Montana Grizzlies at Gonzaga Bulldogs BKW

Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Lisa Fortier has another rescheduling dilemma to consider.

Looking on the bright side, Gonzaga’s women’s basketball players just got a head start on the second semester of class.

But there will be no game Saturday in the Kennel against BYU because of COVID-19 protocols within the Cougars’ program.

GU had already lost Thursday’s home game against San Diego after the Toreros suspended their program because of COVID-19.

The loss of the BYU game meant no games at all this week.

The West Coast Conference is working to reschedule both games. In the meantime, the Zags have agreed to play at Portland on Sunday, with a tipoff scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Chiles Center.

The meeting is the second of the season. GU beat the Pilots 75-43 in Spokane on Jan. 9.

Until this weekend, GU hadn’t missed a WCC game because of the pandemic – “controlling what we can control,” head coach Lisa Fortier said.

At 12-2 overall and 7-0 in the conference, the Zags are still one game ahead of BYU (8-2, 4-1).

The postponement was the fourth in the past five games for the Cougars, whose game at Portland on Thursday was scrapped hours before tipoff.

The GU-Portland game was originally scheduled for Feb. 6. Because GU and Portland are travel partners, the move frees up that entire weekend. San Diego and BYU are playing Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine that weekend, however, so it’s unclear when the games could be made up.

Even before the BYU postponement, Fortier said she wasn’t sure how the San Diego game could be made up.

“Perhaps we could play on a Monday at some point,” Fortier said Thursday. “Or before the WCC tournament.”

That’s also problematic. The regular season ends Feb. 27 at home against Loyola Marymount.

The WCC Tournament in Las Vegas is tentatively scheduled to begin five days later, running from March 4-9 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino.

GU still has games scheduled at BYU on Feb. 18 and at San Diego on Feb. 20. It’s possible the Zags could play two games at each location, although that idea hasn’t been discussed.

In the short term, postponement of the San Diego game wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

“I think our team needed a couple of days off,” Fortier said Thursday.

Sophomore point guard Kayleigh Truong said the postponement offered a chance to hit the ground running for the beginning of the second semester, which began this week.

“There’s lot of studying to do already,” Truong said.

Jim Allen can be reached at (509) 459-5437 or by email at jima@spokesman.com