.5 points per game with the departure of Caitlin Lonegran. Johnston was named Honorable Mention All-Big Sky for her efforts.
- This season, the Griz were picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky coaches' poll and seventh in the Big Sky media poll released in mid-October.
- Montana also faced Carroll College in its lone exhibition contest of the year, defeating the Saints 71-56 in Missoula on Oct. 30. Three players finished in double-figures for the Griz led by Johnston with 14 points; Jace Henderson chipped in 12 while Gabi Harrington added 10. Henderson also corralled 13 boards for the Griz for the only double-double of the game. As a team, Montana shot 43.9 percent from the## floor and 26.7 percent from long range while limiting Carroll to 31.8 percent shooting.


HOME OPENERS: A LOOK BACK

- The Zags are 27-5 all-time in regular-season home openers and have won the last 13.
- The Bulldogs last loss in a home opener was in 2003, a 73-57 loss to Oregon. The Zags have never lost a home opener inside the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Zags have never faced Montana in their regular-season home opener.


EXHIBITION EXCITEMENT

After over four weeks of practice facing just each other, the Bulldogs finally had a chance to stretch their legs against an opponent other than themselves in an actual game environment. In front of 5,370 strong, the Bulldogs rolled Carroll 86-43 on Nov. 2 in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga shot 55.7 percent from the floor and a staggering 46.7 percent from long range while scoring nearly at will inside with a 32-18 advantage in the paint. The Zags were relentless on defense, forcing 21 turnovers with 13 steals for a 35-9 advantage in points off turnovers. Five Zags finished in double-figures led by Chandler Smith's 23. Katie Campbell finished with 13, Jill Townsend added 12 and Zykera Rice chipped in 11. Freshman Melody Kempton nearly finished with a double-double in her first appearance as a Zag as she finished with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds, five of which were offensive.

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