Bulldogs Battle Second-Place BYU Saturday
|GAME 29 - WCC GAME 15: GONZAGA AT BYU|
DATE: Saturday, February 23, 2013
|THE LAST MEETING: January 17, 2013 @ McCarthey Athletic Center|
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (23-5, 13-1 WCC)
BYU COUGARS (19-7, 10-3 WCC)
ZAGS AT BYU SATURDAY FOR FINAL REGULAR-SEASON ROAD GAME: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team plays its final regular-season road game Saturday when it battles BYU in Provo, Utah at the Marriott Center. The game - which pits the top two teams in the West Coast Conference - is set for 1 p.m. PT and can be seen on BYUtv. The Bulldogs enter into the contest atop the league standings with a 13-1 record while the Cougars are in second at 10-3.
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 CAPTURES AT LEAST A SHARE OF ITS NINTH-STRAIGHT WCC REGULAR SEASON TITLE: With its 15-point win at Santa Clara University Thursday night, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team secured at least a share of its ninth-straight West Coast Conference regular season title. The Bulldogs are currently 13-1 in league and have a two game lead on BYU with two games remaining. The Cougars are currently 10-3 in the WCC to stand in second place, while the University of San Diego is third at 10-4 and Saint Mary's College is in fourth at 9-4.
BULLDOGS HIT 20-WINS FOR SEVENTH-STRAIGHT SEASON: With its 70-56 win at Loyola Marymount University Feb. 9, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team secured its 20th win on the season. The Bulldogs now stand at 23-5 with their 70-55 win at Santa Clara University Thursday night. It is the seventh-straight year the Bulldogs have reached 20 wins and the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
COACH GRAVES LOOKING FOR CAREER WIN NUMBER 350: Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves needs one win to hit 350 career victories as a Division I head coach. Graves currently holds a 349-156 record over his 16 years, 13 of which have been with the Bulldogs.
ABOUT THE BYU COUGARS: The BYU women's basketball team currently holds a 19-7 overall record on the year and are 10-3 in West Coast Conference. The Cougars are also an impressive 13-0 when playing at home in the Marriott Center, included in that is a 7-0 record in league and a 6-0 record in non-conference. BYU is on a 3-game winning streak that includes a 79-64 win against the University of Portland Thursday night. The Cougars were led in that game by both Haley Steed and Jennifer Hamson who tallied 23 points each. Steed is currently averaging a team-best 10.5 points per game and 7.8 assists per game, while Kim Beeston is chipping in 10.3 points per game. BYU is coached by Jeff Judkins in his 12 year at the helm.
WHAT HAPPENED THE FIRST TIME AROUND? GONZAGA VS. BYU:
SINCE LOSS TO SMC, ZAGS HAVE WON 11-STRAIGHT: The Gonzaga University's women's basketball team is on a 11-game winning streak after falling to Saint Mary's College Jan. 10. After the Bulldogs three-point loss to the Gaels, they have rattled off double-figure victories over all 11 opponents, six of which have come on the road. The victories have come by an average of 23.7 points per game with the closest being a 12 point victory (62-50) at the University of San Diego, Jan. 19.
3-POINT SHOOTING A DIFFERENCE THIS YEAR: The Gonzaga University women's basketball squad has hit 17 more 3-pointers at this point in the season (172) than it did overall last year (155) and has drained 37 more 3-pointers in league play (96) then they did total a season ago (65). Also the Zags ended the 2011-12 year ranked 182nd in the NCAA in 3-pointers made per game (4.6) and 71st in 3-point percentage (32.5%). This year they are currently ranked 64th in 3-pointers made per game (6.1) and 4th in 3-point percentage (38.1%).
WHAT WE RETURNED: Gonzaga University's women's basketball team returned 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.
KARR TIES A CAREER-HIGH IN POINTS IN WIN OVER SANTA CLARA: Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Taelor Karr's hot shooting helped propel the Bulldogs to a 70-55 victory over Santa Clara University Thursday. Karr drained 10-of-19 from the floor, including six 3-pointers, for a career-tying high 27 points. The guard from Paola, Kan., had 13 of her points in the opening 20 minutes to help Gonzaga to a 39-27 advantage and notched her final 14 points in the second to allow GU to starve off any Santa Clara run. The 27-point performance was Karr's third 20-plus point game and 17th double-figure outing of the season.
Gonzaga West Coast Conference Players of the Week
Jan. 21: Haiden Palmer - Averaged 15.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.7 steals, while shooting 44.2 percent from the Field in Gonzaga's 3-0 week.
Feb. 4: Haiden Palmer - Averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 4.5 steals per game last week as the Zags improved to 8-1 in the WCC and maintained their one-game lead over BYU and Saint Mary's.
SHARPSHOOTER WINTERS PLAYING BIG OFF THE BENCH: Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Meghan Winters has played crucial minutes off the bench for the Bulldogs this West Coast Conference season. The 3-point specialist has increased her playing time by nearly four minutes in league play; averaging 9.9 per game - because of her shooting production. Winters is currently averaging 4.0 points per game in WCC action, shooting an impressive 40.0 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (hitting 15-of-35), and has hit at least two 3-pointers in four of GU's 14 league games. She is third on the team overall in 3-pointers made with 23.
ZAGS HIT A SEASON-HIGH 12 3-POINTERS AGAINST PEPPERDINE: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team hit a season-high 12 3-pointers in its 81-52 win over Pepperdine University, Feb. 2. The Bulldogs 12 3-pointers were two shy of tying the school record set in 2002. Gonzaga drained eight of their 12 bullets in the opening 20 minutes and ended the contest shooting 50.0 percent from long-range. Five different players hit a 3-ball, including junior Haiden Palmer, senior Taelor Karr and sophomore Keani Albanez who each nailed three. Gonzaga has hit double-figure 3-pointers in two other contests this year; 11 versus the University of San Diego Jan. 3 and 11 at the University of Portland, Jan. 14.
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).
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. Karr currently has hit a team-best 60 3-pointers; 16 more than she finished with as a junior for Gonzaga. Karr is currently fifth in the nation in 3-point percentage at 46.5.
GOLDEN REGISTERS BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DIGIT GAMES: Junior reserve Stephanie Golden paced the Gonzaga Bulldogs to two wins at home last week by coming off the bench to average 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, while shooting a blistering 61.1 percent from the field. Golden began the week playing a crucial role in the Zags 15-point win over second-place Saint Mary's. She tallied a game-high 13 points, hitting 4-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe, and added five rebounds, blocked two shots and made one steal. Ten of her 13 points came in the second half which helped stop any comeback attempt by the Gaels. Golden then scored 14 points - one point shy of her career-high - in GU's win over San Francisco. Twelve of her 14 points came in the first half and she ended the game sinking 7-of-10 from the floor. She also brought down six rebounds - three offensive - had two steals, one block and one assist. The back-to-back double-digit games were the first of her career.
ZAGS CURRENTLY RANKED 13TH IN HOME ATTENDANCE: Gonzaga University women's basketball is currently ranked 13th in NCAA Division I home attendance averaging 5,664, 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. Gonzaga has had six sellouts so far this year; a regular-season most for the Zags.
McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER: Since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004, the Gonzaga University women's basketball team has gone 118-15 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.
CHESLEK REGISTERS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Gonzaga University women's basketball redshirt freshman Shelby Cheslek registered her first career double-double in the Zags 70-56 win at Loyola Marymount, Feb. 9. The 6-5 center posted 11 points and grabbed a career-tying high 11 rebounds in the victory. The double-double was also the first Gonzaga double-double of the season. Cheslek has tallied double-digit points two other times this season and had double-figure rebounds two other times.
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 fourth in the West Coast Conference at 3.8 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 62.1 percent (262-of-422) from the stripe overall and 63.1 percent (123-of-195) 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. Gonzaga's best free throw shooting outing was against Winthrop University when it sank 11-of-13 from the stripe. Sophomore Keani Albanez is GU's best free throw shooter at 81.8 percent, hitting 27-of-33.
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 16.2 assists per game; second best in the West Coast Conference and 23rd in the nation.
LOW SCORING: The Gonzaga University women's basketball team is currently averaging 70.5 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. In West Coast Conference games, Gonzaga is averaging 75.5 points per game and holding its opponents to 53.7 points per contest.
TAELOR KARR & HAIDEN PALMER HIT THE 1,000-POINT PLATEAU: Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Taelor Karr was the first Zag this season to surpass the 1,000-point plateau in her career, having now scored 1,184 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 564 points. Junior Haiden Palmer became the second Bulldogs to break 1,000-points, cracking the mark in GU's 12-point win at the University of San Diego, Jan. 19. Palmer has now scored 1,106 points over two and a half years, 335 points tallied as a freshman at Oregon State University.
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 17th in the nation in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.33 and Karr is 45th at 1.86.
STEALING THE BALL: Gonzaga University women's basketball junior Haiden Palmer opened the new campaign making a then 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 West Coast Conference 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 16 3-plus steal contests and has accounted for 85 of the Zags 342 picks after 28 games and 47 of GU's 180 steals in league games. Palmer leads the WCC and is 26th in the nation in steals per game at 3.04.
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 HELPS USA BASKETBALL WIN GOLD: 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.
COACH GRAVES AGAIN SELECTED AS ASSISTANT COACH FOR USA BASKETBALL: Gonzaga University women's basketball head coach Kelly Graves will return in 2013 as an assistant coach for USA Basketball and once again help lead the USA U19 World Championship Team in its quest for a fifth-straight gold medal at the U19 Worlds this upcoming summer.
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.
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