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Bulldogs Play at Sacramento State Saturday

Dec. 7, 2007

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

F - 11 Janelle Bekkering, 6-0, RS-Fr., Alberta, Canada
     (7.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 apg)
F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (20.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.3 spg)
G - 21 Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
     (8.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.0 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (8.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)
G - 34 Tiffanie Shives, 5-10, So., Lansing, MI
     (11.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 apg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 125-96 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 191-122 (11th year)

F - 2 Charday Hunt, 5-10, So., Oregon City, OR
     (7.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
F - 33 Erika Edwards, 6-0, So., Redmond, WA
     (6.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
C - 24 Atty Boyer, 6-0, Jr., Sacramento, CA
     (13.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
G - 3 Sami Field-Polisso, 5-6, Fr., Mountain View, CA
     (6.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg)
G - 10 Jasmine Cannday, 5-6, Fr., Sacramento, CA
     (2.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg)
HEAD COACH: Dan Miscatell (Western Washington University, 1983)

G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Sr., Pasco, WA
     (8.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 23.4 mpg)
C - 13 Maria Hassett, 6-2, Jr., Beaverton, OR
     (6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 18.8 mpg)
G - 12 Rachel Kane, 5-7, Sr., Kaneohe, HI
     (3.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 21.5 mpg)
F - 35 Claire Raap, 5-11, Fr., Prosser, WA
     (2.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 5.3 mpg)
F - 44 Vivian Frieson, 6-0, So., Seattle, WA
     (2.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 18.0 mpg)
G - 10 Tatriana Lorenzo, 5-7, RS-Fr., Wahiawa, HI
     (1.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 5.0 mpg)
G - 3 Sasha Polishchuk, 5-6, Jr., Richmond, B.C.
     (1.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 3.5 mpg)
C - 33 Elaina Renius, 6-4, Jr., Grants Pass, OR
     (0.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 10.3 mpg)
G - 20 Amanda Brown, 5-6, RS-So., Sacramento, CA
     (0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 1.7 mpg)

THIS WEEKEND: Gonzaga University women's basketball closes out its California road trip 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.

ZAGS 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.

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.

GONZAGA GETS FIRST ROAD WIN: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team broke a three-game losing skid and earned its first road win of the season by defeating UC Davis 71-58 Thursday evening in Davis, Calif. Sophomore Heather Bowman paced the Bulldogs to the victory registering a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds; her fourth double-double of the season. Win the win Gonzaga improved its record to 5-3 overall while the loss dropped UC Davis to 5-2. It was the Zags three-point shooting and free throw accuracy that helped seal the 13-point victory for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs drained a season-high eight three-pointers on the night, including six in the second half, and hit 17-of-24 free throws. Besides Bowman, both Elliott and Shives closed out the contest in double-figure points. Elliott finished with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including 5-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc, while Shives registered 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and 3-of-7 on three-pointers.

Sacramento State University currently holds a 1-6 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 13.0 points and 7.6 rebound per game. The Hornets are 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 as of Dec. 3. 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 A ROAD WIN: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team broke a three-game road losing skid when it defeated UC Davis 71-48 on Dec. 6. After opening the season with four-straight victories, all in the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center, the Bulldogs hit the road for the first time and lost three-straight. The Zags finally pulled together and earned a road victory - and what a victory it was. Gonzaga handed UC Davis only its second loss of the season.

FRIESON HEALTHY: Gonzaga University women's basketball player Vivian Frieson was finally cleared to play. She had sat out the first seven Bulldog games after breaking a finger during a pre-season practice. Frieson, who averaged 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game as a freshman, saw her first action as a sophomore playing 18 minutes against UC Davis on Dec. 6. The Seattle native finished with two points and three rebounds in Gonzaga's 13-point victory over the Aggies. Before breaking her finger she was projected to be a Zag 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 125-96 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 191-122 career record including 89-51 in WCC action.

LOOKING FOR 200: Gonzaga University head basketball coach Kelly Graves is nine wins shy of earning his 200th career victory. Graves, in his eighth year as the Bulldogs head coach, currently boasts a 191-122 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 five double-doubles on the season and now has nine 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. In the second game of the ASU Classic Bowman had 15 points and a game-high 14 boards; one shy of tying her career-high, against UC Riverside. Bowman's latest double-double was a 23 point, 12 rebound effort in a 71-58 victory over UC Davis.

DOUBLE-DIGIT POINTS: Heather Bowman has scored in double-digit points in all eight Gonzaga University contests and has also been the overall leading scorer in seven of the eight games. Of her eight double-figure performances, five have been 20+ point games.

TRUE FRESHMAN: True freshman Courtney Vandersloot, of the Gonzaga University women's basketball team, has had a strong start to her collegiate career. Vandersloot, who has played in all eight games, getting the starting nod once, is leading the team in assists, averaging 5.0 per game. She has dished out four or more assists in six Zag games, including a career-high 10 against the University of Washington on Nov. 12. Vandersloot is also averaging 8.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

FINDING HER GROOVE: Maybe head coach Kelly Graves' move to bring senior Michelle Elliott of the bench was a smart one. Elliott, who struggled from behind the three-point arc in the first seven games, hitting only 5-of-21 (23.8%), had a spectacular game at UC Davis on Dec. 6; her first game as a non-starter. Elliott, who played 26 minutes, hit five three-pointers in the contest, equaling her season total. She finished with 19 points - a season-high. Elliott also had six rebounds, two assists and one steal in the 13-point victory.

FIRST TIME: 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 6.0. The spokane native has had double-figure rebounds in two contests this season, including a career-high 13 boards against 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 65 points this season to up her points total to 969. 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.

MAKING HER MARK: After sitting out a year after transferring to Gonzaga University, sophomore guard Tiffanie Shives is finally settling in. The transfer from Michigan State, who averaged 9.0 points over the first four games, has increased her output to 13.8 points per game over the last four contests. She is also averaging nearly three three-pointers per game, compared to 1.5 three's over the first four games. Shives earned her first starting nod against UC Davis Dec. 6 and shined in the debut. The guard finished with 15 points, hitting 5-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. She also had eight rebounds in the Bulldogs first road victory.

BJORKLUND SHOWDOWN COUNTDOWN: Gonzaga University junior guard Jami Bjorklund will see a familiar face when the Bulldogs travel to Knoxville for a game against defending national champion University of Tennessee Dec. 16. Bjorklund's younger sister Angie is a freshman starter on the Lady Vols basketball team. The older Bjorklund is averaging 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game in helping Gonzaga to a 5-3 start. The younger Bjorklund is averaging 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 steals for the top ranked Lady Vols.

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.