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Gonzaga women’s basketball announces nonconference schedule highlighted by Louisville, Stanford

Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Lisa Fortier trains her gaze on the court during Monday’s semifinal at the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs face the Portland Pilots in the title game Tuesday.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
From staff reports

From staff reports

Before it can get into the thick of the West Coast Conference schedule, Gonzaga women’s basketball will have to battle through a challenging nonconference slate.

GU coach Lisa Fortier announced the 16-game schedule Tuesday, which includes 10 teams that finished in the top 100 of the NET rankings last season.

The schedule is highlighted by a Dec. 3 visit from defending Pac-12 regular-season champions Stanford at the McCarthey Athletic Center. It is the third consecutive year the Bulldogs and Cardinal have played, with Stanford winning the past two showdowns.

GU will also get a shot at perennial power Louisville during the Van Chancellor Classic in Katy, Texas. The Cardinals made it to the Elite Eight if last year’s NCAA Tournament, but were clipped by the Zags 79-67 in overtime last year in the Bahamas. GU will also play Alabama and Liberty in the event, which goes from Nov. 24-26.

Also on the schedule are in-state road trips to Washington State (Nov. 9) and Eastern Washington (Nov. 29). The Zags also travel to Missoula to take on former Colfax standout Carmen Gfeller and Montana on Nov. 6.

The Zags fill out the rest of the nonconference schedule with home contests against Toledo (Nov. 12), North Florida (Nov. 15), Wyoming (Nov. 18), South Dakota State (Dec. 17) and New Mexico (Dec. 22). Other road contests include trips to California (Dec. 7), Rice (Dec. 9) and Arizona in a neutral-court game in Phoenix (Dec. 20).

GU’s lone exhibition game is set for Nov. 2 against Warner Pacific in the Kennel.