Jan. 3, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - Sophomore forward Heather Bowman returned to the Gonzaga University women's basketball lineup Thursday and scored a game-tying high 14 points to help the Bulldogs defeat Saint Joseph's University 67-43 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse in Philadelphia, Penn. Bowman, who missed the past five games with a broken left hand, was one of four players to finish in double-digit points for the Zags.
Gonzaga closed out the regular-season non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-6 overall record, while Saint Joseph's, who was coming off a 71-69 victory over then-No.15 Auburn University, dropped to 7-7 with the loss.
Bowman jumped back in full force getting the starting nod after a three-week layoff due to a spiral fracture of her left hand. She played 19 minutes for the Bulldogs, hitting 5-of-8 from the floor and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Bowman also grabbed three rebounds in the victory.
Besides Bowman, three other players registered double-figure points. Sophomore Tiffanie Shives posted 14 points, hitting 6-of-8 from the field, including 1-of-3 from behind the three-point arc and was 1-of-2 at the free throw line. Sophomore Vivian Frieson and senior Michelle Elliott both added 10 points apiece for Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs controlled the game from the tip as junior Jami Bjorklund sank one-of-two free throws 23 seconds into the contest to give the Zags the lead they never would relinquish. The Zags quickly built a 25-7 advantage at the 8:10 mark and went into halftime leading 39-21. Frieson scored all of her 10 points in the first stanza, while freshman Courtney Vandersloot dished out five of the Zags 10 assists in the opening half.
Gonzaga pushed its lead to over 20 points early in the second half and held its advantage there for nearly the rest of the contest. The Bulldogs largest lead of the game was 25 after Vandersloot hit a free throw to put the score at 65-40 with 1:26 remaining.
The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 47.2% (25-53) from the field; their 13th game shooting 40.0% or better from the floor. Gonzaga also hit 33.3% (5-15) of its three-pointers and was 80.0% (12-15) from the free throw line.
Gonzaga held a huge 41-30 rebounding advantage over Saint Joseph's and dished out 16 assists during the game.
The Hawks closed out the contest hitting only 27.3% (15-55) of their shots, including 21.7% (5-23) on three-pointers and was 66.7% (8-12) from the charity stripe. Saint Joseph's was led by Jenna Loschiavo who scored 12 points.
Gonzaga will be back in action Thursday, Jan. 10 as it opens West Coast Conference play by hosting Pepperdine University at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for 8 p.m.