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Thread: Gonzaga WBB: Zags Head to Vegas for Holiday Hoops Classic

  1. #1
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    Post Gonzaga WBB: Zags Head to Vegas for Holiday Hoops Classic

    WBB: Zags Head to Vegas for Holiday Hoops Classic

    Bulldogs open against Eastern Michigan


    SPOKANE, Wash. – The No. 25/25 Gonzaga women's basketball team faces Eastern Michigan on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the first game of the Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena in Las Vegas.

    #25/25 GONZAGA (3-2) vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN (3-2)
    DEC. 20 | 2:30 P.M. | SOUTH POINT ARENA | LAS VEGAS
    LIVE STREAM **Fee Required | LIVE STATS


    THE TIP-OFF
    - The Gonzaga women's basketball team travels down to Las Vegas for the Holiday Hoops Classic for two final non-conference matchups. This is the third time in program history that the Zags have participated in the Holiday Hoops Classic in Vegas.

    - The Bulldogs first played in the tournament during the 2009-10 season. That year, the Zags faced back-to-back ranked opponents in No. 6/5 Baylor and No. 13/11 Texas A&M. GU fell to Baylor 70-49 and narrowly lost to Texas A&M 80-76.

    - GU's second appearance in the tournament was during the 2011-12 season; that year, Gonzaga finished 2-0 to take the title. That season, the Zags defeated Georgia 71-68 followed by an 82-76 victory over Dayton.

    - The Bulldogs are fresh off a 58-51 victory over Montana in their lone non-conference home contest. The Wirth twins led the way with near double-doubles for each; LeeAnne Wirth finished with a team-high 12 points and eight rebounds while Jenn Wirth added nine points and nine rebounds. Cierra Walker chipped in 10 points in the win.

    - Sunday marks the 13th time in program history the Zags have taken the floor on Dec. 20, and the second time GU has played on Dec. 20 in the Holiday Hoops Classic. The last time GU played on Dec. 20 in the tournament it faced No. 13/11 Texas A&M, falling to the Aggies 80-76. Gonzaga carries an even 6-6 record on the date.

    - For the second time in program history, the Bulldogs were ranked in the preseason Associated Press Poll. Gonzaga debuted at No. 21 in the AP poll and at No. 20 ranking in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll. It marks the third time in history GU has been ranked in the preseason coaches poll and the second-straight season.

    - Currently, Gonzaga is ranked 25th in both the AP and Coaches polls. The Bulldogs have now been ranked or receiving votes for 42 consecutive voting weeks, dating back to Dec. 3, 2018.

    - The Bulldogs return three starters and nine letter winners from last season's squad that claimed the Zags' fourth consecutive West Coast Conference regular season title.

    - In 2019-20, Gonzaga rose to its highest regular-season national ranking ever, securing a No. 11 AP and No. 10 ranking in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll. Prior to the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zags were predicted as high as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and were expected to host the First and Second Rounds for the first time since the NCAA changed hosting rules for the tournament in 2014-15.

    - Gonzaga returns 79.1 percent of its scoring and 79.2 percent of its rebounding from last season.

    - Gonzaga returns as one of the top defensive teams in the nation from a season ago. In 2019-20, the Bulldogs ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 51.9 points per game.

    - The Bulldogs won 28 games last season, including a 17-1 mark in WCC play to tie their own record for wins in a conference season. It was the fourth-straight 25+ win season and 12th 25+ win season in the last 13 seasons.

    SERIES NOTES
    - This will mark the first time in program history the Zags have faced Eastern Michigan.

    - Gonzaga is 1-0 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The only MAC member GU has faced prior to Sunday is Kent State.

    - Gonzaga defeated the Golden Eagles 77-57 on Nov. 24, 2017 as part of the Play4Kay Showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    SCOUTING THE EAGLES
    - Eastern Michigan carries a 3-2 overall record through five games this season, matching the best start under fifth-year head coach Fred Castro.

    - The Eagles average 66.2 points per contest shooting 39.3 percent from the floor and 25.8 percent from long range.

    - Two players average double-figures for Eastern Michigan, led by Areanna Combs at 20.6 points; that average ranks seventh in the Mid-American Conference. Ce'Nara Skanes adds 17.4 points per game shooting 46.6 percent from the floor.

    - Combs is also the Eagles top three-point shooting threat as redshirt senior is 13-37 from long range on the year to shoot 35.1 percent.

    - Skanes and Combs also lead Eastern Michigan in rebounding, averaging 8.4 and 7.0 per game, respectively. Skanes 8.4 rebounds per game also ranks third among MAC players.

    - So far, the Eagles have played all but one of their games on the road, compiling a 3-1 record on the road. The Eagles are coming off a 71-64 road loss at Bowling Green on Dec. 11. Sunday's game will be their first contest in almost three weeks.

    - EMU was picked to finish fifth in the MAC this season, while Combs was selected to the preseason MAC Second Team. Combs has also been awarded a MAC Player of the Week honor so far this season. The redshirt senior picked up the weekly honor on Dec. 7 after averaging 24.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in wins over Ball State and Southeast Missouri. She became the first Eagle to win a POTW award since the 2018-19 season.

    Gonzaga Article Link

  2. #2
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    Gonzaga Women's Basketball@ZagWBB

    We love seeing double! Happy #NationalTwinDay to our favorite *duos* ����

    Full ��️:

    Gonzaga WBB Twitter Link

  3. #3
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    From Sunday's Spokesman Review:

    Gonzaga women look to Las Vegas to improve heading into WCC season
    Sun., Dec. 20, 2020
    By Jim Allen
    jima@spokesman.com
    (509) 459-5437

    It’s back to Las Vegas for the Gonzaga women.

    That’s where last season ended, although the Zags didn’t know it at the time. Now it offers a chance to gain some momentum going into the holidays and the beginning of the West Coast Conference season.

    The occasion is the Holiday Hoops Classic, a two-day event Sunday and Monday at the South Point Arena, south of the Las Vegas Strip.

    The opponents – Eastern Michigan on Sunday and North Alabama on Monday – don’t appear daunting, but neither did Montana, which took the Zags to the wire in a 58-51 GU win at the Kennel.

    The Zags are 3-2 and ranked 25th in the Associated Press poll, but are still finding themselves during the COVID-abbreviated nonconference season – or as head coach Lisa Fortier calls it, “Season 1.”

    “Season 2,” of course, is the West Coast Conference slate, which is less than two weeks away. The trip to Vegas offers a last chance at finalizing the rotation and making other adjustments.

    “We know that we’re pretty inconsistent, and we saw that physical play can take us out of our rhythm,” Fortier said.

    Eastern Michigan probably isn’t going to do that. The Eagles are quick on the dribble, but they shoot poorly from long range (25.8%) and don’t have a starter taller than 6 feet.

    The Eagles are led by 5-10 senior guard Areanna Combs, a transfer from Oklahoma State who averages 20.6 points and 7 rebounds. Combs also has 20 steals.

    Ce’nara Skanes, a 6-0 sophomore forward, averages 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds.

    EMU was picked to finish fifth in the Mid-American Conference, while Combs was selected to the preseason MAC second team.

    The Eagles’ 3-2 record matches the best start under fifth-year head coach Fred Castro. EMU is coming off a 71-64 loss to Bowling Green, dropping them to 1-1 in conference play.

    “They’re super athletic,” Fortier said. “They’re also physical, but in a different way. They’re a lot like South Carolina – they love to drive it at you.”

    GU has played just five games, but it feels like more than that.

    “Definitely, because the games have been so close,” senior forward Jenn Wirth said.

    The Zags own a 39-point win at Wyoming, but the other four games were decided by a combined 19 points.

    On Monday, the Zags will face North Alabama. The Lions were 21-7 last year but are off to a 0-6 start, all by double digits.
    Article Link: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...prove-heading/

    ZagDad

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