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Women's Basketball Hits The Road

Nov. 24, 2007

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Game No. 5 - PORTLAND STATE
Sunday November 25 - 2 p.m.
Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) - Portland, OR
Live Stats:
www.goviks.com

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (4-0, 0-0 West Coast)
F - 11 Janelle Bekkering, 6-0, RS-Fr., Alberta, Canada
     (12.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg)
F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (20.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.3 spg)
G - 12 Rachel Kane, 5-7, Sr., Kaneohe, HI
     (4.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.8 apg)
G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Sr., Pasco, WA
     (9.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.4 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (10.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 spg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 124-93 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 190-119 (11th year)

PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY VIKINGS (4-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
F - 11 Kelsey Kahle, 5-10, Jr., Aurora, OR
     (16.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 spg)
F - 13 Delaney Conway, 6-0, Sr., Seattle, WA
     (19.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
C - 4 Erin Yankus, 6-2, So., Keizer, OR
     (4.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 apg)
G - 10 Claire Faucher, 5-9, So., Yakima, WA
     (8.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 10.8 apg)
G - 33 Lexi Bishop, 5-8, Fr., Spokane, WA
     (5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg)
HEAD COACH: Sherri Murrell (Pepperdine, 1991)
PORTLAND STATE RECORD: 4-0 (1st year); CAREER RECORD:151-193 (13th Year)

Gonzaga Off The Bench
G - 21 Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
     (10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 6.0 apg)
G - 34 Tiffanie Shives, 5-10, So., Lansing, MI
     (9.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.3 apg)
C - 13 Maria Hassett, 6-2, Jr., Beaverton, OR
     (6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
F - 35 Claire Raap, 5-11, Fr., Prosser, WA
     (2.5 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
G - 10 Tatriana Lorenzo, 5-7, RS-Fr., Wahiawa, HI
     (2.3 ppg)

THIS WEEKEND: Gonzaga University women's basketball embarks on a six-game road swing that begins with a contest at Portland State University Sunday, Nov. 25. The Zags first road game of the season starts 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.

BULLDOGS TAKE DOWN MARQUETTE: Five different Gonzaga University women's basketball players scored in double-figure points to lead the Zags to a 77-64 victory over visiting Big East Conference member Marquette University Friday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center. With the win the Bulldogs stayed perfect on the season improving to 4-0 overall. It is the second time in school history that Gonzaga has started the year with four-straight victories. The loss dropped the Golden Eagles to 2-2 on the season. Sophomore Heather Bowman led the Bulldogs for the fourth time this season, finishing with a game-high 17 points. Bowman, who has scored in double-digit points in all four GU contests this year, also had eight rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. Freshman Janelle Bekkering, senior Rachel Kane, junior Maria Hassett and freshman Courtney Vandersloot also had double-digit performances for Gonzaga. Bekkering scored 17, while Elliott, Hassett and Vandersloot posted 10 points each.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga University women's basketball player Heather Bowman has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday, Nov. 19. Bowman, a sophomore forward, led the Bulldogs to a 2-0 start to open the 2007-08 campaign. She averaged a double-double of 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over the first two contests and shot 15-of-27 (55.6) from the field and sank 10-of-11 (90.9) from the free throw line. Bowman started the season off scoring a game-high 21 points in the Zags 91-72 victory over the University of Washington. It was the first-ever win over the Huskies for the Bulldogs. She followed that performance up with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulldogs 93-55 win over the University of Nevada.

SCOUTING THE VIKINGS: The Portland State University Vikings are off to a strong start in 2007-08 having won its first four games. The Vikings, who finished last year with a 12-18 mark, defeated Bighamton (62-60), Utah State (61-59), Portland (80-71) and Cal State Northridge (92-64) so far this year. PSU is led by both Delaney Conway and Kelsey Kahle who are averaging 19.3 points and 16.5 points per game, respectively. Spokane native Lexi Bishop, a freshman on the Viking squad, has started in all four games for Portland State. The Shadle Park High School graduate is averaging 5.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. The Vikings are coached by Sherri Murrel who is in her first season with PSU. Murrel has a 151-193 career record over her 13 seasons as a head coach. 

ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST PORTLAND STATE: When Gonzaga University and Portland State University meet on the hardwood Nov. 25 it will be the 14th all-time meeting between the two schools. The Bulldogs hold the slight 8-5 lead in the all-time series and have won four-straight over the Vikings. In 2006-07, Gonzaga earned a 76-59 decision at Portland State. 

FRIENDLY CONFINES OF THE McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER: Gonzaga University women's basketball opened the 2007-08 campaign with four-straight home contests. It was the first time in school history the Bulldogs hosted four games to start the season. The longest homestand prior to this year was last season when Gonzaga had three-straight home games, going 3-0. In the the three-plus years the McCarthey Athletic Center has been in exsistence, the Bulldogs are 39-6 overall; an 86.7 winning percentage.

HIGH POINTS: Gonzaga University women's basketball opened its 2007-08 season with a 91-72 victory over the University of Washington, Nov. 12. The 91 points scored by the Bulldogs is a school record for highest point total scored in an opening game. The previous highest was 88 scored in a opening victory at the University of Idaho during the 1993-94 season. The Zags earned a 88-62 victory. The 91 points is also only the 11th game in school history where Gonzaga scored 90 or more points.

90 + POINTS AGAIN: Gonzaga University women's basketball earned its second-straight victory scoring 90+ points when it defeated the University of Nevada 93-55 Nov. 17. The Bulldogs opened the 2007-08 campaign with a 91-72 victory over the University of Washington. It is the first time is school history the Zags scored 90+ points twice during a season, let alone in back-to-back contests.

GETTING NUMBER FOUR: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team has earned its fourth victory of the season when it defeated Marquette University 77-64 on Nov. 21. It is the second in school history the Zags have strarted the season with four-straight victories. The only time the Zags opened a season 4-0 was the 1993-94 campaign under head coach Julie Holt. 

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 124-93 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 190-119 career record including 89-51 in WCC action. 

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.

BEKKERING HITS THE FLOOR: Redshirt freshman Janelle Bekkering waited for over a year to hit the basketball court in a Gonzaga University jersey. The 6-0 forward from Alberta, Canada sat out her first season with the Bulldogs after having surgery to repair a torn ACL. Her first game as a Zag was phenomenal. In a 91-72 victory over the University of Washington, Bekkering finished with 20 points, 16 coming in the first half, along with three rebounds and two assists. She currently is second on the squad in points (12.5) and also is averaging 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

TRUE FRESHMAN: True freshman Courtney Vandersloot, of the Gonzaga University women's basketball team, had a strong showing in her first-ever collegiate contest. Vandersloot, who came off the bench to play 26 minutes, dished out 10 assists in the Bulldogs 91-72 win over the University of Washington. Vandersloot also scored six points and grabbed four rebounds, two of which were offensive in the win. Over the Zags first four contests, Vandersloot is averaging 24.8 minutes, 10.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and a team-best 6.0 assists per game.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Gonzaga University sophomore Heather Bowman has registered two double-doubles on the season and now has six 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.

FOUR PLAYERS IN DOUBLE-FIGURE POINTS: The Gonzaga University women's basketball squad has four players averaging in double-digit points after the first four contests. Three are starters and the one is a key player off the bench. Sophomore Heather Bowman is leading the charge averaging20.5 points per game. Freshman Janelle Bekkering (12.5), junior Jami Bjorklund (12.0) and freshman Courtney Vandersloot (10.0) round out the players averaging double-figure points.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: 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. The 10 rebounds was also a career high for the Spokane native.

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. Renuis, 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.

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.

RECEIVING VOTES IN COACHES POLL: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team continues to pick up both wins and votes as the Bulldogs enter the third week of play. The Zags once again appeared among the schools also receiving votes in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll. Gonzaga garnered 13 votes in the third installment of the Coaches' Poll, up from five votes last week.

RECEIVING VOTES IN AP POLL: Gonzaga University women's basketball team, who is currently 3-0 on the season after defeating the University of Washington, University of Nevada and the University of Montana each by double-digits, appeared among the school also receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the first time. The Bulldogs garnered one vote in third AP Top 25 poll of the season.

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.

BULLDOGS 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.

INCHING TOWARDS 1,000 POINTS: Senior Michelle Elliott is closing in on the 1,000-point plateau. The guard came into the season with 904 total points and has scored 36 points this season to up her points total to 940. 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.

GONZAGA PICKED TO FINISH SECOND: Defending West Coast Conference Tournament Champion Gonzaga University has been picked to finish second this year in the WCC in a preseason vote of the league coaches. The Bulldogs garnered three first place votes, and received 55 total points to finish second in the annual coaches poll.

2007-08 West Coast Conference
Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. San Diego - 58 (4)
2. Gonzaga - 55 (3)
3. Pepperdine - 45
4. Loyola Marymount - 44 (1)
5. Saint Mary's - 29
6. San Francisco - 22
7. Santa Clara - 19
8. Portland - 16
(First place votes)