Final Road Non-Conference Tilt On Tap; Zags At Portland State
|GAME 10: GONZAGA AT PORTLAND STATE|
DATE: Friday, December 7, 2012
|THE LAST MEETING: Nov. 27, 2011 @ McCarthey Athletic Center|
PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (7-2)
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY VIKINGS (5-1)
FINAL NON-CONFERENCE ROAD GAME ON TAP: Gonzaga University women's basketball hits the road for the final time in non-conference play Friday. The Bulldogs play at Portland State at 7:30 p.m. The Zags have only had two other true non-conference road games this season: a 60-53 win to open the year at UC Riverside and a 63-52 win at USC two days later. Gonzaga's three other 'road' games were in Mexico against Missouri State University (W, 80-66), University of Louisville (L, 55-42) and Winthrop University (W, 80-66).
ABOUT THE GONZAGA BULLDOGS: Gonzaga University women's basketball is coming off another successful campaign where it earned its fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and reached the Sweet Sixteen for the third-consecutive season. The Bulldogs return nine letterwinners from its 28-6, 14-2 WCC squad in 2011-12, including two starters. Headlining the group of Bulldogs returnees are senior guard Taelor Karr and junior guard Haiden Palmer, who each were named to this year's West Coast Conference Preseason All-Conference team. Karr, the nation's reigning assist-to-turnover leader, averaged 7.5 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds as a junior in 2010-11. Palmer was named the 2012 WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year after averaging 12.4 points, 2.3 steals, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
ABOUT THE PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS: The Portland State University women's basketball team is currently 5-1 on the season and is coming off a 64-59 victory over West Coast Conference member University of Portland. The Vikings have won two straight. Their lone loss came against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 69-58 in the Saint Mary's College Tournament. Courtney VanBrocklin leads the Vikings in points per game at 14.8, while Angela Misa is leading them on the boards with a 13.4 per game average. Sherri Murrell is the head coach at Portland State and she is currently in her sixth year at the helm.
LAST FOUR: GONZAGA VS. PORTLAND STATE:
WHAT WE RETURN: Gonzaga University's women's basketball team returns 51.8 percent of its scoring from the 2011-12 season and 44.0 percent of its rebounding. The Bulldogs top returning scorer is junior Haiden Palmer, who was third on the squad last year averaging 12.4. Senior Taelor Karr and junior Jazmine Redmon are the only other two players to average more than 20 minutes a game. Karr, who started all but five games, averaged 28.6 minutes per contests and averaged 7.5 points. Redmon played in all 34 games with seven starts, averaged 20.9 minutes, 4.7 points 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
A YOUNG SQUAD: Gonzaga University women's basketball team has a lot of depth, holding 15 players on the squad, but overall is young. The Bulldogs have 10 underclassman on their roster, which includes four freshmen, two returning redshirts and four sophomores. Besides the returning guard trio of Haiden Palmer, Taelor Karr and Jazmine Redmon, the six other returners averaged 7.4 minutes per game in 2011-12.
REDMON NAMED TO HARDWOOD TOURNAMENT OF HOPE ALL-TOURNAMENT: Junior guard Jazmine Redmon helped Gonzaga to a third place finish at the Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Over three games, Redmon averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while only turning the ball over a total of three times. Redmon shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from the field, including a stellar 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from beyond the 3-point arc and sank 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Redmon began the tournament scoring a career-high 16 points, on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point land, in GU's win over Missouri State. She also dished out five assists, had two steals and two rebounds. In the Zags lone setback of the tournament and year, a 13-point setback to No. 6 Louisville, Redmon had five points, three assists and five rebounds. The point guard rebounded with a 13-point, seven assist performance in the Zags 80-66 win over Winthrop University. She had 11 of the Zags first 19 points in the second half to help break open the game. For her efforts, Redmon was named to the Hardwood Tournament of Hope All-Tournament Team.
McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER: Since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team has gone 110-13 overall. The Bulldogs went undefeated at 14-0 in the McCarthey Athletic Center during the 2004-05 campaign, the first season it was open, and went 15-0 during the 2009-10 season. Four of the 13 losses have been to Pacific-12 Conference members (Stanford (twice), Arizona State and USC) and three to West Coast Conference schools.
LOW SCORING: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team is currently averaging 63.3 points per game and has scored in the forties twice this season. The Bulldogs, who averaged 75.1 points per game a season ago and led the nation in scoring in 2010-11 at 85.3, have not been held to forty points in a game twice in a season since the 2006-07 campaign. That season Gonzaga lost at Purdue University 69-44 and to Middle Tennessee State University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament - the Bulldogs first-ever NCAA Tournament game - 85-46.
TOUGH SHOOTING DAY: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team shot a dismal 25.4 percent from the field in its 69-41 setback to No. 1 Stanford University Sunday. The Bulldogs hit just 17-of-67 from the field, including a tough 7-of-39 in the first half. The last time the Zags shot that low was at BYU last season. GU hit 14-of-64 (21.9 percent) in its 70-40 setback. Gonzaga has not shot that low at home since Jan. 20, 2000 when it finished its 69-36 setback to Saint Mary's College shooting 20.0 percent (12-of-60) in the Martin Centre. The lowest output at the McCarthey Athletic Center prior to Sunday was a 30.2 percent (16-of-53) shooting night in a 53-43 victory over Loyola Marymount on Feb. 16, 2006.
CHANGE IN STARTING LINEUP: The Gonzaga University women's basketball squad started the same five players for the first eight games of the season but changed its lineup in its ninth game. Gonzaga head coach Kelly Graves started the season with this lineup (who went 6-2): guard Haiden Palmer, guard Jazmine Redmon, guard Taelor Karr, forward Sunny Greinacher and center Stephanie Golden. The one change to the lineup against Eastern Washington - the Zags ninth game - was center Shelby Cheslek for Golden.
FREE THROW LINE A SORE SPOT: Gonzaga women's basketball is struggling a bit at the free throw line this season. The Bulldogs, who closed out the 2011-12 campaign shooting 72.1 percent, are only sinking 63.6 percent (91-of-143) from the stripe. In their last game, the Zags shot a season-low 50.0 percent (11-of-22) from the charity line. Senior Tae3lor Karr is GU's best free throw shooter at 84.6 percent, hitting 11-of-13.
DEFENSE A BRIGHT SPOT IN LOSS TO NO. 1 STANFORD: Despite a tough 69-41 setback to No. 1 Stanford University, there were some bright spots in the game, most notably the Bulldogs defense. Gonzaga forced the Cardinal to turn the ball over 16 times, five more than it was averaging coming into the contest. The 69 points scored by Stanford, who was averaging 80.0 coming into the contest, also tied their lowest scoring output of the season. The Cardinal also scored 69 in a 69-42 win at the University of Hawai'i.
A NATIONAL LEADER: Senior Taelor Karr enters the 2012-13 campaign as the reigning national champion in assist-to-turnover ratio. Karr paced Gonzaga and the West Coast Conference with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.7. Junior Jazmine Redmon was seventh in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio last year at 2.27.
ALBANEZ HAS STELLAR OPENING WEEKEND: Sophomore Keani Albanez led Gonzaga University women's basketball to an opening 2-0 weekend. Albanez averaged 17.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals, while shooting an impressive 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the floor. She also topped her total 3-pointers made (4) during the 2011-12 season, with six the opening weekend. Albanez started the weekend off scoring a career-high 17 points at UC Riverside. Albanez followed that up with another 17-point outing, this time in the Zags 63-52 win at USC. Albanez is currently second on the team in points per game at 9.3.
STEALING THE BALL: Gonzaga University women's basketball junior Haiden Palmer opened the new year making a career-high six steals at UC Riverside, Nov. 9. She followed that up with five steals at USC, Nov. 9 and had another five against the University of Wisconsin, Nov. 16. Palmer, who had a team-leading 78 steals a season ago, has 24 of the Zags 105 picks after seven games.
CHESLEK MAKES PRESENCE FELT: Gonzaga University women's basketball redshirt freshman made her presence felt in the Bulldogs nine-point win over the University of Wisconsin, Nov. 16. Cheslek recorded her first career double-digit rebounding game with 11, and added seven points, three blocks, two assists and two steals in 28 minutes of action. Cheslek leads the squad in blocks per game at 1.7 and is tied for first in rebounds per game at 4.9.
BASKETBALL IN HER GENES: Gonzaga University women's basketball freshman Elle Tinkle comes from a basketball family. Her father Wayne Tinkle played for the University of Montana, played professionally in Europe for 10 years and is currently the head men's basketball coach at the University of Montana. Her mother Lisa Tinkle also played for Montana and was inducted into Montana's Hall of Fame. Her sister Joslyn Tinkle is currently a senior on the Stanford University women's basketball team. The two sisters battled each other on the hardwood Dec. 2 when the Cardinal defeated the Bulldogs 69-41 at McCarthey Athletic Center. Elle Tinkle had two points ,three rebounds and two assists, while big sister Joslyn had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
ALL-AROUND ATHLETIC FAMILY: Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Meghan Winters is one of four Winters siblings to play a collegiate sport in college. Her brother Brendan Winters played collegiate basketball at Davidson College. Her sister was a member of the University of Portland women's soccer team. Her younger brother Ryan Winters is currently a sophomore on the Elon University men's basketball team. And where do they get their athletic talents from? Her father Brian Winters was the 12th pick in the NBA draft in 1974, taken by the L.A. Lakers. After his playing career, he went on to coach for the University of South Carolina, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Vancouver Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and the WNBA's Indiana Fever. He is currently an assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats.
COACH GRAVES AND USA BASKETBALL: This past summer, Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves added USA Basketball to his resume, becoming an assistant coach with the U18 women's basketball squad and helping the team to a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Americas.
SEASON TICKETS TOP 4,300: Gonzaga University women's basketball season tickets have hit a record-high 4,315 and counting. The Bulldogs hit a then-record-high of 4,104 season-ticket holders in 2011-12 and averaged 5,442 fans for their 17 home games which stood 14th in the NCAA for women's basketball attendance. In their first four home games of the season, the Bulldogs are averaging 5,648, which includes their 11th sell out in school history.
BULLDOGS PICKED SECOND IN WEST COAST CONFERENCE: Eight-time West Coast Conference Champion Gonzaga University women's basketball has been picked to finish second this year in a preseason vote of the nine league coaches. The Bulldogs, who for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign were not picked to win the WCC, garnered four first-place votes and received 60 points. Second-year member BYU was chosen as the favorite to claim the WCC women's basketball title, edging out the Zags by one point. The Cougars, who defeated GU to win the 2012 WCC Tournament title, received five-first places votes and 61 overall points.
OPPONENTS IN THE TOP 25: Gonzaga University women's basketball 2012-13 opponents Stanford University and Ohio State University, along with 2012 Hardwood of Hope Tournament opponent University of Louisville are all ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Top 25 polls. Stanford is ranked first in both polls, Ohio State is 20th in both polls. When GU lost to Louisville it was ranked No. 6 in both polls at the time. The Bulldogs fell to No. 1 Stanford Dec. 2 69-41 and host now No. 20 Ohio State Dec. 17.
GONZAGA TO HOST 2013 NCAA FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS: Gonzaga University was one of 16 institutions selected to host the first-and-second rounds of the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament as announced by the NCAA. The Bulldogs will host the opening weekend action at the McCarthey Athletic Center. If Gonzaga earns a bid to the NCAA Tournament, it automatically will be seeded to play at the McCarthey Athletic Center. This will be third year in a row Gonzaga has been selected to host the first and second rounds.
ZAGS SIGN TWO: Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves has announced the signing of two players to national letters of intent. Joining the Bulldogs next fall is Bayli McClard, a 6-1 forward from Hanford high school in Hanford, Calif., and Emma Wolfram, a 6-5 center from South Kamloops high school in Kamloops, British Columbia.