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Zags Host No. 13 Arizona State Wednesday

Dec. 5, 2006

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Game No. 11 - #12 Arizona StateWednesday, December 6 - 7 p.m.McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (6-4, 0-0 West Coast)F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, Fr., Spokane, WA (8.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg)F - 42 Stephanie Hawk, 6-3, Sr., Ontario, OR (13.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.6 bpg)G - 3 Sasha Polishchuk, 5-6, So., Richmond, BC (5.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.9 apg)G - 21 Katy Ridenour, 5-11, Sr., Post Falls, ID (6.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg)G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Jr., Pasco, WA (13.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.7 apg)HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)GONZAGA RECORD: 102-86 (7th year);CAREER RECORD: 168-112 (10th year)

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY SUN DEVILS (7-1, 0-0 Pacific-10)F - 4 Emily Westerberg, 6-0, Sr., Greenacres, WA (15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg)F - 32 Aubree Johnson, 6-2, Sr., Post Falls, ID (7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg)G - 2 Reagan Pariseau, 5-5, Jr., Spokane, WA (6.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg)G - 20 Briann January, 5-8, So., Spokane, WA (10.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg)G - 22 Jill Noe, 5-10, Sr., Tualatin, OR (9.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg)HEAD COACH: Charli Turner Thorne (Santa Clara, 1992)ASU RECORD: 179-130 (11th year);CAREER RECORD: 219-170 (14th year)

Game No. 12 - Eastern WashingtonSaturday, December 9 - 2 p.m.Reese Court (5,000) - Cheney, WA

EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY EAGLES (3-5, 0-0 Big Sky)F - 33 Sydney Benson, 6-2, So., Snohomish, WA (5.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg)F - 42 Tara Holgate, 6-5, Fr., Everett, WA (2.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg)G - 10 Joanna Chadd, 5-8, Sr., Philomath, OR (15.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg)G - 24 Phynique Allen, 5-6, So., San Diego, CA (8.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg)G - 30 Katy Barker, 5-10, So., Spokane, WA (2.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg)HEAD COACH: Wendy Schuller (Fresno Pacific, 1992)EWU RECORD: 74-77 (6th 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 102-86 record. He has twice been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga (2003 & 2005) and boasts a 168-112 career record including 76-50 in WCC action.

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team will host Arizona State University on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. The Sun Devils, who are currently ranked as high as 13th in the latest Top-25 polls, will be the fourth ranked team the Bulldogs have played this season. After its contest against ASU, GU will travel down the road for a contest against Eastern Washington University on Dec. 9. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS: Gonzaga University will host Arizona State University, member of the Pacific-10 Conference, on Wednesday, Dec. 6. It will be the Bulldogs second-straight contest against a Top-25 ranked team, as the Sun Devils are currently ranked as high as 13th in the latest polls. ASU has started the season off strong with a 7-1 record. Its only loss of the season was an 83-74 loss to Tennessee. The Sun Devils victories include wins over Nebraska, New Mexico, Florida Atlantic, Nicholls State, Western Kentucky, Boston University and Northern Arizona. Arizona State is led by Emily Westerberg who is averaging a team-best 15.5 points per game. This will be only the third meeting between the two schools. The Sun Devils hold a 2-0 record in the all-times series.

A SHORT RECAP OF GU'S LAST GAME: Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton had 21 points and five blocked shots to help No. 9 Purdue overcome Katie Gearlds' continued shooting slump in a 69-44 victory over Gonzaga on Saturday night. The Boilermakers (7-1) broke the game open with an early 25-3 run, which ended when Gearlds scored her first basket for a 31-12 lead with over 4 minutes before halftime. The Bulldogs (6-4) got two 3-pointers by Michelle Elliott and cut the lead to 36-20 at the break, but Purdue controlled the boards and continued pulling away, leading by as many as 30 points in the closing minutes. Erin Lawless added 12 points and FahKara Malone had 11 for Purdue. Gearlds, who came in averaging almost 18 points a game, finished with 8. Gonzaga (6-3) was led by Stephanie Hawk with 13 points. The Bulldogs led twice early in the game, but a 3-pointer by Hawk that broke a 6-6 tie was their last basket for more than six minutes. A basket by Lawless started a 14-0 streak for Purdue. After Jami Bjorklund scored for Gonzaga, Lawless hit another basket to start an 11-1 run that ended with Gearlds' first basket.Gonzaga pulled within 57-39 with 7 minutes to go. Gearlds and Jodi Howell then hit consecutive 3-pointers, Lawless scored, Malone hit two free throws and Wisdom-Hylton added a basket that gave Purdue its biggest lead at 69-39.

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, 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.

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 (13.0) and first in rebounds per game (5.1)

A HUGE WIN: Playing against its first ranked opponent of the season, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team showed what it was 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 1-9 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 CONTINUES TO ROLL: Sophomore Jami Bjorklund, who 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, has continued her strong play as a Bulldog this season. Bjorklund has played in all 10 GU games this season, including five starts. She is averaging 10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Bjorklund had a career night against #2 University of North Carolina on Nov. 25. She scored a career-high 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 on three-pointers.

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 10 games for Gonzaga this season, including three-straight starts at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. She is averaging 2.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and a team-leading 3.1 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 defeated 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 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 was ranked 9th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll when GU dropped a 69-44 decision to the Boilermakers, while Arizona State is ranked currenlty 13th. 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 8.1 points and 4.7 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. She had another superb performance against Seattle Pacific, scoring a career-tying high 23 points, grabbing seven rebounds, making one steal and dishing out 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 77 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.

STRONG PLAY: Gonzaga University junior transfer Michelle Elliott has been a strong addition to the Bulldogs squad this season. Elliott has scored in double-figures in eight out of GU's 10 games, including two 20+ performances. She currently leads the team with 13.9 points per game.

BLOCK SHOT LEADER: Gonzaga University senior forward Stephanie Hawk has blocked 16 shots over the last six games, giving the senior a WCC-high 26 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 116.

CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Gonzaga University senior Stephanie Hawk needs only 118 points to become the 12th player in women's basketball history to have scored 1,000 points. If Hawk continues to average 13.0 points per game, she will hit the 1,000 point mark in nine games, which would be against Santa Clara University on Jan. 11

CLOSING IN ON 500: Senior Stephanie Hawk also needs just 37 rebounds to eclipse 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 59 three-pointers during her career to stand in eighth place.

FIRST TIME MEETINGS: When Gonzaga University played Purdue University on Dec. 2 it was the fourth game this season the Bulldogs played against a first-time opponent. The Bulldogs, who have two other first-time meetings this season (Davidson & Marquette), boast a 2-2 record over first time opponents. GU defeated UC Davis and UCLA and lost to the University of North Carolina and Purdue University.

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.

INJURY REPORT: Freshman point guard Tatriana Lorenzo injured her left knee during Gonzaga University's game against UCLA in Hawaii and will be out for the rest of the season.

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 1,163 fans over its four home games.

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.