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With the official start of basketball practice just days away, Gonzaga University head women's basketball coach Kelly Graves has released his schedule for the 2005-06 season which includes 13 home games and the West Coast Conference Tournament at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs are coming off a 28-4 season in which they went 14-0 in WCC play to capture their second regular-season conference title. Gonzaga was rewarded with a second straight bid to the Women's NIT, hosting Brigham Young University in the first round for the school's first home post-season appearance.
Gonzaga's schedule opens with two home exhibition games against Concordia College of California on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and Seattle Pacific University on Saturday, Nov. 12. The Bulldogs open the regular-season at San Jose State University on Nov. 18 before hosting Eastern Washington University on Sunday, Nov. 20 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Following the game against EWU, Gonzaga travels to the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands for three games against teams from last year's NCAA Tournament including Final Four participants Michigan State University and the University of Tennessee. GU opens tournament action on Thanksgiving Day with a 3 p.m. game against the University of Maryland. That game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
Upon returning form the Virgin Islands the Bulldogs play five straight road games starting with a trip to the University of Idaho on Nov. 30 and ending with a trip to the University of Utah on Dec. 10. Gonzaga finally returns for a home game against the University of Montana on Sunday, Dec. 18. Four games Gonzaga round out the non-conference schedule with road games at the University of Denver and Utah Valley State College and home games against San Jose State (Dec. 23) and Portland State University (Jan. 2).
Gonzaga once again opens WCC play at home with opening weekend games against Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College. Santa Clara knocked off the Bulldogs in last year's WCC Tournament Championship game ending the Bulldogs the 23-game win streak. The Zags and Broncos square off on Fox Sports Net on Friday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. Gonzaga hosts Saint Mary's on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. That game will be on KHQ, the first of two WCC games broadcast by the local NBC affiliate. The other KHQ game is on Sunday, Jan. 29 against the University of Portland at 3 p.m.
The Bulldogs remaining four home West Coast Conference games will all be televised on GUTV which is available on Spokane Comcast Channel 15. The home schedule winds up with senior day against Pepperdine University on Saturday, Feb. 18. Gonzaga will then play host to the West Coast Conference Tournament with first round action taking place on Thursday, March 2. The tournament semifinals and championship game will be on Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5.
"I think we have put together a good schedule for this season. We have some early games in the Paradise Jam which will show us where we match up against the elite programs in women's basketball. We also have 11 games against teams that finished in the Top 100 of the RPI that will help us build towards the WCC Tournament" stated Graves. "We have 13 home games for fans to come watch our program. The support we received last year was tremendous and we are hoping that carries over this season."
Season tickets are still on sale for Gonzaga women's basketball and can be purchased by calling the Gonzaga Ticket Office at (509) 323-6000. Individual game tickets will go on sale on November 1 and can be purchased at the McCarthey Athletic Center Box Office or any TicketsWest outlet. Gonzaga is also currently selling All-Session passes for the West Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament. All-Session passes can be purchased for just $30 at the McCarthey Athletic Center Box Office. Individual WCC Women's Tournament tickets will be on sale on February 27.