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Gonzaga goes on the road to face Pacific in conference opener

The women look to avoid a repeat of last season’s slow start.

NCAA Women's Basketball: USA TODAY Sports-Archive Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When: Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET.

Where: Stockton, California

Watch: TheW.TV website, Stadium App

The time for WCC play is now, and the Zags appear to be close to 100% healthy as a team. There were ups and downs, with injuries and inconsistencies, but Gonzaga is 7-4 with a top 100 rpi.

The team’s first game comes against Pacific 6-5 (0-0), a team who averaged 80 points a night in the 11 games. The Tigers faced some good competition, and scored a lot of points against teams like No. 25 Cal and Central Florida.

The star of Pacfic is senior guard GeAnna Luaulu-Summers, who leads the team in scoring at 16.1 ppg. She also fills up the stat sheet, grabbing 4.6 rpg and dishing out 5.7 apg. Her season-high is 24 points, but has been a consistent scorer all season. The strength of the Tigers is the ball movement, averaging over 17 apg as a team, as well as another four players averaging at least 9.5 ppg.

Especially with mid-majors, it’s always hard to tell how good teams are, because some play brutal schedules before while others play cupcakes. But it doesn’t matter in this case, as the women on this roster should take this game very seriously. Because last season, Gonzaga lost at home to this Tigers team, and started out conference play 0-2. The team rebounded, to win both the regular season and tournament titles, but that opening week basically cost them an at-large bid.

Playing in Stockton’s gym hasn’t been easy for either the men, or the women, so these games shouldn’t be taken for granted. Let’s hope Coach Fortier reminds this team of the recent past, so that history doesn’t repeat itself.