Nov. 7, 2006
Game No. 1 - UTAHFriday, November 10 - 8 p.m.McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WARadio: KGA 1510 AM
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (0-0, 0-0 West Coast)F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, Fr., Spokane, WA (6.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 apg - exhibition stats)F - 42 Stephanie Hawk, 6-3, Sr., Ontario, OR (12.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg)G - 3 Sasha Polichuk, 5-6, So., Federal Way, WA (3.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.0 apg)G - 21 Katy Ridenour, 5-11, Sr., Post Falls, ID (6.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 apg)G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Jr., Pasco, WA (8.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.0 apg - exhibition stats)HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)GONZAGA RECORD: 96-83 (7th year); CAREER RECORD: 162-109 (10th year)
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH UTES (0-0, 0-0 Mountain West)F - 24 Camie Oakey, 6-1, Sr., Flower Mound, TX (2.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, .371 FG%)F - 33 Marie Warner, 5-11, Jr., Hamilton, Ontario (1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.5 apg)C - 45 Jessica Perry, 6-3, Jr., Guelph, Ontario (7.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 spg)G - 5 Heidi Carlsen, 5-9, Sr., St. George, UT (5.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg)G - 15 Morgan Warburton, 5-11, So., Price, UT (6.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.9 apg)HEAD COACH: Elaine Elliott (Boise State, 1977)UTAH RECORD: 490-193 (24th year); CAREER RECORD: Same
Game No. 2 - UC DAVISSunday, November 12 - 2 p.m.McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WARadio: KGA 1510 AM
UC DAVIS AGGIES (0-0)F - 44 Heather Bates, 5-11, Sr., Madera, CA (5.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .410 FG%)C - 11 Paige Mintun, 6-2, Fr., Valley Center, CA (9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg - exhibition stats)G - 4 Laura Thomas, 5-7, Sr., Bakersfield, CA (0.7 ppg, 0.5 rpg)G - 23 Haylee Donaghe, 5-10, So., Atascadero, CA (1.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg)G - 24 Kristen Commins, 5-8, So., San Clemente, CA (2.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.8 apg)HEAD COACH: Sandy Simpson (UC Davis, 1981)UC DAVIS RECORD: 163-87 (10th year); CAREER RECORD: Same
HEAD COACH Kelly Graves: Kelly Graves is in his seventh 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 back-to-back West Coast Conference regular-season titles. This past season, Gonzaga finished with a 16-14 overall record and an 11-3 record in the WCC to claim a share of the WCC regular-season title. In 2004-05, GU won its first regular-season title since 1988 when GU posted a 28-4 record and 14-0 mark in the WCC. It was only the second time a school has run the table in the league. Graves was an assistant coach at the University of Portland when the Pilots accomplished the feat in 1997. For his efforts in 2004-05, Graves was named the WBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year and WCC Coach of the Year as Gonzaga ran off a nation's-best 23 game win streak and earned the school's first national ranking. Graves is currently the school's career wins leader with a 96-83 record. He has twice been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga (2003 & 2005) and boasts a 162-109 career record including 76-50 in WCC action.
BULLDOGS HAVE HIGH HOPES FOR 2007: Despite the loss of two senior starters from last year's 16-14 team, the Gonzaga University Bulldogs have high hopes entering the 2007 season. Head coach Kelly Graves thinks this team could be better at the end of the year than last season's team as Gonzaga does return six other players who played last season including All-WCC First Team honoree Stephanie Hawk and WCC All-Newcomer Team member Jami Bjorklund. Gonzaga kicks off the season with three-straight home games at the McCarthey Athletic Center. GU opens the season hosting the University of Utah on Friday (Nov. 10) and then welcomes UC Davis on Sunday (Nov. 12) and Sacramento State University on Thursday (Nov. 16).
SCOUTING THE UTES: Gonzaga University opens the season on Friday night as it welcomes the University of Utah to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Utah, who finished the 2005-06 season with a 27-7 overall record and a 12-4 record in the Mountain West Conference, were NCAA participants a season ago falling in the Elite Eight. The Utes lead the all-time series 4-1 and won the last meeting between the two schools 81-54 on Dec. 10, 2005. Utah is led by junior forward Jessica Perry who averaged 7.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES: Gonzaga University hosts UC Davis on Sunday afternoon. This will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Aggies. UC Davis finished 16-12 last season which included an 11-5 record against Big West Conference teams. The Aggies, who are in their final year of a four-year reclassification to Division I, will officially join the conference next season. UC Davis will play at Boise State University to open the season on Friday night.
GONZAGA DOMINATES WCC ATTENDANCE: Gonzaga led the West Coast Conference in attendance for the third-straight season as the Bulldogs averaged 1,250 fans a season ago. GU had more than 1,000 fans at all 13 home games last season including a season-high 2,582 when Gonzaga defeated the University of Portland on Jan. 29. Gonzaga is already off to a strong attendance start as the Bulldogs drew over 1,100 fans to its 74-48 exhibition win over Eastern Oregon.
HAWK AMONG TOP WCC RETURNERS: Gonzaga University senior forward Stephanie Hawk has been selected as one of the Top 6 returning players in the West Coast Conference for the 2007 season. Hawk was an All-WCC First Team pick as a junior averaging 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. In league play, Hawk averaged 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. Hawk had a superb season hitting double figures in all but five games, including seven double-doubles. Joining Hawk on the top returning player list are Dominique Carter from the University of San Francisco, Jasmane Clarendon from Pepperdine University, Ashlee Dunlap from Loyola Marymount, Daphanie Kennedy from Pepperdine University and Rachel Warren from the University of Portland.
BJORKLUND EARNS ALL-FRESHMAN HONORS: Sophomore Jami Bjorklund became the first Gonzaga University player in 13 years to earn All-Freshman team recognition as she was named to the All-WCC Freshman Team a season ago. Gonzaga's last All-Freshman honoree was Benibel Carrion in 1993. Bjorklund averaged 8.3 points a game during West Coast Conference play to rank third among conference freshman for WCC scoring.
THREE STARTERS RETURN: This year the Gonzaga University Bulldogs return three starters from the 2005-06 squad that won its second-straight West Coast Conference regular-season title. Returning is senior forward Stephanie Hawk, senior guard Katy Ridenour and sophomore guard Jami Bjorklund. Hawk played and started in all 30 games last season taking over the role as both the offensive threat and of defensive stopper. Hawk averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest. Ridenour started all but one game for the Bulldogs and averaged 6.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Bjorklund played in all 30 games, getting the starting nod 13 times. She averaged 7.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
KANE BACK IN THE MIX: Junior Rachel Kane has returned to the Gonzaga University mix of players after returning from a torn anterior cruciate suffered during the Bulldogs exhibition game against Seattle Pacific a season ago. As a sophomore in 2004-05, Kane played in 24 games, averaging 1.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest.
BACK-TO-BACK TITLES: Gonzaga University became the seventh team to win back-to-back West Coast Conference regular-season titles since the league adopted women's basketball in 1986. Pepperdine and Santa Clara have both accomplished this feat twice while Portland and Saint Mary's have pulled it off once. Only Santa Clara has ever won more than two consecutive WCC regular-season titles, winning four from the 1991-94 seasons.
HOME RADIO AVAILABLE: Gonzaga University will have all regular-season home games broadcast on the radio this season as Steve Myklebust returns for his third 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 with live audio streaming on www.GoZags.com
ZAGS LOOK SHARP IN EXHIBITION: In Gonzaga University's only preseason tune-up, the Bulldogs looked sharp defeating visiting Eastern Oregon University by the score of 74-48. The Zags were able to get all 13 players in uniform into its victory against the Mountaineers. True freshman Tatriana Lorenzo led the way for Gonzaga finishing with 12 points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal. Senior Katy Ridenour and sophomore Maria Hassett both finished with 10 points a piece.
FIRST TIME OUT: Two freshman earned starting spots in Gonzaga University's exhibition win against Eastern Oregon University. Freshman Tatriana Lorenzo was the Bulldogs starting point guard, while classmate Heather Bowman got the starting nod at the forward position. Lorenzo finished the game hitting 5-of-7 from the floor, including 1-of-1 from the three point arc and the free throw line for a team-high 12 points. Lorenzo also dished out three assists, grabbed two rebounds and made one steal. Bowman was a force defensively for the Bulldogs; grabbing a game-high seven rebounds, including three offensive and four defensive rebounds. Bowman also scored six points and had two assists.
ZAGS FACE NATION'S BEST IN HAWAII: Gonzaga University will take the stage with two of the nation's best programs when it plays in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. The Bulldogs will play 2006 second round participant UCLA in their first contest of the tournament and could possible play the University of North Carolina who was a 2006 Final Four participant and are ranked second in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll.
BULLDOGS FACE TOUGH SCHEDULE: Gonzaga University women's basketball schedule is highlighted by six teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and two teams that played in the post-season Women's National Invitational Tournament, including WNIT runner-up Marquette University. The Zags will play back-to-back games against opponents ranked in the preseason, Purdue University and Arizona State University, to open a tough month of December. Purdue is currently ranked 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll, while Arizona State is ranked 12th. Gonzaga will also face the University of Washington, a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant, and Marquette during the final month of non-conference action.
HOME OPENER: When Gonzaga University welcomes the University of Utah to the McCarthey Athletic Center on Friday, Nov. 10 for its season-opening game it will only be the fifth time in Bulldog history that the Zags have hosted their opening contest. Gonzaga currently holds a perfect 4-0 record in its season-opening home contests. GU defeated Central Washington University 67-43 in 1992-93, defeated Eastern Washington University 87-46 in 1997-98, earned a 72-60 victory over Boise State University in 2000-01 and defeated Utah Valley State University 87-41 in 2004-05.
BULLDOGS AND THE 3-POINTER: In the Bulldogs final home game in the Martin Centre, Gonzaga witnessed its consecutive game streak with a three-pointer made come to an end against the University of San Francisco. That 0-for-6 performance against the Lady Dons ended a 222 game streak in which the Bulldogs had made at least one 3-pointer in a game. The streak started after the Bulldogs went 0-for-10 against the University of San Diego on Feb. 17, 1996. Gonzaga rebounded from that performance to knock down seven three-pointers in each of its next two games and has extended its current streak to 67 games. The Bulldogs record for three-pointers made in a game is 14 against UC Riverside on Dec. 31, 2001. Gonzaga has recorded 17 games with 10 or more three-pointers made since the three-point basket was incorporated into the college game including a 13 three-point performance against Santa Clara to open West Coast Conference play during the 2004-05 season.
BULLDOGS SLAP ON THE "D": While the Gonzaga University offense had not always been pretty last season, the defense definitely was solid. The Bulldogs led the West Coast Conference in defense holding conference opponents to only 54.4 points per game. Gonzaga only allowed three league opponents to score more than 60 points last season. In five games Gonzaga allowed less than 45 points, including a season-low 38 by Pepperdine on Feb. 18. Gonzaga also ranked second in rebound margin behind Loyola Marymount University. The Bulldogs averaged a plus 2.6 rebound margin in WCC games and a plus 3.2 margin in all games for the season.
BLOCK SHOT LEADER: Gonzaga University senior forward Stephanie Hawk enters the 2006-07 season tied for sixth on the career blocked shots list with 62. Hawk had 44 blocks last season as the Bulldogs finished the season with 127 total blocks. Hawk also needs just 88 rebounds to pass the 500 rebound mark for her career.
FROM BEHIND THE ARC: Gonzaga University senior Katy Ridenour enters the 2006-07 season three three-pointers shy of cracking the Bulldog career three-point Top 10. Ridenour, who led the 2005-06 squad with 31 total three-pointers, currently has hit 49 career three-pointers.
A TOUGH BLOW: Janelle Bekkering, one of Gonzaga University's highly recruited freshman, will medically redshirt this season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL she suffered during this past summer. Before Bekkering suffered her injury, she had been one of 24 players invited to attend the Canada's Senior Women's Basketball National Team's "tryout by invitation." She was the youngest of the 24 players invited to the tryout.