Zags-Huskies: Rivalry renewed
Intrastate foes last played during 2006-07 season
After a 10-year break, Gonzaga and Washington will renew their men’s basketball rivalry in the 2016-17 season, the schools announced Monday.
The teams are expected to meet four straight seasons, alternating between their respective home courts. No decision has been made on the site of the first game.
“I’ve been telling people we were going to work it out,” Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said. “Mark (Few, Gonzaga coach) and Lorenzo (Romar, Washington coach) were together at USA Basketball this weekend and had a chance to visit and got it agreed upon.”
GU and UW have met 43 times, with Washington holding a 29-14 series advantage. The Huskies declined to continue the series after the Zags won eight of 10 meetings from December 1997 through December 2006.
“Certainly when we did play Washington the games were very high intensity, great crowds and great passion,” Few said in a release. “We hope to have that same feeling with the next four years of the series.”
In 2009, Washington proposed a three-game series, all of the games to be played at KeyArena in Seattle. Gonzaga had no objection to facing the Huskies but preferred home-and-home matchups. GU has played the Battle in Seattle annually at KeyArena since the 2003-04 season.
“This series is great for the fans of our state,” Romar said. “The fans have shown that they really appreciate the game with Washington and Gonzaga. I mean, every one of them since we’ve been here has been a sellout, or close to it. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and hype centered around the game.”
The Bulldogs won the most recent meeting 97-77 on Dec. 9, 2006, at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Derek Raivio scored 25 points and freshman Matt Bouldin, in his first collegiate start, added 21. Washington won a 99-95 thriller in December 2005, as Justin Dentmon scored all 13 of his points in the final 13 minutes. Adam Morrison poured in 43 points for the visiting Zags.