Dec. 9, 2006
CHENEY, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team needed overtime to defeat Eastern Washington University this afternoon at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. The Bulldogs pulled out a 103-102 victory over the Eagles to improve to 7-5 overall this season. With the loss, Eastern Washington has now lost six-straight and is 3-6 on the season.
The 100+ game, only the third in Gonzaga history and the first since the 1994-95 season, saw 61 total fouls called and 91 free throws awarded. The Bulldogs, who sank 12-of-15 at the charity stripe in the overtime to help seal the victory, finished the game hitting 33-of-45 free throws. The Eagles closed out the contest sinking 36-of-46 free shots, including 6-of-8 in the extra period.
Heather Bowman paced the Bulldogs to victory scoring a career-high 32 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field and 12-for-16 accuracy at free throw line. Her 32 points is the highest individual point total this season for the Zags and the first 30-plus point game since Ashley Burke scored 31 against Montana during the 2003-04 season.
Senior guard Rachel Kane was the savior in overtime sinking 6-of-6 at the charity stripe. Kane broke-up a 93-93 tie hitting four free throws to give GU the slightest lead with 56 seconds left in the game. Eastern Washington cut Gonzaga's lead to two three other times over the final minute, but with the score 101-99, sophomore Jami Bjorklund sank two free throws with five ticks left on the clock to put the game out of reach. EWU's Joanna Chadd hit a last second three-pointer to put the final score at 103-102.
Gonzaga shot an impressive 54.1% (20-37) from the field, including a blistering 60.0% (6-10) from beyond the three-point arc in the first half to hold the 51-42 halftime lead. Bowman was strong for the Bulldogs in the first stanza, scoring 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 at the free throw line.
The Eagles came back in the second half and sent the game into overtime on the strength of its free throws. EWU was 17-for-22 in the second stanza, including 7-for-8 over the final four minutes of regulation. Two free throws by the Eagles Phynique Allen with 13 seconds remaining in the second period tied the game at 87-87 and pushed the contest into overtime.
Three other players finished in double-digit points for Gonzaga. Stephanie Hawk closed out the game with 18 points and 12 rebounds; her second-straight double-double. Sophomore Sasha Polishchuk and Bjorklund both chipped in 11 points for the Zags.
Gonzaga will be back in action Friday, Dec. 15 when it plays at the University of Washington. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.