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Zags Wrap-Up Road Trip At USF Saturday

Jan. 18, 2008

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Saturday, January 19 - 2 p.m.
War Memoria Gym - San Francisco, CA
www.GoZags.com , Radio: www.USFDons.com

F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (19.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.1 spg)
F - 44 Vivian Frieson, 6-0, So., Seattle, WA
     (8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg)
G - 21 Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
     (9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.4 apg)
G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Sr., Pasco, WA
     (10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.1 apg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 132-99 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 198-125 (11th year)

F - 12 Dominique Carter, 5-11, Sr., Tracy, CA
     (19.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F - 14 Heidi Heintz, 5-10, So., Spoakne, WA
     (9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg)
C - 10 Lisa Olden, 6-2, Sr., Beaverton, OR
     (5.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
G - 11 Shay Rollins, 5-11, Jr., Alameda, CA
     (12.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.9 apg)
G - 21 Nykia Peace, 5-8, Sr., Torrance, CA
     (4.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.6 apg)
HEAD COACH: Tanya Haave (University of Tennessee, 1984)
USF RECORD: 21-27 (2nd year); CAREER RECORD: Same

UP NEXT: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team closes out its first West Coast Conference road-swing of the season when it plays at the University of San Francisco. The Bulldogs face off against the Dons 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 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 HOLD ON, EARN VICTORY AT SAN DIEGO: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team handed the University of San Diego, the West Coast Conference preseason favorite, its second-straight WCC loss with a 83-76 victory at the Jenny Craig Pavilion Thursday evening. The Bulldogs (12-6) stayed perfect in the WCC with the win, improving their record to 3-0, and have now won four-straight. Gonzaga starved off a late run by San Diego (9-7, 0-2) to earn the seven-point victory. The Bulldogs seemed to have locked up the win easily building a 24-point cushion at 57-34 with 15:42 remaining in the contest after GU opened the second half with a 14-0 run. The Zags continued to hold an extreme lead late into the second half but the Toreros mounted a comeback which was started with a three-pointer by Sam Child at the 5:11 mark that sliced Gonzaga's 17 point advantage to 70-56. A jumper by USD's Kiva Herman followed by another three-pointer by Child cut the Bulldogs lead to single-digits at nine points at the 3:36 mark. With the Zags leading 76-65 with 1:39 left, the Toreros rattled off an 8-2 spurt to come within five points of tying the contest. Three consecutive free throws by freshman Courtney Vandersloot pushed Gonzaga's lead to 80-72 with 22 ticks remaining, but back-to-back layup by USD's Amanda Rego cut the lead to four and put a small scare into the Bulldogs. Gonzaga, who struggled earlier in the year at the free throw line, sank its final three of four free throw opportunities to secure the WCC win. The Bulldogs held the 43-31 lead at halftime on the strong play of both sophomore Heather Bowman and sophomore Tiffanie Shives. Bowman scored 13 points in the opening half and Shives posted 11. The Zags had five players close out the contest in double-digit points, including Bowman who registered 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Sharpshooter Shives drained four three-pointers in the game and finished the contest with 14 points. Vandersloot chipped in 13 points, while freshman Vivian Frieson and junior Jami Bjorklund both posted 12 points. Gonzaga was sizzling from the floor against San Diego, hitting 50.0 percent (29-58) of its shots, including 56.3 percent (9-16) of its three-pointers. The Bulldogs also finished the contest making 16-of-20 (80.0%) free throw opportunities. The Zags finished with a slight 31-30 edge in rebounds. Both teams dished out 14 assists, had five steals and two blocks in the contest. Gonzaga turned the ball over 15 times and San Diego had 16 miscues. The Toreros were led by Herman who scored a game-high 28 points and brought down eight rebounds. San Diego shot 47.5 percent (28-59) from the field, including 42.9 percent (6-14) from beyond the three-point arc, and was 77.8 percent (14-18) at the charity stripe.

SCOUTING THE DONS: The University of San Francisco currently holds an 11-6 overall record and a 2-0 mark in West Coast Conference action. The Dons defeated WCC favorite the University of San Diego 80-62 in their opening conference contest followed by a 65-51 win over the University of Portland. USF is led by Dominique Carter who is averaging 19.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest. San Francisco is coached by second-year head coach Tanya Haave.

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 has averaged 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game over the four games since she has been back. She also has hit an impressive 61.5% (24-39) of her shots and 90.9% (10-11) from the charity stripe.

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 68.1% at the charity stripe on the road, hitting only 96 of 141 attempts. The Zags at home at the McCarthey Athletic Center are sinking 76.7% of their free throws, draining 115 of their 150 attempts. In West Coast Conference games, Gonzaga is hitting 78.9% (45-57) at the charity stripe.

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 44.4% (523-1179) from the field over their 18 games, including three 50.0% or higher shooting nights and 15 40.0% or higher shooting games. Gonzaga is hitting 45.5% (245-539) from the field at home contests, 43.4% (278-640) on the road and 43.3% (84-194) in West Coast Conference games. 

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 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds during the first three WCC contests for the Bulldogs. Elliott began the conference schedule 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 10.7.

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 132-99 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 198-125 career record including 89-51 in WCC action.

LOOKING FOR 200: Gonzaga University head basketball coach Kelly Graves is two wins shy of earning his 200th career victory. Graves, in his eighth year as the Bulldogs head coach, currently boasts a 198-125 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 12 of 13 Gonzaga University contests she has played in and has also been the overall leading scorer in eight of the 13 games. Of her 12 double-figure performances, seven have been 20+ point games. Bowman has now posted 34 double-figure scoring games over her two seasons with the Zags, including 15 of 17 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 18 games, getting the starting nod the last 11 games, is leading the team in assists, averaging 5.4 per game. She has dished out four or more assists in 14 Zag games, including a career-high 10 against the University of Washington on Nov. 12. Vandersloot is also averaging 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals 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.

FIRST TIME: Junior guard Jami Bjorklund posted her first collegiate double-double in Gonzaga University's 91-72 victory over the University of Washington, Nov. 12. Bjorklund finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds; six of which were offensive.

CAREER-HIGH: Junior guard Jami Bjorklund is second on the team in rebounds per game, averaging 5.3 per contest. The Spokane native has had double-figure rebounds in two contests this season, including a career-high 13 boards against UC Riverside on Dec. 2. Her previous best was 10 brought down in Gonzaga University's opening contest against the University of Washington, Nov. 12.

BJORKLUND SHOWDOWN: The hype heading into the Gonzaga University and University Tennessee women's basketball game centered around the Bjorklund sisters from Spokane, Wash.. Facing off against each other for the first time in their playing careers, Angie scored a team-high 23 points to help the Lady Vols to a 93-73 victory over unranked Gonzaga. Older sister Jami had 19 points for the Bulldogs.

Elaina Renius SUITS UP: Gonzaga University two-sport athlete Elaina Renius suited up in a women's basketball jersey for the first time this season and for the first time in nearly two years on Nov. 19. Renius, who played basketball her first two seasons at GU (2004-05, 2005-06), has played volleyball for the past two years (2006 & 2007). The Zag volleyball season ended on Saturday, Nov. 17 with a 3-0 loss to WCC rival the University of San Francisco and two days later Renius was suited up and ready to play basketball. Renius' first game action game was against Arizona State University. She played 19 minutes, scored two points, grabbed four rebounds, made three steals, blocked one shot and had one assist. 

SCORING 1,000 POINTS: Senior Michelle Elliott hit the 1,000-point plateau against Sacramento State University Dec. 8. The guard came into the season with 904 total points and has scored 193 points this season to up her career point total to 1,097. Elliott played her first two collegiate seasons at San Diego State University registering 549 points over those two years. Last season, in her first year with Gonzaga University, Elliott posted 315 total points.

MAKING HER MARK: After sitting out a year after transferring to Gonzaga University, sophomore guard Tiffanie Shives is finally settling in. The transfer from Michigan State is averaging 9.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and  1.6 assists per game. She also has hit 33 three-pointers this season; second-best on the squad. Shives earned her first starting nod against UC Davis Dec. 6 and shined in the debut. The guard finished with 15 points, hitting 5-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. She also had eight rebounds in the Bulldogs first road victory.

THREE STARTERS RETURN: This year the Gonzaga University Bulldogs return three starters from the 2006-07 squad that made its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Returning to the mix is senior guard Rachel Kane, junior guard Jami Bjorklund and sophomore forward Heather Bowman. Kane played in all 34 games, getting the starting nod 22 times. She averaged 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and a team-best 3.9 assists per contest. Bjorklund started 28 games for the Bulldogs and averaged 9.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Bowman, the WCC Newcomer of the Year, played and started in all 34 games for the Zags. She averaged 13.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game as a freshman.

BULLDOGS FACE TOUGH SCHEDULE: Gonzaga University, coming off a season that saw it win their first-ever WCC Tournament Championship and make their inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament, have put together one of the strongest schedules in school history. Of the 15 non-conference match-ups on the slate this season, 10 opponents either made it to the NCAA Tournament or participated in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) in 2007. Included in that list is a game against the defending National Champions the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and Elite Eight members Arizona State University and Purdue University.