Busy Week Has Zags Hosting BYU Before Heading To San Diego
|GAME 19 - WCC GAME 4: BYU AT GONZAGA|
DATE: Thursday, January 17, 2013
|THE LAST MEETING: March 5, 2012 @ Las Vegas, NV|
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (13-5, 3-1 WCC)
BYU COUGARS (12-4, 3-0 WCC)
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.
GONZAGA 3-1 IN WEST COAST CONFERENCE PLAY: Gonzaga University women's basketball team is currently 3-1 in West Coast Conference play. During head coach Kelly Graves 13 year tenure at Gonzaga, the Bulldogs have started off the conference season with one or more losses in the first four games four times, including this season. The last time the eight-time defending WCC Champions began the league season with a loss in the first four games was the 2005-06 campaign when it opened the season at 2-2. The two other campaigns were the 2003-04 season when the Zags opened league at 3-1 and 2001-02 - Graves first year at the helm - when they went 1-3.
ABOUT THE BYU COUGARS: The BYU women's basketball team enters into its contest with Gonzaga University at 12-4 overall, 3-0 in West Coast Conference play and is on a 9-game winning streak. The Cougars, who are tied for first in the WCC standings with Saint Mary's College, has not lost since Nov. 28 when it dropped a 65-62 overtime decision to Creighton University. Seven of the nine games in their recent win streak have come at home and one of the lone two games on the road went into overtime: a 57-54 win at the University of San Diego. Two players are averaging double-figures, including Jennifer Hamson, the 2012 WCC Women's Volleyball Player of the Year, who is averaging 13.0 points per game since rejoining the team. The squad was led by Lexi Eaton (15.8 ppg) before a torn ACL against Utah State University Dec. 4 ended her season early. The Cougars are coached by Jeff Judkins, in his 12th year at the helm.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 2011-12? GONZAGA VS. BYU:
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.
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.
TAELOR KARR TABBED WEST COAST CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (JAN. 7): Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Taelor Karr was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week Monday. Karr helped the Bulldogs to a 2-0 opening week in West Coast Conference play by averaging 21.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. She hit 14-of-20 from the field (70.0 percent) and an even more impressive 11-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc (84.6 percent). This was Karr's first career WCC Player of the Week accolade.
ZAGS HIT A SEASON-TYING HIGH 11 3-POINTERS AGAINST PORTLAND: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team has hit a season-high 11 3-pointers in two of its four West Coast Conference games this season. The Bulldog drained 11-of-17 - with senior Taelor Karr nailing eight - in their win over the University of San Diego Jan. 3. Three games later the Zags hit another 11 3-pointers, this time 11-of-23 in their win at the University of Portland. In that game, five different players hit at least one 3-ball. Gonzaga's record for 3-pointers in a game is 14, set Dec. 31, 2001 when it hit 14 in a 75-64 win.
FOUR NON-CONFERENCE LOSSES, THREE COMING AT HOME: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team closed out the regular season non-conference schedule at 10-4. The last time the Zags lost four non-conference games was the 2010-11 campaign when it fell to USC (79-73), Stanford University (84-78), the University of Mississippi (53-52) and the University of Notre Dame (70-61). That season ended in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and with a 31-5 record. Three of the Bulldogs four non-conference setbacks this season have come at the McCarthey Athletic Center - which is unusual. The last time GU lost three non-conference games was the 2002-03 season when the Zags played in the Martin Centre. GU fell to the University of Oregon (83-72), the University of Hawai'i (71-61) and Weber State University (52-49).
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, Dec. 2. 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 had 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. The Zags have shot below 30 percent one other time this season; a 29.2 percent shooting outing (21-of-72) in their loss at Saint Mary's College Jan. 10.
TAELOR KARR HAS HOT HAND AGAINST SAN DIEGO: Gonzaga University was sparked in its victory over the University of San Diego Jan. 3 by senior Taelor Karr who tallied a career-high 27 points. The guard scored 24 of her points from beyond the 3-point arc as she nailed a career-high eight three pointers, one shy of tying the single-game record at Gonzaga, which is held by current director of basketball operations Michelle (Elliott) Clark. Karr's lone miss behind the 3-point arc was the Bulldogs opening shot of the second half at 19:34. Had she drained that 3-pointer she would have tied Clark's record of nine that she set in the Zags 75-63 win at Sacramento State University Dec. 8, 2007. In that game, Clark drained 9-of-12 from 3-point land and had a career-high 31 points.
ZAGS CURRENTLY RANKED 10TH IN HOME ATTENDANCE: Gonzaga University women's basketball is currently ranked 10th in NCAA Division I home attendance averaging 5,574, behind the likes of Tennessee and Connecticut and ahead of Stanford and Duke. Last season the Bulldogs averaged 5,442 fans for their 17 home games which stood 14th in the NCAA for women's basketball attendance.
McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER: Since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team has gone 113-15 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. Five of the 15 losses have been to Pacific-12 Conference members (Stanford (twice), Arizona State, Washington State and USC) and three to West Coast Conference schools.
REDMON HANDS OUT A CAREER-HIGH 11 ASSISTS IN WIN OVER IDAHO: It wasn't junior Jazmine Redmon's scoring output that made her a star in the Gonzaga University's win against the University of Idaho Dec. 20. The guard only scored 10 points in the Bulldogs 97-62 victory over the Vandals, but she had a hand in 11 other baskets. The 11 assists, eight of which came in the first half, was a career-high for Redmon, breaking her previous of seven set on four different occasions. Also impressive is she totaled her career-high in just 23 minutes of action. Overall she had a hand in 33 of the Zags 97 points. Redmon also tied her career-high in steals with five and had four rebounds. The Spokane native leads GU in assists per game and is third in the West Coast Conference at 4.3 per contest.
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 60.9 percent (171-of-281) from the stripe and 59.3 percent (32-of-54) in West Coast Conference games. In the game against Ohio State University, the Zags shot a season-low 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from the charity line. In its game against Washington State University, Gonzaga shot 41.2 percent (7-of-17) and missed the front end of three one-and-ones in the final three minutes when it was down four points. Sophomore Keani Albanez is GU's best free throw shooter at 82.6 percent, hitting 19-of-23.
ZAGS CREDITED WITH 31 ASSISTS ON 40 BASKETS VERSUS IDAHO: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team was credited with 31 assists on the 40 made baskets in its 97-62 victory over the University of Idaho, Dec. 20. The 31 assists tied the second-highest single-game assist output in school history and were just two shy of tying the record set in 1988. On the year, Gonzaga is averaging 15.8 assists per game; tied for second best in the West Coast Conference.
LOW SCORING: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team is currently averaging 66.9 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.
GREINACHER SCORES DOUBLE-FIGURES IN SIX OF LAST 10 GAMES Gonzaga University women's basketball sophomore Sunny Greinacher has registered double-figure points in six of the last 10 games. Greinacher started things off tallying a career-high 16 points in the Zags 65-50 win over Eastern Washington University, Dec. 4. She then tied her career-high of 16 points two games later in an 83-44 victory over Cal State Fullerton. She followed that up with 10 points against Ohio State University, Dec. 17 and had 12 points in GU's win over the University of Idaho, Dec. 20. Greinacher then tallied 11 points in GU's 79-50 win over Santa Clara University, Jan. 5 and had a team-high 12 points in its loss at Saint Mary's, Jan. 10. For the season, Greinacher is third on the team in points per game at 8.4 points and first in both rebounds per game at 5.3 and field goal percentage at 53.1 percent.
TAELOR KARR HITS THE 1,000-POINT PLATEAU: Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Taelor Karr surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in her career, having now scored 1,051 points. Karr tallied 620 of those points as a two-year member of the Kansas State University women's basketball team. At Gonzaga she has scored 431 points. Karr is the only 1,000-point scorer currently on the young Zag squad but junior Haiden Palmer is closing in on the mark. Palmer has scored 987 points over two and a half years and needs 13 to hit the plateau.
A NATIONAL LEADER: Senior Taelor Karr entered 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. Currently, Redmon is 15th in the nation in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.43.
ALBANEZ STARTED SEASON OFF WITH A BANG; HAS COOLED SINCE: Sophomore Keani Albanez was the high scorer for Gonzaga University in three of its first five games. Albanez began the season tallying back-to-back 17 points games - then career-highs. Three games later she set a new high with 19 points versus Missouri State University. Since her 19 point explosion, Albanez has cooled; averaging 4.7 points per game and her high points total has been 10 against the University of Portland, Jan. 14. Albanez is second on the squad in 3-pointers made with 21 and is fourth on the team in points per game at 7.2.
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. She broke her career-high in the Zags opening WCC contest against the University of San Diego with seven, six coming in the first half. On the season, Palmer, who had a team-leading 78 steals a season ago, has had 103-plus steal contests and has accounted for 53 of the Zags 212 picks after 18 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 recorded her second double-figure rebounding game in GU's 3-point loss at Saint Mary's College, Jan. 10. Cheslek had 11 rebounds and also blocked four shots. Cheslek leads the squad in blocks per game at 1.7 and is second in rebounds per game at 5.1
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.
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.