November 17, 2016

Up next: Bulldogs and Matadors

Updated Nov 17: Added link to Spokesman Review article.

The Cardinal are still at home this week to play the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Friday at 7:00 pm and the CSU Northridge Matadors on Sunday at 11:30 am.

The Zags stumbled a bit at the end of last season. They lost two of their last three regular season games by one point, ended at #5 in the West Coast Conference, and then lost to Santa Clara by one point in the conference playoffs.

They're expected to do better this season with Elle Tinkle (Joslyn's younger sister) returning for her fifth season after tearing her ACL in November 2015. After the medical waiver was announced, Elle said, "I'm thrilled to know I have another year to play the game I love — beyond excited and ready to get back to work."

Graham Hayes (espnW) ranks Gonzaga eighth in the mid-majors with this evaluation:

A loss against Utah in the WNIT snapped Gonzaga's streak of nine consecutive 20-win seasons, a stretch that included four trips to the Sweet 16.

Some might see that as a sign of decline, but a healthy Elle Tinkle and a lot of backcourt depth might instead make it an aberration. Eligible transfers Chandler Smith (Nebraska) and Makenlee Williams (Utah State) could help. The Bulldogs play Stanford, Michigan and Florida State in the span of eight days in November.

Name to know: Jill Barta. Did the versatile, 6-3 Barta emerge late in the season as the next in a line of standouts, or did she feast on weak competition? We'll see, but she was fantastic in the WCC as a redshirt freshman.

Jim Allen (Spokesman Review) reports that the Zags have been scouting the Cardinal: Zags face tough stretch starting Friday at Stanford

Here is the Bulldogs' roster.

There will be a chalk talk before the game in Kissick Auditorium.

If you can't make it to Maples, you can watch the game on Pac-12 Networks, listen to the KZSU broadcast, and check live stats.

Bird puts it in over a gaggle of Zags last season

Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) plays in the Big West conference, as does our last-week's opponents Cal Poly. CSUN was picked to place one step ahead of Cal Poly in the Big West coach and media polls.

The Matadors are capable of providing another challenge to the Cardinal. They too have several players taller than six feet, most notably 6-4 sophomore center Channon Fluker, who was Big West Freshman of the Year and named to First Team All-Big-West this season.

The Cardinal has played the Matadors twice before — in 1979 and two years ago in the first round of the NCAAs. The Cardinal won both games. The NCAA game was the Cardinal's 500th win at Maples and Tara's 800th Stanford win.

Here is the Matadors' roster.

There will be a chalk talk before the game in Kissick Auditorium, but you may want to go right into Maples instead, where a pancake breakfast will be served to the first 250 fans.

If you can't make it to Maples, you can watch the live stream, listen to the KZSU broadcast, and check live stats.

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