Bowman Becomes WCC All-Time Leading Scorer In Win
Jan. 16, 2010
SPOKANE, Wash. - It was a historic game for the Gonzaga University women's basketball team. Not only did the Bulldogs defeat visiting University of San Diego 75-46, but senior Heather Bowman became the new all-time leading scorer in West Coast Conference history, surpassing the University of Portland's Martha Sheldon's mark of 1,953 points scored from 1987-92. Bowman went into the contest needing 19 points to top Sheldon and finished with 21 to increase her WCC leading total to 1,956 career points.
"Today was a very special day," stated head coach Kelly Graves after the contest. "First and foremost was that we beat San Diego. Heather would be the first to tell you that the win was the most important. I am, though, extremely proud of her. I was glad she was able to break the record at home. As a local girl playing in front of our fans, that had to be an amazing feeling for her."
Bowman claimed the title at the 9:49 mark of the second half when she received a pass from sophomore Katelan Redmon and scored a fast break layup. One minute later she added to her total with her final bucket of the game. The Bulldog crowd of 3,018 gave her a loud standing ovation at the under eight minute media timeout.
With the memorable game victory, the Zags improved their overall record to 14-4 and 3-0 in conference action. San Diego fell to 11-7 overall and were handed its first conference loss and is now 3-1.
"I liked the way we won these first three league games," explained Graves. "It is always important to take care of business at home and we did."
Gonzaga seemed to have a handle on San Diego early, building a 15 point lead just 5:45 into the contest at 21-6. Bowman took advantage of the Toreros zone defense early, scoring eight of the Zags first 17 points, while junior Courtney Vandersloot added six points and had a hand in two other buckets.
It was then Katelan Redmon who stole the show, scoring the next nine points for Gonzaga, including two free throws, a layup, a 3-pointer, and a put-back jumper. Bowman gave the Zags their largest lead of the half at 17 points after she drained one-of-two free throws to put the score at 33-16 with 7:19 remaining before intermission.
"We were able to get that early cushion with our defense," said Graves. We have a very smart group that is very basketball savvy. They did a great job executing our game plan and that comes with experience. We also are very fast in transition and that has been great for us. We were able to get on some runs early today."
Gonzaga played a tad uncharacteristically after gaining the 17 point lead, turning the ball over two times and going cold from the field, missing its next five shots which allowed San Diego a slight window back into the contest as it scored five points to cut the lead to 12 with fewer than three minutes to play.
The Zags ended their five minute scoring drought on a Janelle Bekkering jumper at 2:09 and went into the locker room up 14 at 37-23.
It was all Gonzaga in the second half, pushing its lead above 20 points six minutes into the final half and jumping to a 30-point lead at the 6:19 mark on Vivian Frieson jumper.
The Bulldogs largest lead of the game was 33 hit twice, once at the 5:43 mark on smooth jumper by Frieson and again with five minutes to play on a layup by sophomore Kayla Standish, assisted by Bowman.
Gonzaga finished the game hitting 47.7 percent (31-of-65) from the field and 78.6 percent (11-of-14) at the charity stripe. The Zags scored 22 points off the Toreros 25 turnovers, had 18 fast break points and scored 40 points in the paint.
Besides Bowman's 21 points, Vandersloot had another well rounded game, scoring 15 points, dishing out seven assists, grabbing six boards and making five steals.
Frieson and Redmon both added 14 points.
Dominique Conners led the Toreros with 15 points. USD finished the game hitting 40.0 percent (20-of-50) from the floor.
Gonzaga hits the road for the first time in West Coast Conference play this week. The Bulldogs play at Pepperdine University on Thursday at 7 p.m. and at Loyola Marymount University on Saturday at 2 p.m.
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