Feb. 8, 2007
MORAGA, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team began a three-game West Coast Conference road swing with a 78-68 victory over Saint Mary's College Thursday evening. The Bulldogs improved their WCC-leading record to 9-1 and are now 17-9 overall. The Gaels fell to 10-12 overall and 4-5 in conference.
Freshman Heather Bowman led Gonzaga with a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds; her third double-double of the season. Bowman finished the contest shooting 8-for-10 from the field and 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Senior Katy Ridenour and sophomore Jami Bjorklund both finished with double-digit points for the Zags. Ridenour poured in 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 1-for-2 accuracy from beyond the three-point arc, and 3-for-4 shooting from the free throw line. Bjorklund chipped in 11 points, along with four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.
Gonzaga, who went into halftime with a 43-34 advantage, overcame a slow start that saw Saint Mary's open up at 7-0 lead. Bowman dominated in the first half, scoring 16 points, including back-to-back jumpers with a little over three minutes remaining before halftime to give the Zags a double-digit lead at 39-28.
The largest lead of the game for the Bulldogs was 21. A layup by sophomore Maria Hassett and two made free throws by Bowman put Gonzaga's advantage over 20 at 60-41 with 12:16 remaining in the contest.
The Gaels were able to dwindle down the Zags lead to just nine, 68-59, at the 5:30 mark. Serena Benavente and Maija Lahde both scored six points a piece during Saint Mary's run towards Gonzaga's lead.
The Bulldogs sank 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to help secure the 10-point victory.
Gonzaga closed out the game shooting 52.7 percent (29-55) from the field, including 50.0 percent (3-6) on three-pointers, and 70.8 percent (17-24) at the charity stripe. The Zags, who held Saint Mary's to 38.5 percent (25-65) shooting on the night, held the slight 39-32 advantage in rebounds.
The Bulldogs will be back in action when they plat at Santa Clara University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Game time is set for 7 p.m.