#18/17 WBB Faces Montana State in Bozeman Thursday

Zags look to extend win streak to five games

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#18/17 GONZAGA (6-1) at MONTANA STATE (4-2)

- Gonzaga will look to improve to 7-1 overall on the season Thursday at Montana State.
- Gonzaga broke into the Associated Press Top 25 poll at No. 23 following a 76-70 overtime loss at Stanford on Nov. 17. This week, GU moved up four spots in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the Coaches Poll. GU is now No. 17 in the Coaches Poll and No. 18. in the AP Poll.
- Montana State is the second of two scheduled Big Sky programs on Gonzaga's schedule this season. GU previously defeated Eastern Washington 84-44 at home on Nov. 22. The Bulldogs carry a 105-70 overall record against current Big Sky programs.
- Thursday's game will be the 22nd time the Zags have faced the Bobcats. Currently, GU claims the edge in the series 11-10, but MSU holds the advantage in Bozeman with a 7-4 overall record.
- This will mark the 11th time in program history that the Zags have played on Dec. 5. GU carries a 6-4 overall record on the date. It will also be the second time in history that GU has face Montana State on Dec. 5. The Zags previously tipped off against the Bobcats on this date during the 2000-01 season. MSU claimed the 61-47 win over the Bulldogs in Spokane.
- Gonzaga currently ranks first in the nation in percent attendance capacity. The Zags average 92.24 percent capacity; that's an average of 5,535 fans that fill McCarthey Athletic Center every game.
- Gonzaga returns two starters and seven letter-winners from last season's squad that claimed the Zags' third consecutive and 15th overall West Coast Conference regular season title.
- In 2018-19, the Bulldogs advanced to their third-straight NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Second Round.

- Gonzaga is 11-10 all-time against Montana State, with a 105-70 overall record against current Big Sky programs.
- Montana State leads the Bulldogs 7-4 in Bozeman, but Gonzaga is currently on a six-game win streak against the Bobcats.
- In the last meeting, Gonzaga defeated MSU 65-52 in Spokane on Dec. 6, 2015.

- Montana State returns five seniors from last season's squad that finished 16-15 overall last season with an 11-9 mark in Big Sky play. This season, the Bobcats were selected to win the Big Sky Conference by both the coaches and media.
- North Dakota transfer Fallyn Freije was selected as the Big Sky Preseason MVP, despite not appearing on a Big Sky roster a season ago. Teammate Oliana Squires joined Freije on the preseason all-conference team, making the Bobcats the only Big Sky team with two players on the preseason squad.
- Through six games, Montana State averages 70.0 point per game shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from long range. Squires leads the attack at 11.7 points per game while Darian White and Freije each add 10.5 and 10.3 points per game, respectively.
- The Bobcats add 44.5 rebounds per game--good for 26th in the nation--with a 12.2 rebounding margin. Freije leads the squad on the glass with an even 7.0 per game, while Madeline Smith adds 6.3 per contest. Blaire Braxton also averages 5.0 rebounds per contest.
- All but one of MSU's victories have been by more than 10 points, with its largest margin of victory at 59 points, a 93-34 win over MSU Northern on Nov. 17. The Bobcats lone victory by under 10 points was a 73-65 win over Seattle on Nov. 30.
- Montana State averages 3,151 fans per game which equates to 43.46 attendance percent capacity. MSU's highest drawing game was its Field Trip Day against Carroll College on Nov. 11. That game tipped off at 11 a.m. and hosted 6,596 fans, most of whom were elementary aged kids on a field trip to the game. Montana State defeated Carroll 67-33.

The Zags finished a perfect 3-0 in Florida over the Thanksgiving holiday to earn the first nonconference tournament title under Head Coach Lisa Fortier, and the first nonconference tournament title since the 2011-12 season. The Bulldogs defeated Dayton, Middle Tennessee and Purdue, earning their first-ever wins over both Middle Tennessee (1-1 all-time program record) and Purdue (1-2 all-time program record) in the process.

Junior forward Jenn Wirth had a spectacular week at the Gulf Coast Showcase, leading the Zags to a perfect 3-0 week. Wirth was named the Gulf Coast Showcase Most Valuable Player after averaging 13.7 points per game shooting over 62 percent from the floor. On Nov. 29 against Dayton, the junior forward finished with a career-high 19 points off 7-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 5-of-5 showing from the charity stripe. She added another double-digit scoring effort in GU's 62-50 victory over Middle Tennessee-the program's first win over the Blue Raiders-along with seven boards and two assists. In GU's Dec. 1 game against Purdue, Wirth stifled the Boilermakers' bigs, drawing five fouls on reigning two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist Ae'Rianna Harris. For her efforts, Wirth was also named the WCC Player of the Week, the first career honor for the Mesa, Ariz., native.

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