{{ article.title }}

Women's Basketball Hosts Montana State Saturday

Dec. 25, 2006

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Game No. 16 - MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITYSaturday, December 30 - NoonMcCarthey Athletic Center (6,000) - Spokane, WA

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (7-8, 0-0 West Coast)F - 30 Heather Bowman, 6-2, Fr., Spokane, WA (9.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg)F - 42 Stephanie Hawk, 6-3, Sr., Ontario, OR (13.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg)G - 3 Sasha Polishchuk, 5-6, So., Richmond, BC (4.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg)G - 32 Jami Bjorklund, 5-11, So., Spokane, WA (10.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg)G - 31 Michelle Elliott, 5-11, Jr., Pasco, WA (13.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg)HEAD COACH: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988)GONZAGA RECORD: 103-90 (7th year);CAREER RECORD: 169-116 (10th year)

MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY BOBCATS (5-6, 0-0 Big Sky)F - 22 Krislyn Wallace, 6-1, Jr., Hooper, UT (6.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg)F - 30 Nubia Garcia, 6-2, So., Orem, UT (9.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg)G - 1 Erica Perry, 5-4, Fr., Lynwood, CA (5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg)G - 4 Rebecca Mercer, 5-9, Jr., Perth, Australia (12.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg)G - 24 Alysaa Nelson, 5-6, Sr., Eding, MN (12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg)HEAD COACH: Tricia Binford (Boise State, 1995)MSU RECORD: 8-29 (second 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 103-90 record. He has twice been named the WCC Coach of the Year at Gonzaga (2003 & 2005) and boasts a 169-116 career record including 76-50 in WCC action.

TOP STORY: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team will return to action after a 10 day holiday break when it welcomes Montana State University to the McCarthey Athletic Center on Saturday, Dec. 30. The Bulldogs, who are looking to break a three-game losing skid, will face off against the Bobcats at Noon.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS: Montana State University is off to a 5-6 start and have lost two-straight. The Bobcats, who hold a 10-5 lead in the all-time series against the Bulldogs, are led by Rebecca Mercer and Alyssa Nelson who are averaging 12.5 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.

A SHORT RECAP OF GU'S LAST GAME: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team fell to Davidson College 77-69 o at the McCarthey Dec. 20 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 7-8 on the season while Davidson improved to 11-2 with the victory. Gonzaga had three players score in double digits and was led by junior Michelle Elliott with 16. Senior Stephanie Hawk and sophomore Jami Bjorklund each posted 14 points with seven and six rebounds, respectively. Also posting double figures was freshman Heather Bowman with 10.

CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Gonzaga University senior Stephanie Hawk needs to score only 40 more points to become the 12th player in women's basketball history to have scored 1,000 points. If Hawk continues to average 13.9 points per game, she will hit the 1,000 point mark in three games, which would be at Pepperdine University on Jan. 7.

GRABBING 500: With her seven rebounds against Davidson College, Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Stephanie Hawk eclipsed the 500 rebound mark for her career. Hawk, who started off the season with 412 rebounds, now has 503 rebounds to her credit.

CONTROLLING THE GLASS: Despite dropping a 14-point decision to Marquette University on Dec. 17, the Bulldogs earned a moral victory by being only the second team all season to outrebound the Golden Eagles. Marquette entered the contest with a plus-eight margin against opponents on the backboards, but Gonzaga won the battle of the boards, 45-39, including 23-14 on the offensive glass. MU hadn't been out-rebounded since its only loss at Virginia on Nov. 17.

DOUBLED-UP: Freshman Heather Bowman collected her first collegiate double-double against Washington University on Friday, Dec. 15. Bowman, who finished the first half one rebound shy of the double-double, closed out the game scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

BREAKING 30: Freshman Heather Bowman paced the Bulldogs to their victory over Eastern Washington University scoring a career-high 32 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field and 12-for-16 accuracy at free throw line. Her 32 points is the highest individual point total this season for the Zags and the first 30-plus point game since Ashley Burke scored 31 against Montana during the 2003-04 season.

FOULS AND FREE THROWS: The 103-102 victory over Eastern Washington, only the third 100+ game in Gonzaga University history and the first since the 1993-94 season, saw 61 total fouls called and 91 free throws awarded. The Bulldogs, who sank 12-of-15 at the charity stripe in the overtime to help seal the victory, finished the game hitting 33-of-45 free throws. The Eagles closed out the contest sinking 36-of-46 free shots, including 6-of-8 in the extra period.

100 POINT EXPLOSION: Gonzaga University edged local rival Eastern Washington University in overtime on Saturday, 103-102, marking the second time this season that a WCC team has eclipsed the 100-point plateau. Saint Mary's scored 100 points in a win over Cal State Northridge on November 24, which was the first time a WCC squad had topped the century mark since San Diego scored 104 points against Portland on February 17, 2005. Loyola Marymount holds the all-time single-game WCC record, dropping in 130 points in a victory over Master's College on November 23, 1990.

FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLES OF THE YEAR: Senior Stephanie Hawk finished with Gonzaga University's first double-double of the season and the eighth of her career when she scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Bulldogs 81-66 setback to No. 13 Arizona State University on Dec. 6. She followed that performance up with her second-straight double-double against Eastern Washington University. Hawk scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the overtime victory.

SINGLE SEASON RECORDS: Gonzaga University's 103-102 victory over Eastern Washington University, Dec. 9 broke a few Bulldog single-game records. The combined score of 205 is the highest combined total in school history, breaking the old record of 177 scored during a 91-86 loss to Portland during the 1991-92 season. The 33 free throws made by the Zags is the third most scored in a game, while the 45 attempted is the second most attempted.

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 11 GU games this season, including six starts. She is averaging 9.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. 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.

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 11 out of GU's 15 games, including two 20+ performances. Elliott is one of two GU players ranked in the top-10 in the conference in scoring (7th-13.0 ppg).

BLOCK SHOT LEADER: Gonzaga University senior Stephanie Hawk tied a career-high with five blocked shots against Davidson, marking the second time this season that the senior has collected five blocks in game. Hawk, who leads the West Coast Conference with 33 blocks, currently ranks second on the Gonzaga career list with 123 blocks.

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 61 three-pointers during her career to stand in ninth place.

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 1-11 against ranked opponents.

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 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 82 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.

A CAREER NIGHT: Sophomore Maria Hassett had a career night against No. 13 Arizona State University. Hassett finished the contest scoring a career-high 11 points. She was 5-of-7 from the field, including a perfect 1-of-1 from behind the three-point arc. Hassett, who played 16 minutes, also grabbed four rebounds, had two steals and blocked one shot.

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."

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.