Dec. 29, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball came out of its seven-day Christmas break with renewed energy and easily defeated visiting in-state rival Eastern Washington University 97-61 at the McCarthey Athletic Center Saturday. The Bulldogs, who improved to 8-5 overall, had two players finish with 20+ points, including junior Jami Bjorklund who registered a game-high 25 points to tie her career-high. Senior Michelle Elliott added 24 points and a team and career-high nine rebounds in the Zags victory.
Bjorklund finished the game hitting 11-of-16 from the floor, including nailing 3-of-5 from behind the three-point arc to tie her career-high of 25 points. The Spokane native also posted four rebounds and two assists in a team-high 30 minutes of action. Elliott closed out the contest hitting 8-of-15 from the floor, including 6-of-10 on three-pointers and hit both of her free throw opportunities. Elliott has now hit a team-high 28 three-pointers.
The Bulldogs were sizzling from the field hitting 48.0% (36-of-75) of its shots, including 48.0% (12-of-25) from beyond the three-point arc, but hit only 65% (13-of-20) of their free throws. Gonzaga took care of the ball against Eastern Washington only turning it over a season-low nine times. The Zags forced 23 Eagle turnovers and finished with nine steals.Gonzaga broke the game open early, quickly building a 26-6 at the 10:12 mark of the first half and went into the locker room with the 47-28 advantage. Bjorklund scored 19 of her 25 in the first half, while Elliott added 10.
Eastern Washington (3-10) was able to slice Gonzaga's lead to 14 early in the second stanza after a three-pointer by Kyla Evans put the score at 51-37, but the Zags went on a 10-2 run to again open the game back up at 61-39.
Gonzaga's largest lead of the game was 38, attained twice; the last time coming with 57 seconds left in the contest after sophomore Tiffanie Shives hit two free throws.
The Eagles' Sydney Bensen finished the game with a team-high 14 points while Amy Bratvold added 10.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Dec. 31 when they play at Utah Valley. Game time is set to tip at 2 p.m.