SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The West Coast Conference unveiled the schedule for the 2011-12 women’s basketball conference season Tuesday. Gonzaga University looks to win its unprecedented eighth-straight WCC regular season title when play begins play Dec. 29.
“The schedule is definitely different with us now starting WCC play before New Year’s,” stated head coach Kelly Graves. “It is also a little unusual that our travel foes of the past are not the same this year but it is new to everybody and it will just take some time to get used to.
“I think the conference is as good as it has ever been and deeper now with the addition of BYU, which is a solid program. I look forward to defending out championships.”
The Bulldogs open the nine-team 2011-12 conference campaign Thursday, Dec. 29 at the University of Portland. It is the third-straight year Gonzaga will begin play facing the Pilots and the second-straight opening the season at the Chiles Center.
Gonzaga stays on the road to open 2012; heading to Los Angeles to play Loyola Marymount University on Thursday, Jan. 5 and Pepperdine University, Saturday, Jan. 7.
The Zags first homestand of the WCC season is set for Jan. 12 and Jan. 14. Gonzaga, who closed out the 2010-11 season ranked 25th in the NCAA in attendance, averaging 4,060 at the McCarthey Athletic Center, will host the University of San Francisco, Thursday, Jan. 12 and Saint Mary’s College, who finished second in conference a season ago, Saturday, Jan. 14.
Gonzaga then hits the road for three of its next four games. GU plays at Santa Clara University, Thursday, Jan. 19 and at the University of San Diego, Saturday, Jan. 21 before returning to the MAC for a lone game against Loyola Marymount, Thursday. Jan. 26. The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround, traveling to Saint Mary’s for a game on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The Bulldogs close out the season with five of their final seven games at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Also in the last seven-game stretch are the Zags two match-ups with newly added conference member BYU. Gonzaga gets its first taste of playing at the Marriott Center, home to the Cougars, on Thursday, Feb. 9. The Bulldogs will then close out the conference slate hosting BYU for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25.