After the NCAA stuck the Gonzaga women with a No. 13 seed Monday night, surely the get-out-of-the-West-Coast-Conference crowd gained a few more followers.
The NCAA selection committee awarded the Gonzaga Bulldogs a No. 13 seed in the women’s 2018 NCAA Tournament on Monday. The Zags will play No. 4-seeded Stanford in the Lexington Regional.
With the dawn of Selection Monday, the possibilities are almost endless for the Gonzaga women and their fans. So are their NCAA dreams, which include a single-digit seed, a second-round reunion in Eugene with former GU coach Kelly Graves, and the topper: a sweet return trip to Spokane for the regionals. Hopefully all of the above.
Lisa Fortier’s first glimpse of the Gonzaga women’s basketball program came almost two decades ago, from the stands. “They were terrible,” said Fortier, who better than anyone can appreciate what the program has accomplished in the last 15 years. And what better time for an appreciation than now, as the Zags celebrate the program’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance?
Just after Gonzaga’s 79-71 win over San Diego, the lights and cameras gravitated to Jill Barta, who had finished the game with a game-high 32 points and eight rebounds. She hid in the middle of her teammates as they celebrated their second consecutive West Coast Conference tournament title.
Gonzaga has seen plenty of Sydney Williams over the past four years. Granted, not nearly as much as the San Diego senior has seen of the Zags over the course of the past 22.
Gonzaga won the conference title in 2017 and now has eight WCC championships. The Bulldogs, who only lost once to a WCC opponent this season, secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s tournament by winning their fourth title in six years.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have just one more team standing in the way of their eighth West Coast Conference championship in program history.
The Zags had plenty of celebrations to review after their 65-53 win over fifth-seeded San Francisco in the West Coast Conference semifinal on Monday – Emma Stach’s game-high four 3-pointers, Barta’s 3 that finally dropped in the fourth quarter, Jill Townsend’s three-point play near the end of the game and Chandler Smith’s steal and breakaway layup that tied the score at 20 are just a few.
Seilund, an All-WCC first-teamer coming off a 28-point outing in the quarterfinals against Loyola Marymount, was held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting by Gonzaga in a 65-53 Bulldogs win in Las Vegas.
The Gonzaga women sweated out a few scary moments against San Francisco, but Jill Barta led a second-half charge and finished with 19 points and eight rebounds to help the top-seeded Bulldogs pull past the fifth-seeded Dons 65-53 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
There were several worthy contenders, but Jessie Loera probably had Gonzaga’s best stat line in Friday’s WCC Tournament win over Pepperdine.