Nov. 23, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - Five different Gonzaga University women's basketball players scored in double-figure points to lead the Zags to a 77-64 victory over visiting Big East Conference member Marquette University Friday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
With the win the Bulldogs stayed perfect on the season improving to 4-0 overall. It is the first time in school history that Gonzaga has started the year with four-straight victories. The loss dropped the Golden Eagles to 2-2 on the season.
Sophomore Heather Bowman led the Bulldogs for the fourth time this season, finishing with a game-high 17 points. Bowman, who has scored in double-digit points in all four GU contests this year, also had eight rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. Freshman Janelle Bekkering, senior Rachel Kane, junior Maria Hassett and freshman Courtney Vandersloot also had double-digit performances for Gonzaga. Bekkering scored 17, while Elliott, Hassett and Vandersloot posted 10 points each.
The first half saw 11 lead changes and four ties. With the game tied at 7-7, Gonzaga's Hassett and Bekkering scored back-to-back to give the Zags a slight four-point edge with 14:11 left on the clock. It was Marquette's turn then, using a seven-point burst to gain a three-point lead at 11:02.
A 13-6 run by the Bulldogs gave Gonzaga back the lead at 24-20. Kane capped off the run with a three-pointer at the 8:20 mark. The Golden Eagles again battled back though and was able to take the 30-28 advantage after Angel Robinson drained a three-pointer.
A jumper by Vandersloot tied the game at 30 apiece and then two free throws by Hassett gave the Zags the lead back; a lead they would not relinquish. The Bulldogs closed out the half with a 12-1 run, starting with Hassett's free throws, to go into the lockerroom with an 11-point advantage at 42-31.
Bekkering led the charge in the first half scoring 13 points for Gonzaga. The forward was 5-of-9 from the floor, including 1-of-1 from behind the three-point arc and 2-2 at the free throw line. As a team the Bulldogs were an impressive 50.% (15-30) from the floor in the opening stanza.Gonzaga came out flying in the second half using a 6-2 run to open up a 15 point lead.
The Zags would continue to hold a comfortable double-digit lead until the 11:03 mark when Marquette started to put a little pressure on the Zags. With the score 54-43, the Golden Eagles hit back-to-back jumpers to slice the Bulldogs advantage to seven, 54-47, with 9:09 to play. Gonzaga fought back as Michelle Elliott, who used a nice ball fake to get open, hit a jumper to start a 7-1 spurt that gave the Zags back a 15-point advantage. Kane again closed out the run hitting her second three-pointer of the night.
The Bulldogs would not let the Golden Eagles get back into the game as they earned the 13-point victory. Gonzaga has now won all four games this season by double-digits.
Gonzaga closed out the contest shooting 47.5% (28-59) from the field, including 40.0% (4-10) on three points, and was 81.0% (17-21) from the charity stripe. The Zags dished out 16 assists and forced the Golden Eagles to turn the ball over 30 times. Kane led GU with season-high seven assists, while Vandersloot dished out four.
Marquette finished the game shooting 43.1% (25-58) from the floor, including 33.3% (6-18) from beyond the three-point arc, and was 44.4% (8-18) from the free throw line. Svetlana Kovalenko led the way for the Golden Eagles finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Gonzaga hits the road for the first time this season as it plays at Portland State University on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m.