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Sports >  Gonzaga women

Gonzaga women’s basketball to make trips to California, Texas, Wyoming and The Bahamas during nonconference schedule

Aug. 29, 2022 Updated Mon., Aug. 29, 2022 at 8:45 p.m.

Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas runs during a 27-11 preseason loss to the Chiacgo Bears on Aug. 18 in Seattle.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas runs during a 27-11 preseason loss to the Chiacgo Bears on Aug. 18 in Seattle. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
By Jim Allen For The Spokesman-Review

The Gonzaga women will hit almost every point in the compass this season.

Released on Monday, the Zags’ nonconference schedule includes trips to Wyoming, Texas and Northern California.

The highlight of the nonconference season might just be a trip to Paradise.

On Nov. 19-21, Gonzaga will play three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Brackets haven’t been announced yet, but the eight-team field is loaded with power programs such as Tennessee, Texas and Louisville. Other teams are Marquette, Rutgers, South Dakota State and UCLA.

The nonconference schedule calls for eight games at the McCarthey Athletic Center. It opens with an exhibition game against Division II Western Washington on Nov. 4.

On Nov. 10, the Zags host Long Beach State for the first time in program history before hosting Big Sky Conference program Southern Utah on Nov. 12.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for the first time on Nov. 15 when they visit Wyoming. Last season, GU held off the Cowgirls, 54-47, in Spokane.

Four days later, the Zags will be on Paradise Island for their second straight tropical-zone tournament. Last year at the Rainbow Wahine Showdown in Honolulu, the Zags swept Utah, Eastern Illinois and host Hawaii to win the trophy.

The team returns home on Nov. 26 to take on Eastern Washington, a program they’ve beaten 17 straight times. Two days later, GU will host Maine in the programs’ first meeting.

Gonzaga then goes on the road for the next two games to Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 1 and then to perennial power Stanford on Dec. 4.

GU met the Cardinal twice last season, losing 66-62 in the Kennel in a previously schedule meeting and 66-50 in an add-on game at Stanford.

The Bulldogs return home to close out the nonconference slate against Queens University of North Carolina on Dec. 6, UC Davis on Dec. 11, and Montana on Dec. 21.

By that time GU will already have played two West Coast Conference games. The Zags host BYU on Dec. 15 and San Diego on Dec. 17.

Missing from the schedule is regional rival Washington State. The Zags and Cougs have met 11 straight seasons, with GU going 7-4 in that stretch. WSU won the most recent meeting, 51-49, on Dec. 8 in the Kennel.

Game times will be released at a later date.

Gonzaga is coming off a 27-7 season that included a WCC tournament title and a first-round win over Nebraska in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags fell at No. 1 seed Louisville, 68-59, in the second round.

Looking ahead, the Zags must replace four starters in Melody Kempton, Anamaria Virjoghe, Cierra Walker and Abby O’Connor.

The challenge isn’t as daunting as it first appears, however, because backups Kaylynne Truong and Yvonne Ejim played starter-level minutes anyway and will move seamlessly into the lineup alongside starting point guard Kayleigh Truong.

In the frontcourt, backups Eliza Hollingsworth and Maud Huijbens appear to have the best chance of seeing significant time, or even starting.

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