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Zags Return Home; Hosts Seattle Pacific

Nov. 29, 2006

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Game No. 9 - SEATTLE PACIFICThursday, November 30 - 8:00 p.m. PTMcCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (5-3, 0-0 West Coast)F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, Fr., Spokane, WA (7.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg)F - 42 Stephanie Hawk, 6-3, Sr., Ontario, OR (13.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.6 bpg)G - 12 Rachel Kane, 5-7, Jr., Kaneohe, HI (2.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg)G - 21 Katy Ridenour, 5-11, Sr., Post Falls, ID (7.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg)G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Jr., Pasco, WA (13.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 apg)HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)GONZAGA RECORD: 101-85 (7th year); CAREER RECORD: 167-111 (10th year)

SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY FALCONS (3-0, 0-0 Great Northwest Athletic)F - 5 Libby Magnuson, 5-10, Jr., White Bear Lake, MN (7.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg)F - 10 Rachel Strand, 6-0, Sr., Shoreline, WA (8.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg)F - 24 Autumn Fielding, 5-9, Sr., Kennewick, WA (11.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg)C - 31 Kelsey Hill, 6-2, So., Portland, OR (5.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg)G - 22 Beth Christensen, 5-5, Jr., Enumclaw, WA (9.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg)HEAD COACH: Julie va Beek (Northwest Nazarene, 1989)SPU RECORD: 27-6 (2nd year); CAREER RECORD: 189-125 (11th year)

Game No. 10 - #9 PURDUESaturday, December 2 - 4 p.m.Mackey Arena (14,123) - West Lafayette, IN

PURDUE UNIVERSITY BOILERMAKERS (6-0, 0-0 Big Ten)F - 32 Lindsay Wisdon-Hylton, 6-2, Jr., Naperville, IL (14.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg)F - 35 Erin Lawless, 6-2, Sr., Nerwyn, IL (10.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg)G - 00 Jodi Howell, 5-11, So., Alexandria, IN (6.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg)G - 1 Katie Gearlds, 6-1, Sr., Beech Grove, IN (20.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg)G - 20 FahKara Malone, 5-3, Fr., Evansville, IN (10.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg)HEAD COACH: Sharon Versyp (Purdue, 1989)PU RECORD: 6-0 (1st year); CAREER RECORD: 123-65 (7th year)

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 101-85 record. He has twice been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga (2003 & 2005) and boasts a 167-111 career record including 76-50 in WCC action.

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team, who has played five-straight road contests, returns to the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center to host Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. After its game against the Falcons, the Bulldogs will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., for a match-up with Big Ten Conference member Purdue University. The Boilermakers who are ranked ninth in the latest Top-25 polls, will host the Zags on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS: Gonzaga University will host Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, Nov. 30. This will be the ninth meeting between the Bulldogs and the Falcons, with the Zags holding the 7-1 edge in the all-time series. Seattle Pacific is currently 3-0 on the season after defeating Warner Pacific, Azusa Pacific and San Francisco State. The Falcons are led by Jackie Hollands and Autumn Fielding who are averaging 12.0 and 11.3 points per game, respectively.

SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS: Gonzaga University will play at Purdue University on Saturday, Dec. 2. The Boilermakers are currently ranked nine in the latest Top-25 polls after starting the season off with a perfect 6-0 record. Purdue, members of the Big Ten Conference, has defeated Belmont, Hartford, North Carolina State, Washington, Baylor and Arkansas State this season. The Boilermakers are led by Katie Gearlde and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton who are averaging 20.0 and 14.3 points per game, respectively. This will be the first meeting between Gonzaga and Purdue.

A SHORT RECAP OF GU'S LAST GAME: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team dropped a 68-57 decision to the University of Hawaii in the third place contest of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Tournament Sunday evening. The Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 1-2 record and now hold a 5-3 overall record. The Rainbow Wahine improved to 3-2 overall with the win. Stephanie Hawk led the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Michelle Elliott chipped in 19. The Zags finished the game shooting 34.5% (20-58), including 35.7% (5-14) on three-pointers, and was 66.7% (12-18) from the line.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - TAKE TWO: Gonzaga University women's basketball player Michelle Elliott was named the West Coast Conference player for the week as announced by the conference office Monday, Nov. 28. Elliott continued to lead the Zags last week, as the junior propelled GU to a 2-2 mark including an upset victory over then-No. 19 ranked UCLA at the Rainbow Wahine Classic. The transfer from San Diego State scored nine points with seven boards in a victory over Portland State on Tuesday before dropping in 20 points with four rebounds and three assists in the win over the Bruins. After a 10 point, five assist effort against No. 2 ranked North Carolina, the junior racked up 19 points with three steals against host Hawai'i on Sunday. For her efforts, Elliott was also named to the all-tournament team. On the season, Elliott has scored in double-figures in six out of GU's eight games, including two 20+ performances. She currently leads the team with 13.9 points per game.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga University senior forward Stephanie Hawk was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 13 after she averaged 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds over the first weekend of play. Hawk started her senior season off strong scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds in Gonzaga's 57-45 upset over the University of Utah; a 2006 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Team. She then had a monster game in Sunday's 73-70 victory over UC Davis, as she tallied game-highs of 24 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. She also added four steals in the win over the Aggies. Hawk currently is second on the team in points per game (13.4) and first in rebounds per game (5.0)

A HUGE WIN: Playing against its first ranked opponent of the season, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team showed what it is made of by defeating the 19th ranked UCLA Bruins 62-57 in the first round of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Tournament. It was the Zags first victory ever over a Top-25 team. The Bulldogs currently are 1-8 against ranked opponents.

HAWK AMONG TOP WCC RETURNERS: Gonzaga University senior forward Stephanie Hawk was 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 ligament suffered during the Bulldogs exhibition game against Seattle Pacific a season ago. Kane has played in all eight games for Gonzaga this season, including three-straight starts at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. She is averaging 2.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

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.

ZAGS FACED NATION'S BEST IN HAWAII: Gonzaga University took the stage with two of the nation's best programs when it played in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. The Bulldogs played 2006 second round participant UCLA in their first contest of the tournament and advanced to the semifinals to play the University of North Carolina; a 2006 Final Four participant.

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 Top 25, Purdue University and Arizona State University, to open a tough month of December. Purdue is currently ranked 9th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 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.

A FRESHMAN SPARK: Gonzaga University freshman Heather Bowman hasn't been playing like a newcomer this season. The forward has been a mainstay in the Bulldogs starting lineup this season, averaging 7.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. She had a break-out game against the University of Montana by scoring a career-best 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 accuracy at the free throw line. Bowman also added a team-high nine rebounds, along with one assist.

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 75 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 blocked 11 shots in four games last week, giving the senior a WCC-high 21 blocks so far this season. Hawk, who also tied a career-high five blocks against UCLA, moved ahead of Kelli Howell (1991-92) into third place on the GU career blocks list with 111.

CLOSING IN ON 1,000 AND 500: Gonzaga University senior Stephanie Hawk only needs 141 points to become the 12th player in women's basketball history to have scored 1,000 points. Hawk also needs just 48 rebounds to pass the 500 rebound mark for her career.

FROM BEHIND THE ARC: Gonzaga University senior Katy Ridenour cracked the Bulldogs career three-point Top 10 when she drained three three-pointers against the University of Utah in GU's opening game of the season. Ridenour has now drained 57 three-pointers during her career to stand in eighth place.

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 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.

GONZAGA - THE NEW CLASS: The Gonzaga University women's basketball program is starting the 2007 season off on a strong note as head coach Kelly Graves has announced the signing of two players to national letters of intent. Joining the Bulldogs next fall will be Claire Raap, a 5-11 forward from Prosser High School in Prosser, Wash., and 5-8 guard Courtney Vandersloot from Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash. "The first thing people say when they see Claire compete is WOW," said Graves. "She is an incredible athlete, one with the rare combination of strength, jumping, running and coordination you just don't see very often. Claire is a hard-worker with an amazing future as a college athlete. She will continue to get better and better and the sky's the limit with her. Claire is also a tremendous young woman with great character and love for life. She's a perfect fit for our program.""Courtney is the perfect Zag," said Graves. "She has a high basketball I.Q., loves to compete and is a serious gym rat. A great leader, she is a point guard who can score but also makes others around her better. An amazing three-point shooter, she has an uncanny ability to get into the game and create for herself and others. We are thrilled that someone of Courtney's ability and character is going to be a part of our Gonzaga family."

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 an average of 1,242 fans over its three-game homestand.

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.