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Women's Basketball Continues Road Swing

Dec. 5, 2007

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Game No. 8 - UC DAVIS
Thursday, December 6 - 7 p.m.
The Pavilion (7,100) - Davis, CA
Gametracker: GoZags.com

F - 11 Janelle Bekkering, 6-0, RS-Fr., Alberta, Canada
     (8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.3 apg)
F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (20.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.1 spg)
G - 12 Rachel Kane, 5-7, Sr., Kaneohe, HI
     (3.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 4.0 apg)
G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Sr., Pasco, WA
     (6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.4 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (9.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.7 apg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 124-96 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 190-122 (11th year)

UC DAVIS AGGIES (5-1, 0-0 Big West)
F - 31 Jessica Campbell, 5-11, Sr., San Marcos, CA
     (12.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
F - 44 Heather Bates, 5-11, Sr., Madera, CA
     (9.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
C - 32 Ellen Porshneva, 6-1, Sr., San Jose, CA
     (6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
G - 4 Kirsten Commins, 5-8, Jr., San Clemente, CA
     (2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.0 apg)
G - 22 Haylee Donaghe, 5-10, Jr., Atascadero, CA
     (10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 spg)
HEAD COACH: Sandy Simpson (UC Davis, 1981)
UC DAVIS RECORD: 181-104 (11th year); CAREER RECORD: Same

Saturday, December 8 - 2 p.m.
Hornets Nest (1,200) - Sacramento, CA

F - 2 Charday Hunt, 5-10, So., Oregon City, OR
     (7.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
F - 33 Erika Edwards, 6-0, So., Redmond, WA
     (7.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg)
C - 24 Atty Boyer, 6-0, Jr., Sacramento, CA
     (13.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
G - 3 Sami Field-Polisso, 5-6, Fr., Mountain View, CA
     (5.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
G - 10 Jasmine Cannday, 5-6, Fr., Sacramento, CA
     (2.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg)
HEAD COACH: Dan Miscatell (Western Washington University, 1983)

THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University women's basketball looks to break a three-game losing skid when it travels to California for two contests this week.The Bulldogs begin their two-game road swing with a contest at UC Davis on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and close out the weekend with a game at Sacramento State University on Saturday, Dec. 8 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.

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.

GONZAGA'S 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.

ZAGS 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.

BULLDOGS FALL IN OVERTIME: Gonzaga University women's basketball was outscored 19-9 by UC Riverside in overtime to drop a 75-65 decision to the Highlanders in the consolation contest of the Arizona State University Verizon Wireless Classic Sunday in Tempe, Ariz. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 4-3 overall while the win was the first for UC Riverside who are now 1-5 on the year. Gonzaga scored the first bucket of overtime but seven-straight points by UC Riverside knocked the Bulldogs off their game. Two free throws by Bowman with 2:10 remaining in the overtime sliced the Highlanders lead to three, but UCR responded with a 7-0 run again to give them a 70-60 advantage. Gonzaga could not recover as Kemie Nkele sank four free throws over the final thirty seconds to seal the 75-65 victory. Gonzaga had a chance to win the game in regulation as it had the ball with 10.1 second remaining and the score tied at 56-56. Senior Michelle Elliot drove the lane and missed the shot but the rebound fell in junior Jami Bjorklund's hand. A little jumper nearly went in but rolled off the rim to send the game into overtime.

SCOUTING THE AGGIES: UC Davis enters into its contest with Gonzaga University with a 5-1 record. The Aggies only loss of the season was a 61-42 setback to Stanford University on Dec. 2. The loss broke a five-game winning streak for UC Davis. The Aggies have three players averaging in double-figure points, including Jessica Campbell who is averaging a team-best 12.5 points per game. Also in double-digit points is Anna Harp (11.5) and Haylee Donaghe (10.3). UC Davis is coached by Sandy Simpson in his 11th year with the Aggies.

ALL-TIME AGAINST UC DAVIS: When Gonzaga University and UC Davis meet on the hardwood on Dec. 6 it will be only the second all-time meeting. The Bulldogs earned the 73-70 victory in their lone meeting with the Aggies last year.

SCOUTING THE HORNETS: Sacramento State University currently holds a 1-5 overall record in 2007-08. The Hornets lone victory came on Nov. 27 when they defeated San Jose State University 60-57. Sacramento State is led by Atty Boyer who is averaging 13.5 points and 8.0 rebound per game. The Hornets will host the University of San Francisco Dec. 5 before welcoming the Bulldogs to the Hornets Nest. Sacramento State is coached by Dan Muscatell in his fifth year.

ALL-TIME AGAINST SACRAMENTO STATE: Gonzaga University holds a slight 3-2 edge in the all-time series with Sacramento State University. The Bulldogs won the last meeting between the two schools by the score of 84-43 on Nov. 16, 2006. The last time the Zags won at Sacramento State was in 2002 when they earned a 89-55 victory.

WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Gonzaga University women's basketball sophomore Heather Bowman has been 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.  

NATIONAL STATISTICS: Gonzaga University women's basketball players Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot are both ranked in the top of the nation in multiple statistical categories. Bowman is tied for 22nd in NCAA Division I in points per game (20.0) and 28th in rebounds per game (10.1). Angel McCoughty, of Louisville, is the leading scorer in the nation averaging 26.2 points, while Courtney Paris, of Oklahoma, is the top rebounder in the nation averaging 15.3 per game. Vandersloot is ranked 34th in the nation is assists per game averaging 5.0. Patrika Barlow, also of Louisville, is leading the nation in assists with 9.2 per contest.

GETTING NUMBER FOUR: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team earned its fourth victory of the season when it defeated Marquette University 77-64 on Nov. 21. It was the second time in school history the Zags had started the season with four-straight victories. The only other time the Zags opened a season 4-0 was the 1993-94 campaign under head coach Julie Holt. The Bulldogs had their four-game winning streak broken when it lost a heartbreaking 75-72 decision to Portland State University.  

FRIESON HAS BEEN CLEARED: Gonzaga University women's basketball player Vivian Frieson has been cleared to play. Frieson has sat out the first seven games after breaking a finger during a pre-season practice. Frieson averaged 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a freshman. Before breaking her finger she was projected to be a starter when the season began.

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 124-96 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 190-122 career record including 89-51 in WCC action.

LOOKING FOR 200: Gonzaga University head basketball coach Kelly Graves is 10 wins shy of earning his 200th career victory. Graves, in his eighth year as the Bulldogs head coach, currently boasts a 190-122 career-record over his 11 seasons.   

FRESH FACES TO GONZAGA: Gonzaga University women's basketball has four new faces on the court and one on the bench this season. Redshirt freshman Janelle Bekkering and sophomore transfer Tiffanie Shives suited up in Bulldog uniforms for the first time this season after both sitting out last year. Also new this season is freshman guard Courtney Vandersloot and freshman forward Claire Raap. Lisa Mispley Fortier returns to the Gonzaga bench as an assistant coach after one season at Northern Colorado University. Fortier was the director of operations for the Zags from 2004-06.

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.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Gonzaga University sophomore Heather Bowman has registered four double-doubles on the season and now has eight 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. Her last double-double came against UC Riverside. She scored 15 points and brought down a game-high 14 boards; one shy of tying her career-high. Bowman has scored in double-digit points in all seven GU contests and has also been the overall leading scorer in six of the seven games.

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 seven contests, Vandersloot is averaging 25.4 minutes, 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and a team-best 5.0 assists per game.

STRUGGLING AT THE LINE: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team is struggling from the line as of late. In the Bulldogs first four games, all at home, they were 81.9% (68-83) from the charity stripe. Since leaving the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center, the Zags free throw shooting accuracy has dropped considerable. In Gonzaga's two away games and one neutral contest, it has only been to the free throw line 44 times, making 24, for a dismal 54.5%.

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.

CAREER-HIGH: Junior guard Jami Bjorklund is second on the team in rebounds per game, averaging 6.4. The spokane native has had double-figure rebounds in two contests this season, including a career-high 13 boards against the 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. 

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 46 points this season to up her points total to 950. 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.

THREE STARTERS RETURN: This year the Gonzaga University Bulldogs return three starters from the 2006-07 squad that made its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Returning to the mix is senior guard Rachel Kane, junior guard Jami Bjorklund and sophomore forward Heather Bowman. Kane played in all 34 games, getting the starting nod 22 times. She averaged 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and a team-best 3.9 assists per contest. Bjorklund started 28 games for the Bulldogs and averaged 9.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Bowman, the WCC Newcomer of the Year, played and started in all 34 games for the Zags. She averaged 13.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game as a freshman.

BULLDOGS HAVE HIGH HOPES FOR 2007-08: Despite the loss of two senior starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, the Gonzaga University Bulldogs have high hopes entering the 2007-08 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 10 players who played last season including returning starters Heather Bowman, the West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year last season, Rachel Kane and junior Jami Bjorklund.

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)