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Bulldogs Welcome Saint Mary's, Santa Clara

Jan. 29, 2008

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Game No. 21 - SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE
Thursday, January 31 - 7 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, Wash.
TV: GU TV, Gametracker:
www.GoZags.com , Radio: 1510 AM

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (14-6, 5-0 West Coast)
F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (19.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.2 spg)
F - 44 Vivian Frieson, 6-0, So., Seattle, WA
     (9.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
G - 21 Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
     (9.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.6 apg)
G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Sr., Pasco, WA
     (10.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.9 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.9 apg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 134-99 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 200-125 (11th year)

SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (10-11, 2-3 West Coast)
F - 2 Louella Tomlinson, 6-4, Fr., Melbourne, Australia
     (13.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.2 bpg)
F - 14 Mikaela Cowles, 6-0, Jr., Bellevue, WA
     (2.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
G - 11 Lauren Shaughnessy, 5-4, Sr., Bellevue, WA
     (11.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg)
G - 13 Kira Kojola, 5-10, So., Espoo, Finland
     (3.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
G - 22 Jontelle Smith, 5-5, Jr., Pinole, CA
     (16.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.4 apg)
HEAD COACH: Paul Thomas (Wayne State University, 1986)
SMC RECORD: 24-25 (2nd Year); CAREER RECORD: 259-133 (14th Year)

Game No. 22 - SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
Saturday, February 2 - 2 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, Wash.
TV: GU TV, Gametracker:
www.GoZags.com , Radio: 1510 AM

SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BRONCOS (15-4, 4-1 West Coast)
F - 43 Jen Gottschalk, 6-0, Sr., Littleton, CO
     (16.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G - 3 Chandice Cronk, 5-8, Sr., Wasilla, Alaska
     (17.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G - 12 Tracey Walker, 5-6, Sr., San Jose, Calif.
     (10.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.9 apg)
G - 30 Elizabeth Doran, 6-0, Jr., Corvallis, OR
     (10.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg)
G - 34 Sara Majors, 5-9, Jr., Aumsville, CA
     (6.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.6 apg)
HEAD COACH: Michelle Bento-Jackson (Fresno State University, 1992)
SCU RECORD: 93-78 (6th year); CAREER RECORD: Same


UP NEXT: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team closes out a three-game homestand when it welcomes both Saint Mary's College and Santa Clara University to the McCarthey Athletic Center this week. The Bulldogs start the week by hosting the Gaels on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.The Zags then welcome the Broncos on Saturday, Feb. 2. Game time is set for 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.

COACH GRAVES EARNS 200th CAREER VICTORY: Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves earned his 200th career victory as the Bulldogs defeated the University of Portland 76-50 Saturday afternoon in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Graves, who was coaching against his former mentor Jim Sollars head coach of the Pilots, now has a 200-125 Division I career record over 11 years. Gonzaga closed out the contest shooting a superb 48.3% (29-60) from the floor, including 50.0% (4-8) on three pointers, but was a dismal 63.6% (14-22) at the charity stripe. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Pilots 45-37, forced 17 UP turnovers, made 11 steals and blocked three shots. All five starters for Gonzaga finished the game in double-figure points, including Heather Bowman who tallied a game-high 18 points, along with eight rebounds, three steals and one assist. Vivian Frieson chipped in 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while senior Michelle Elliott, junior Jami Bjorklund and freshman Courtney Vandersloot all posted 11 points apiece. For the second-straight game Bjorklund held the leading scorer of the opposing team well below their scoring average. Last week, Bjorklund limited the University of San Francisco's Dominique Harris to just seven points, when she was averaging 19.0 points coming into the contest. Against Portland she held the Pilots' Laiken Dollente to just three points. Dollente, who scored her only points on a three-pointer at the 5:27 mark of the second stanza, was averaging a team-best 15.9 points per game.

SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary's College currently holds a 10-11 overall record and a 2-3 mark in West Coast Conference action. The Gaels are coming off a 71-63 victory over the University of San Diego. The win over the Toreros broke a three-game losing skid. Saint Mary's is led by Jontelle Smith who is averaging 16.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest. The Gaels are coach by Paul Thomas who is in his second year.

ALL-TIME AGAINST SAINT MARY'S: Saint Mary's College leads the all-time series against Gonzaga University 22-20. The Bulldogs have won seven-straight against the Gaels and have won nine of the last 11 contests. Head coach Kelly Graves is 9-5 during his seven-year tenure against Saint Mary's. Graves was the head coach at Saint Mary's for three seasons prior to being named coach at Gonzaga in 2000. 

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara University currently holds a 15-4 overall record and a 4-1 mark in West Coast Conference action. The Broncos are currently in second place in the WCC. Santa Clara has won its last four games, including a 57-50 victory against the University of San Francisco on Jan. 26. The Broncos are led by Chandice Cronk, the reigning WCC Player of the Week, who is averaging 17.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest. Santa Clara is coach by Michelle Bento-Jackson who is in her sixth year.

ALL-TIME AGAINST SANTA CLARA: Santa Clara University leads the all-time series against Gonzaga University 27-16. The Bulldogs have won two-straight over the Broncos though and seven of the last nine meetings between the two schools.

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 had 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 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game over the six games since she's been back. She also has hit an impressive 59.1% (39-66) of her shots and 87.5% (21-24) 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 68.2% at the charity stripe on the road, hitting only 107 of 157 attempts. The Zags at home at the McCarthey Athletic Center are sinking 75.0% of their free throws, draining 129 of their 172 attempts. In West Coast Conference games, Gonzaga is hitting 73.7% (70-95) 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 44.9% (581-1295) from the field over their 20 games, including four 50.0% or higher shooting nights and 17 40.0% or higher shooting games. Gonzaga is hitting 45.7% (274-599) from the field at home contests, 44.1% (307-696) on the road and 45.8% (142-310) 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. Her nine 3-pointers is tied for the second most hit in a single-game this season in NCAA Division I. Heather Ezell, of Iowa State University, hit 10 three-pointers on Nov. 18 against Sacramento State.

NATIONAL STATISTICS: Gonzaga University women's basketball players Heather Bowman, Courtney Vandersloot and Michelle Elliott are all ranked in the top of the nation in multiple statistical categories as of Jan. 27.  Bowman is currently 16th in the nation in points per game, averaging 19.3. Amber Holt of Middle Tennessee State University is leading the nation in points at 27.1. Vandersloot is 18th in the nation is assists per game averaging 5.6, while Elliott is 23rd in three-point field goal percentage (42.3). Claire Faucher, of Portland State University, is leading the nation in assists with 8.7 per contest and Sony Rogers of the University of Montana is the leading three-point shooter at 47.8. Gonzaga University as a team is also ninth in the nation in assists per contest, averaging 17.5, and 13th in scoring offense at 76.3 points per contest. The University of Connecticut leads the nation in team assists with 21.9 per game, while the University of North Carolina is the top scoring team at 89.8.

BOWMAN NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga University women's basketball player Heather Bowman was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 21. Bowman helped Gonzaga hold on to its lead atop the WCC standings as the sophomore averaged 24.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in road wins at the University of San Diego and the University of San Francisco over the weekend. Bowman poured in 26 points and pulled down five rebounds in Thursday's victory over the Toreros and followed that performance up with a 23 point, eight rebound output in the Zags win over the Dons. Bowman shot 19-of-25 (76.0%) from the field and was near perfect from the charity stripe, hitting 11-of-12 (91.7%) from the free throw line on the week. This is Bowman's third WCC Player of the Week accolade this season and the Bulldogs fourth overall. Senior Michelle Elliott was also named WCC Player of the Week once this season.

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 134-99 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 200-125 career record including 94-51 in WCC action.

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 14 of 15 Gonzaga University contests she has played in and has also been the overall leading scorer in 10 of the 15 games. Of her 12 double-figure performances, eight have been 20+ point games. Bowman has now posted 36 double-figure scoring games over her two seasons with the Zags, including 17 of 19 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 20 games, getting the starting nod the last 13 games, is leading the team in assists, averaging 5.6 per game. She has dished out four or more assists in 16 Zag games, including a career-high 10 against the University of Washington on Nov. 12. Vandersloot is also averaging 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

CRASHING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University sophomore Vivian Frieson grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the Bulldogs 74-70 victory at the University of San Francisco. Frieson's previous career-high was eight brought down on two different occasions. The 16 rebounds was also the highest GU single-game rebounding output in six seasons. The last time a Zag had 16 or more rebounds was Feb. 22, 2003 when Anne Bailey finished with 20 against the University of Portland. Frieson is currently second on the Bulldogs squad in rebounds per game, averaging 5.8.

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.  

ZAGS CUT HAIR FOR GOOD CAUSE: Three members of the Gonzaga University women's basketball program have cut their hair for a good cause.  Assistant coach Lisa Mispley Fortier cut off 10 inches prior to the new year and donated the hair to Locks of Love. It was Mispley Fortier's third time donating hair to Locks of Love. Amanda Brown, a sophomore reserve on the Zags squad, was the first player to go under the scissors. Brown cut eight inches off and donated it to Pantene Pro-V's Beautiful Lengths program. The final player to shed some hair was senior Michelle Elliott. Elliott chopped off nearly 12 inches prior to the Jan. 26 game against the University of Portland. She too donated the hair to Locks of Love.

ONE OF ONLY TWO: Gonzaga University and Kansas State University are the only schools left in NCAA Division I to have both their men's and women's basketball teams still unbeaten in conference play. Gonzaga's women are 14-6 overall, 5-0 in West Coast Conference, while the Bulldog men are 16-5 overall, 5-0. KSU is 14-4 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12 Conference on the men's side and 14-5 overall and 6-0 on the women's side. KSU's men host second-ranked University of Kansas Wednesday. 

KANE ENDS GREAT CAREER: Senior guard Rachel Kane tore the ACL in her left knee during the Jan. 26 game against the University of Portland. The injury forces Kane to end her career as she has already used a medical redshirt year. Kane, who torn the ACL in her right knee twice during college (2003-04; 2005-06), closes out her career at Gonzaga scoring 351 points, grabbing 255 rebounds, making 75 steals and dishing out 285 assists. Her assist total ranks her sixth in the Bulldog career assists list. 

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 third on the team in rebounds per game, averaging 5.2 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.

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 209 points this season to up her career point total to 1,113. 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 8.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and  1.9 assists per game. She also has hit 34 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.