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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Report: Gonzaga to host Montana in Dec. 20 nonconference matchup

July 18, 2022 Updated Mon., July 18, 2022 at 10:08 p.m.

Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few watches his team as the action unfolds during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Jan 29, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few watches his team as the action unfolds during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Jan 29, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga and Montana will reportedly meet in nonconference play for the first time since 2015, when the Grizzlies nearly pulled off an upset of the then-20th-ranked Bulldogs.

The third known home game of Gonzaga’s 2022-23 nonconference schedule will take place on Dec. 20 at McCarthey Athletic Center, according to Bracketeer.com’s Rocco Miller. A tipoff time hasn’t been set.

Montana becomes the 10th known opponent on Gonzaga’s nonconference schedule, which also features a home contest against North Florida in the Nov. 7 season opener and a Dec. 9 game against the University of Washington.

In addition to three home games, the Bulldogs have seven nonconference games that will be played away from Spokane.

Gonzaga, which brings back three starters from last year’s team and is widely considered a preseason national championship contender, is scheduled to play Michigan State on an aircraft carrier on Nov. 11 in the 2022 Armed Forces Classic in San Diego.

The Bulldogs will play Texas in Austin on Nov. 16 before competing in the Phil Knight Invitational (PK85) on Nov. 24-27. Gonzaga will play three games against a field that includes Duke, Florida, Oregon State, Portland State, Purdue, West Virginia and Xavier.

Gonzaga’s other known nonconference games are Dec. 2 against Baylor at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Dec. 17 against Alabama in Birmingham. The Zags and Crimson Tide are wrapping up a neutral-neutral series during which Alabama traveled to the Pacific Northwest last December for the Battle in Seattle.

The Bulldogs and Grizzlies haven’t played since 2015, when Montana outscored Gonzaga 35-32 in the second half to come within four points of an upset at the Kennel. In the narrow 61-58 victory, Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer combined to score 32 points and pull down 19 rebounds.

Montana, led by ninth -year coach Travis DeCuire, a Seattle native who attended Mercer Island High School, made consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019. Under DeCuire, the Grizzlies haven’t posted a sub-.500 record and went 18-14 in 2021-22.

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