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Bulldgos Make First WCC Road Swing

Jan. 15, 2008

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Game No. 18 - UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
Thursday, January 17 - 7 p.m.
Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego, CA
Gametracker:
www.GoZags.com

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (11-6, 2-0 West Coast)
F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (18.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.2 spg)
F - 44 Vivian Frieson, 6-0, So., Seattle, WA
     (8.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
G - 21 Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
     (9.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.5 apg)
G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Sr., Pasco, WA
     (11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (10.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.1 apg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 131-99 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 197-125 (11th year)

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS (9-6, 0-1 West Coast)
F - 24 Sam Child, 6-0, Fr., Portland, OR
     (8.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
F - 50 Morgan Henderson, 6-1, So., Leawood, KS
     (9.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
C - 21 Amber Sprague, 6-5, Sr., San Diego, CA
     (17.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
G - 2 Amanda Rego, 5-10, Sr., San Diego, CA
     (9.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 8.3 apg)
G - 3 Brianna Estell, 5-7, Fr., Perris, CA
     (3.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
HEAD COACH: Cindy Fisher (Arizona State University, 1988)
USD RECORD: 39-34 (3rd year); CAREER RECORD: 98-115 (8th year)

Game No. 19 - UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
Saturday, January 19 - 2 p.m.
War Memoria Gym - San Francisco, CA
Gametracker:
www.GoZags.com


UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO DONS (10-6, 1-0 West Coast)
F - 12 Dominique Carter, 5-11, Sr., Tracy, CA
     (18.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.2 apg)
F - 14 Heidi Heintz, 5-10, So., Spoakne, WA
     (9.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg)
C - 10 Lisa Olden, 6-2, Sr., Beaverton, OR
     (5.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
G - 11 Shay Rollins, 5-11, Jr., Alameda, CA
     (12.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.1 apg)
G - 21 Nykia Peace, 5-8, Sr., Torrance, CA
     (4.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.4 apg)
HEAD COACH: Tanya Haave (University of Tennessee, 1984)
USF RECORD: 20-27 (2nd year); CAREER RECORD: Same


UP NEXT: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team hits the road for its first West Coast Conference road-swing of the season. The Bulldogs first play the University of San Diego, who was picked to finish first in the WCC preseason poll, on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Gonzaga wraps up the week by facing off against the University of San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.

LIVE VIDEO COVERAGE: All home Gonzaga University women's basketball contests can be seen live on CSTV's all-access through GoZags.com. Check out the the women's basketball schedule page for the link to the video broadcast. Gametracker is also available for all home games and can be accessed at GoZags.com

ON THE RADIO: Gonzaga University will have all regular-season home games broadcast on the radio this season as Steve Myklebust returns for his fourth year of calling the action. Each game will be broadcast on KGA 1510 AM in Spokane with a pre-game show 20-minutes prior to tip. Games will also be available on the internet at GoZags.com.   

TICKET INFORMATION: Single game tickets to Gonzaga University women's basketball can be purchased through TicketsWest at 325-SEAT (7328), TicketsWest.com, at any TicketsWest outlet, or at the McCarthey Athletic Center Ticket Office, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Women's Basketball Ticket Prices are as follows: $7-Reserved $5-General Admission Adult; $3-General Admission Child (12 and under), or Senior (65 and over); Gonzaga Students, Faculty & Staff are free with a valid Gonzaga ID.

ZAGS ON ESPNU: Gonzaga University women's basketball will have one home game nationally televised. The Bulldogs opening West Coast Conference game against Pepperdine University, Jan. 10 will be broadcast on ESPNU.

ZAGS HOME TV SCHEDULE: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team will have nine home games televised this season. The Bulldogs will have eight broadcasted locally and one nationally. The Zags will appear nationally on ESPNU and locally on KAYU, KHQ and GU TV this season.

BULLDOGS DEFEAT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT IN WCC TITLE REMATCH: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team improved to 2-0 in the West Coast Conference with an impressive 81-65 victory over Loyola Marymount University in a rematch of the 2007 WCC Tournament Championship game Saturday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. The Bulldogs, who have won three-straight contests, are now 11-6 overall this season, while the Lions dropped to 9-8 overall and 1-1 in WCC action with the loss. Senior guard Michelle Elliott continued her spectacular play in WCC action finishing with a game-high 17 points, 14 of which were scored in the second half. Elliott, who had 22 points for the Bulldogs in their WCC opening win over Pepperdine University, was only 3-of-11 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from behind the three-point arc, but was 9-for-11 at the charity stripe. Freshman point guard Courtney Vandersloot also posted double-figure points for Gonzaga for the second-straight contest, registering 14, along with five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Freshman forward Janelle Bekkering added 12 points for GU. The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 41.8 percent (28-67) from the field, including 43.8 percent (7-of-16) on three-pointers, and was 75.0 percent (18-24) at the free throw line. Gonzaga dominated the boards again, holding the huge 54-35 advantage, including the 13-5 edge on the offensive end and outscored the Lions 27-2 on fast-break buckets and 34-24 in the paint.

SCOUTING THE TOREROS: The University of San Diego currently holds a 9-6 overall record and a 0-1 record in West Coast Conference action. The Toreros, who were picked to finish first in the West Coast Conference in the preseason poll, lost their opening WCC contest to the University of San Francisco by the score of 80-62. USD is led by Amber Sprague who is averaging a team-best 17.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest. San Diego is coached by third-year head coach Cindy Fisher.

ALL-TIME AGAINST SAN DIEGO: Gonzaga University leads the all-time series with the University of San Diego 22-19 and has won the last 10 meetings. The last time the Toreros earned a victory over the Bulldogs was Feb. 7, 2002 (63-48).

SCOUTING THE DONS: The University of San Francisco currently holds a 10-6 overall record and a 1-0 mark in West Coast Conference action. The Dons defeated WCC favorite the University of San Diego 80-62 in their opening conference contest. USF is led by Dominique Carter who is averaging 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest. San Francisco is coached by second-year head coach Tanya Haave. The Dons will host the University of Portland prior to its contest against Gonzaga University.

ALL-TIME AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO: The University of San Francisco leads the all-time series against Gonzaga University 25-18. The Bulldogs have won the last three contests over the Dons including a 79-68 victory in the 2007 WCC Tournament semi-finals. 

WCC OPENERS: Gonzaga University women's basketball is now 5-3 in West Coast Conference openers under eighth year head coach Kelly Graves, including 4-1 in home openers. With the Bulldogs opening 68-56 victory over Pepperdine University to open WCC action they have now won their last five WCC opening contests, which includes four at home in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

LOOKING FOR NUMBER FOUR: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team is looking to capture its fourth-straight West Coast Conference regular-season championship and second-straight WCC Tournament title. The Bulldogs, who are 38-4 over the past three WCC seasons, are coming off a 13-1 WCC campaign in 2006-07. Of the four losses during the past three seasons, two have been to Pepperdine University and one to both Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. Last year's lone loss was to the Waves showcased on ESPNU. 

STRONG START: The Gonzaga University women's basketball squad closed out the regular-season non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-6 record. It is the best start to a Bulldog season in three years. Last  season, playing against some tough competition, the Zags finished their non-conference schedule at 8-8. In 2005-06, Gonzaga was 5-10 during non-conference.The 2004-05 season the Bulldogs had their best non-conference record during head coach Kelly Graves tenure, closing out the first part of the year at 11-2. 

BOWMAN RETURNS: Sophomore forward Heather Bowman returned to the Gonzaga University women's basketball lineup Thursday, Jan. 3 and scored a game-tying high 14 points to help the Bulldogs defeat Saint Joseph's University 67-43 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse in Philadelphia, Penn. Bowman, who missed five games with a broken left hand, was one of four players to finish in double-digit points for the Zags. Bowman jumped back in full force getting the starting nod after a three-week layoff due to a spiral fracture of her left hand. She played 19 minutes for the Bulldogs, hitting 5-of-8 from the floor and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Bowman also grabbed three rebounds in the victory. Bowman is still leading the squad, averaging 18.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

FREE THROWS: Gonzaga University is struggling with its free throws on the road this season but is nearly opposite at home in the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs are shooting a dismal 66.1% at the charity stripe on the road, hitting only 80 of 121 attempts. The Zags at home at the McCarthey Athletic Center aresinking 76.7% of their free throws, draining 115 of their 150 attempts.

SHOOTING STARS: The Gonzaga University women's basketball squad has had a strong shooting season so far in 2007-08. The Bulldogs are currently shooting 44.1% (494-1121) from the field over their 17 games, including two 50.0% or higher shooting nights and 14 40.0% or higher shooting games. Gonzaga is hitting 45.5% (245-539) from the field at home contests and 42.8% (249-582) on the road. 

ELLIOTT SETS TREY RECORD IN ROAD WIN: Senior Michelle Elliott hit a single-game school record nine 3-pointers and finished with career-high 31 points to lead the Gonzaga University women's basketball team to a 75-63 victory over Sacramento State University Saturday, Dec. 8. Elliott, who hit three 3-pointers in the first half and drained six in the second stanza, broke the 14-year old Bulldog single-game three-pointer record held by Ivy Safranski. Safranski hit eight 3-pointers in a 105-69 victory over Northeast Louisiana on March 26, 1994 during the WNIT. Elliott closed out contest hitting 11-of-16 from the floor, including 9-of-12 three-pointers. Elliott's previous best was 25 scored as a sophomore at San Diego State University during the 2004-05 season. Her Bulldog career-high was 22 scored against Sacramento State last season.

NATIONAL STATISTICS: Gonzaga University women's basketball players Courtney Vandersloot and Michelle Elliott are both ranked in the top of the nation in multiple statistical categories as of Jan. 14.  Vandersloot is 21st in the nation is assists per game averaging 5.5, while Elliott is 35th in three-point field goal percentage (41.9). Claire Faucher, of Portland State University, is leading the nation in assists with 9.0 per contest and Andrea Lightfoot of Idaho State University is the leading three-point shooter at 50.7. Gonzaga University as a team is also eighth in the nation in assists per contest, averaging 18.1, and 15th in scoring offense at 76.1 points per contest. The University of Connecticut leads the nation in team assists with 22.8 per game, while the University of North Carolina is the top scoring team at 90.6. Sophomore Heather Bowman would be ranked in points and rebounds, but because she missed five games due to an injury, she has not played in 75 percent of Gonzaga's contests.

ELLIOTT HAS STRONG START TO WCC SEASON: Senior Michelle Elliott has had a strong start to the West Coast Conference season. The Gonzaga University guard averaged 19.5 points and 4.5 rebounds during the first two WCC contests for the Bulldogs. Elliott began the week scoring a game-high 22 points in GU's win over Pepperdine University and followed that performance up with a 17 point, five rebound, two assist performance in the Zags win over Loyola Marymount University. Elliot is now one of three Gonzaga players averaging double-figure points at 11.2.

HEAD COACH Kelly Graves: Kelly Graves is in his eighth season as the head coach at Gonzaga University having built the Bulldogs into an annual West Coast Conference contender. After winning just five games his first season, Graves has guided the Bulldogs to three-straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles. This past season he added a WCC Tournament championship and the Zags inaugural berth in the NCAA Tournament to his GU highlights. Gonzaga finished the 2006-07 season with a 24-10 overall record and a 13-1 record in the WCC; which helped Graves garner WCC Co-Coach of the Year honors. Graves is currently the school's career wins leader with a 131-99 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 197-125 career record including 89-51 in WCC action.

LOOKING FOR 200: Gonzaga University head basketball coach Kelly Graves is three wins shy of earning his 200th career victory. Graves, in his eighth year as the Bulldogs head coach, currently boasts a 197-125 career-record over his 11 seasons.   

BOWMAN AMONG TOP WCC RETURNERS: Gonzaga University sophomore forward Heather Bowman has been selected as one of the Top 6 returning players in the West Coast Conference for the 2007 season. Bowman was the WCC's Newcomer of the Year last season and the WCC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Bowman led the conference in scoring in WCC contests (16.3 ppg). Joining Bowman on the top returning player list are Dominique Carter from the University of San Francisco, Daphanie Kennedy and Teena Wickett from Pepperdine University and Amanda Rego and Amber Sprague from the University of San Diego.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Gonzaga University sophomore Heather Bowman has registered five double-doubles on the season and now has nine career double-doubles to her credit. Bowman scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in GU's victory over the University of Nevada and then followed that up with a season-high 25 points, along with 11 rebounds in the Zags victory over the University of Montana. In GU's setback at Arizona State University, Bowman scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds; both game-highs. In the second game of the ASU Classic Bowman had 15 points and a game-high 14 boards; one shy of tying her career-high, against UC Riverside. Bowman's latest double-double was a 23 point, 12 rebound effort in a 71-58 victory over UC Davis.

DOUBLE-DIGIT POINTS: Heather Bowman has scored in double-digit points in 11 of 12 Gonzaga University contests she has played in and has also been the overall leading scorer in eight of the 12 games. Of her 11 double-figure performances, six have been 20+ point games. Bowman has now posted 33 double-figure scoring games over her two seasons with the Zags, including 14  of 16 double-figure contests in West Coast Conference games.   

TRUE FRESHMAN: True freshman Courtney Vandersloot, of the Gonzaga University women's basketball team, has had a strong start to her collegiate career. Vandersloot, who has played in all 17 games, getting the starting nod the last 10 games, is leading the team in assists, averaging 5.5 per game. She has dished out four or more assists in 13 Zag games, including a career-high 10 against the University of Washington on Nov. 12. Vandersloot is also averaging 9.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Gonzaga University women's basketball sophomore Heather Bowman was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for November. Bowman led Gonzaga to a 4-2 record during the month of November, averaging 20.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game through the season's first month. The forward shot 53.3% (48-90) from the field, and hit 29 of her 33 attempts (87.9%) from the free throw line. Bowman also posted three double-doubles during the month, beginning with a 25-point, 11-rebound effort in a win over the University of Nevada on Nov. 17 The Spokane native then poured in 20 points and 11 boards against the University of Montana on Nov. 19, and finished off the month with 20 points and 11 rebounds at then-No. 14 ranked Arizona State University Nov. 30. Bowman, who garnered WCC Player of the Week honors twice during the month, was the overall leading scorer in each of the six games during November.