Gonzaga Womens' Basketball 2008 schedule releasedPosted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves announced the release of the Bulldogs 2008 schedule on Thursday.
The Zags, coming off a season that saw them win their first-ever WCC Tournament Championship and make their inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament, have put together one of the strongest schedules in school history.
Of the 15 non-conference match-ups on the slate this season, 10 opponents either made it to the NCAA Tournament or participated in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) in 2007. Included in that list is a game against the defending National Champions the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and Elite Eight members Arizona State University and Purdue University.
The Bulldogs open the regular-season in the McCarthey Athletic Center Nov. 12 against in-state rival the University of Washington at 7 p.m., the first of four-straight games to be played in Spokane before Gonzaga hits the road for six non-conference games.
Fans will be able to get an early chance to see the 2008 edition of the Bulldogs prior to the Huskies game when they play an exhibition contest against Corbon College on Nov. 5. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
After the game against Washington, who lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2007, the Zags will host the University of Nevada (Nov. 17, Noon), the University of Montana (Nov. 19, 7 p.m.) and Marquette University (Nov. 23, 7 p.m.). Both Nevada, who finished 17-15 overall last season, and Montana, who was 27-4 overall in 2007, made appearances in the WNIT. Marquette earned a six seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament after closing out the regular-season at 26-7.
It will be the Golden Eagles and the Wolf Pack's first trips to Spokane, while the Huskies are making an appearance on the Gonzaga campus for the first time since 1998.
Highlighting the six road non-conference games, that will see Gonzaga away from the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center from Nov. 25 through Dec. 16, is the Verizon Wireless/Arizona State University Classic and the match-up with Tennessee. The ASU Classic is set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. The Bulldogs will be pitted against ASU on Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. GU will then play Auburn University, a 2007 WNIT team, or UC Riverside, an NCAA Tournament participant, on Dec. 2.
The Zags first trip to Knoxville and the Thomson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena is set for Dec. 16 at Noon. The game against Tennessee will feature a sister-rivalry as Zag junior Jami Bjorklund will face-off against her sister, Angie, a Lady Vol freshman.
Other games during the long road-swing are Portland State University (Nov. 25, 7 p.m.), UC Davis (Dec. 6, 7 p.m.), and Sacramento State University (Dec. 8, 2 p.m.)
Gonzaga will close out the month of December with two home and two away games. Right after the contest against Tennessee, the Bulldogs will rush home and prepare for Big Ten member Purdue (Dec. 19, 7 p.m. The game against the Boilermakers will mark the first time a Big Ten school has played at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Rounding out the last days of December are contests at Montana State (Dec. 21, 7 p.m.), versus Eastern Washington University (Dec. 29, 5 p.m.) and at Utah Valley University (Dec. 31, 2 p.m.).
A final non-conference game at Saint Joseph's on Jan. 3 will lead Gonzaga into West Coast Conference action. The Bulldogs will open WCC play and its bid for a fourth-straight regular-season crown by hosting Pepperdine University at 8 p.m. on Jan. 11. The Zags-Waves game will be aired on ESPNU.
Gonzaga, who finished 13-1 in the WCC last season, will conclude the regular-season at Saint Mary's College on March 1.
The WCC Tournament will then take place at the University of San Diego March 6-9. The Bulldogs are looking to repeat as champions.
"We continue to upgrade our schedule. We will play anyone," said Graves. "We played well against some tough competition last season, including North Carolina, Purdue, Marquette and Arizona State. We also defeated the University of Utah and then-No.19 UCLA. I believe we have a stronger and more experienced team this season that is ready to battle in and out of conference."
All home game can be heard on 1510 KGA in Spokane and on the web at GoZags.com
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.