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Zags Travel to #1 Tennessee on Sunday

Dec. 13, 2007

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Game No. 10 - #1 University of Tennessee
Sunday, December 16 - Noon PT
Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena (24,535) - Knoxville, TN
Television: SportsSouth; Live Stats: utladyvols.com

F - 11 Janelle Bekkering, 6-0, RS-Fr., Alberta, Canada
     (6.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.2 apg)
F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, So., Spokane, WA
     (21.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.3 spg)
G - 21 Courtney Vandersloot, 5-8, Fr., Kent, WA
     (7.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.2 apg)
G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, Jr., Spokane, WA
     (8.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G - 34 Tiffanie Shives, 5-10, So., Lansing, MI
     (10.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.2 apg)
HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)
GONZAGA RECORD: 126-96 (8th year); CAREER RECORD: 192-122 (11th year)

F - 3 Candace Parker, 6-4, Jr., Naperville, IL
     (21.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.6 spg)
F - 5 Angie Bjorklund, 6-0, Fr., Spokane, WA
     (10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
C - 55 Nicky Anosike, 6-4, Sr., Staten Island, NY
     (8.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G - 00 Shannon Bobbitt, 5-2, Sr., New York, NY
     (10.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.6 apg)
G - 14 Alexis Hornbuckle, 5-11, Sr., Charleston, WV
     (10.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.9 apg)
HEAD COACH: Pat Summitt (University of Tennessee-Martin, 1974)
TENNESSEE RECORD: 954-180 (34th year); CAREER RECORD: Same

Wednesday, December 19 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA
Television: KAYU; Radio: 1510 AM; Gametracker: GoZags.com

F - 3 Natasha Bogdanova, 6-4, RS-Jr., St. Petersburg, Russia
     (9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
F - 24 Lakisha Freeman, 6-1, RS-Jr., Saginaw, MI
     (13.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg)
F - 45 Kalika France, 5-9, Sr., Bladensburg, MD
     (7.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.9 apg)
C - 15 Danielle Campbell, 6-4, Jr., Chicago, IL
     (11.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.3 bpg)
G - 20 FahKara Malone, 5-3, So., Evansville, IN
     (5.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.1 apg)
HEAD COACH: Sharon Versyp (Purdue University, 1989)
PURDUE RECORD: 34-11 (2nd year); CAREER RECORD: 151-76 (7th year)

THIS WEEKEND: Gonzaga University women's basketball closes out a six-game road sojourn when it plays at top-ranked University of Tennesse on Sunday, Dec. 16. The game, which features junior Jami Bjorklund against younger sister Angie, a freshman on the Lady Vols squad, is set for noon PT. 

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.

ELLIOTT SETS TREY RECORD IN ROAD WIN: Senior Michelle Elliott hit a single-game school record nine 3-pointers and finished with career-high 31 points to lead the Gonzaga University women's basketball team to a 75-63 victory over Sacramento State University Saturday, Dec. 8. Sophomore Heather Bowman chipped in 28 points as the Bulldogs improved their record to 6-3 overall and won their second-straight contest on the road. Elliott, who hit three 3-pointers in the first half and drained six in the second stanza, broke the 14-year old Bulldog single-game three-pointer record held by Ivy Safranski. Safranski hit eight 3-pointers in a 105-69 victory over Northeast Louisiana on March 26, 1994 during the WNIT. Elliott closed out contest hitting 11-of-16 from the floor, including 9-of-12 three-pointers. Elliott's previous best was 25 scored as a sophomore at San Diego State University during the 2004-05 season. Her Bulldog career-high was 22 scored against Sacramento State last season.

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.

SCOUTING THE LADY VOLS: Top-ranked University Tennessee currently holds a perfect 7-0 overall record in 2007-08. The 7-0 start ties the 10th best run all-time to open the season for the Lady Vols. All-time there have been 14 perfect starts to a UT season (of at least seven wins). The Lady Vols are led by two-time All-American Candace Parker who is averaging a team-best 21.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Spokane native Angie Bjorklund, younger sister of Gonzaga University junior Jami Bjorklund, is averaging 10.1 points and 4.0 rebounds as a starting forward for the defending national champions. Tennessee is coach by Pat Summitt in her 34th year at the helm of the Lady Vols. Summitt is only 46 wins shy of 1,000 career victories, currently holding a  954-180 record. UT will face Middle Tennessee  State University on Thursday, Dec. 13 before hosting the Bulldogs.

ALL-TIME AGAINST TENNESSEE: The University of Tennessee won the only meeting between the two schools with a 79-65 victory on Nov. 25, 2005 at the Paradise Jam. The Lady Vols were also the top ranked team in the nation at the time

CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga University women's basketball player Michelle Elliott was named the Co-West Coast Conference Player of the Week as announced by the conference office Monday, Dec. 10. Elliott shares the honor with the University of San Francisco's Dominique Carter. Elliott earned the honor after setting a career-high in points and breaking a single-game shooting record last week. The senior guard averaged 25.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while shooting a blistering 63.0% (17-for-27) from the field and 63.6% (14-22) from behind the three-point arc as the Bulldogs topped both UC Davis and Sacramento State University on the road. Elliott began the week scoring 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-10 on three-pointers in Gonzaga's 71-58 victory over the Aggies. She followed that performance up by scoring a career-high 31 points in the Zags 75-63 win over Sacramento State. Elliott drained nine three-pointers in the victory to set a Gonzaga single-game school record.

WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Gonzaga University women's basketball sophomore Heather Bowman was 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, Courtney Vandersloot and Michelle Elliott are all ranked in the top of the nation in multiple statistical categories as of Dec. 9. Bowman is tied for 11th in NCAA Division I in points per game (21.2) and tied for 21st in rebounds per game (10.1). Angel McCoughty, of Louisville, is the leading scorer in the nation averaging 25.4 points, while Courtney Paris, of Oklahoma, is the top rebounder in the nation averaging 15.8 per game. Vandersloot is ranked 30th in the nation is assists per game averaging 5.3, while Elliott is 32nd in three-point field goal percentage (44.2). Claire Faucher, of Portland State University, is leading the nation in assists with 9.1 per contest and Wendy Ausedomore of Iowa is the leading three-point shooter at 58.1.

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 126-96 record. He has been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga three times (2003 & 2005 & 2007) and boasts a 192-122 career record including 89-51 in WCC action.

LOOKING FOR 200: Gonzaga University head basketball coach Kelly Graves is eight wins shy of earning his 200th career victory. Graves, in his eighth year as the Bulldogs head coach, currently boasts a 192-122 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 nine Gonzaga University contests and has also been the overall leading scorer in seven of the nine games. Of her nine double-figure performances, six 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 nine games, getting the starting nod twice, is leading the team in assists, averaging 5.3 per game. She has dished out four or more assists in seven Zag games, including a career-high 10 against the University of Washington on Nov. 12. Vandersloot is also averaging 7.7 points and 3.1 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. Elliott also had six rebounds, two assists and one steal in the 13-point victory. In her second-straight game as a spark off the bench, Elliott exploded. She drained a Bulldog single-game record nine three-pointers and finished with a career-high 31 points.

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.

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, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game in helping Gonzaga to a 6-3 start. The younger Bjorklund is averaging 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals for the top ranked Lady Vols.

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. 

SCORING 1,000 POINTS: Senior Michelle Elliott hit the 1,000-point plateau against Sacramento State University Dec. 8. The guard came into the season with 904 total points and has scored 96 points this season to hit exactly 1,000 points. 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 11.0 points per game over the last five contests. She is also averaging nearly two three-pointers per game, compared to one three 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.

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.