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Women's Basketball Defeats Portland State 76-59

Nov. 21, 2006

Box Score

POTLAND, Ore. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team earned its first road victory of the season with a 76-59 win over host Portland State University Tuesday evening. Senior Stephanie Hawk finished with a team-high 20 points in the win; it was the third-straight game the Bulldogs had a player finish with 20 or more points. With the win, the Zags improved to 4-1 overall, while the Vikings dropped to 1-3 with the loss.

Gonzaga will be back in action this coming weekend when it partakes in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Whaine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. The tournament, which is hosted by the University of Hawaii, will begin on Friday, Nov. 24. The Zags will play UCLA at 1:30.

Gonzaga went into halftime with a 36-26 lead on the strength of senior Stephanie Hawk and the Bulldogs accuracy at the free throw line. Hawk finished the first half with 13 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field and hitting 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. As a team, the Zags were 14-for-18 from the free throw line in the first stanza, including 13-for-15 over the final six minutes of the half.

With the game tied at 11-11 at the 13:45 mark, Hawk drained back-to-back jumpers to give Gonzaga a slight edge. A layup by the Vikings Brianna Thompson sliced the lead back to two, but a jumper by freshman Tatriana Lorenzo and a jumper by junior Michelle Elliott pushed GU's advantage to 19-13.

After two-straight buckets by Portland State sliced the lead back to two, Gonzaga went on a 7-0 spurt to take a 26-17 advantage. The final two points of the run were two free throws hit by freshman Vivian Frieson.

Portland State was able to stop Gonzaga's run with back-to-back buckets by Kerstin Brosterhous and Kelsey Kahle, but it was all Bulldogs after that. The Zags held the Vikings to only five points over the final 2:45, while they hit 10 free throws down the stretch to capture the 10-point halftime lead

The Vikings came out strong in the early minutes of the second half, cutting the Bulldogs lead to 47-45. After hitting just one three-pointer in the first stanza, Portland State drained three in the first nine minutes of the second half, including one by Heather Arns which cut the Zags lead to two.

Gonzaga woke up; exploding for 13-straight points which gave it an impressive 60-45 lead with nine minutes left on the clock. Five different players scored during the run; sophomore Jami Bjorklund hit two jumpers, Hawk drained GU's first three-pointer of the contest, senior Katy Ridenour and sophomore Maria Hassett both made layups and Elliott hit one of two free throws. The Bulldogs also forced the Vikings to turn the ball over four times and miss two shots during their surge.

Portland State was able to cut Gonzaga's lead to 10 at 64-54, but a 12-5 run over the final four minutes gave the Bulldogs their 17-point victory.

Along with Hawk's 20 points, she had seven rebounds, two assists and three blocks GU. Polishchuk and Ridenour added 11 points a piece and Bjorklund had 10.The Bulldogs closed out the game shooting 33.3% (26-61) from the field, including a cold 12.5% (1-8) from behind the three-point arc, and was 76.7% (23-30) from the free throw line.

Portland State was led by Kahle who scored a game-high 23 points, along with eight rebounds, one assist and one steal. Jenni Ritter and Arns both chipped in 10 points. The Vikings finished the game shooting 39.3% (24-61) from the field, including 44.4% (4-9) on three-pointers, and 41.2% (7-17) at the charity stripe.