Oct. 5, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash.- Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves on Thursday announced a 2007 schedule highlighted by six teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and two teams that played in the post-season Women's National Invitational Tournament, including WNIT runner-up Marquette University.
The Bulldogs schedule includes 14 regular-season home games at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs are coming off a 16-14 season in which they posted an 11-3 record in West Coast Conference play to capture their third overall and second-straight regular-season conference title.
The Zags will play back-to-back games against opponents ranked in the pre-season, Purdue University and Arizona State University, to open a tough month of December. Gonzaga will also face the University of Washington, a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant, and Marquette during the final month of non-conference action.
Gonzaga will travel to West Lafayette, Ind. to take on the No. 16 Boilermakers on Dec. 2 before returning home to host Arizona State. Last season, Purdue advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils, who are ranked as high at 11th in the pre-season polls, will make their inaugural trip to Spokane on Dec. 6. On Dec. 15, the Bulldogs will play Washington before traveling to Marquette on Dec. 17.
Tournament play will open for Gonzaga on Nov. 24 when they partake in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. This season marks the second time in five years the Zags have participated in the classic. The last time the Bulldogs played in the Wahine Classic was during the 2003 season. Gonzaga's first opponent in Hawaii will be UCLA, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last March. Among the other participants is the University of North Carolina, ranked No. 1 in most pre-season polls and a 2006 Final Four team. Also competing in the classic are host University of Hawaii, University of Arkansas, Texas Tech University, Denver University and Sacramento State University.
Gonzaga opens the 2006-07 season on Friday Nov. 10 when it hosts the University of Utah at McCarthey Athletic Center. Prior to that, fans will get their first chance to see the 2007 version of the Bulldogs on Nov. 6 when they host Eastern Oregon University in an exhibition game.
The Bulldogs open WCC play on Jan. 5 at Loyola Marymount University followed by a Jan. 7 game at Pepperdine University. Gonzaga makes its WCC home debut Jan. 11 against Santa Clara University and Jan. 13 when Saint Mary's travels to Spokane.
"We have upgraded our schedule across the board," said Graves. "I don't think we were ready to play Maryland, Michigan State and Tennessee on three-straight days last year. This year I think we have a better strength of schedule that is spread out over the course of the season. Two years ago the NCAA Tournament selection committee challenged us to upgrade our schedule to get an at-large bid. This year I think our schedule is up to the task and if we play well in our league and knock one or two of those highly rated teams off, who knows what possibilities might exist for this team."
Season tickets are still on sale for Gonzaga women's basketball and can be purchased by calling the Gonzaga Ticket Office at (509) 323-6000. Individual game tickets will go on sale on Nov. 1 and can be purchased at the McCarthey Athletic Center Box Office, through any TicketsWest outlet or online at www.ticketswest.com.