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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|TRACKING THE ZAGS V: Men in WCC Final, Women Out|
Tonight’s West Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game between Gonzaga and San Diego will be televised on ESPN at 6 p.m., (Pacific Time) and can be heard in the Inland Northwest on KGA radio 1510 AM. For all game recaps, go to www.gozags.com.
March 10, 2008
By Dale Goodwin
Meanwhile, the Gonzaga women dug a 17 point-hole in the first half of their WCC championship game and couldn’t overcome the San Diego Toreros on their home court, losing 70-66. GU sophomore Heather Bowman scored 25 points with 7 rebounds and freshman Courtney Vandersloot added 10 points. Both players were named to the WCC All-Tournament team.
Gonzaga men’s coach Mark Few was pleased with the play of his big men in the Zags’ semifinal win. Josh Heytvelt scored 15 points and Abdullahi Kuso grabbed 7 rebounds. They held Santa Clara’s John Bryant to 12 points and forced him into 5 turnovers.
“Josh really played well, maybe the best defensive game of his career,” Few said. “Josh gave us an offensive lift when we were struggling. Kuso had another great defensive effort.”
While the Gonzaga men hope to secure an automatic NCAA bid tonight, the NCAA dance ticket eluded the Gonzaga women. Now the focus for Coach Kelly Graves’ team is on postseason preparation, not knowing if it will be for the NCAA or WNIT tournaments.
Graves will give his team three days off to enjoy their spring break. “They deserve a break,” he said. They will return to campus Thursday to resume practice and will watch next Monday’s NCAA selection show on the edge of their bench. Graves hopes his team’s 35 RPI rating coming into this game, its 24-9 record, and the dominance of his team in securing the regular season title, five games in front of second-place Santa Clara, will bode well for the Bulldogs.
“It’s going to be a long week,” Graves understated.
This is a young Gonzaga team with one freshman, two sophomores, one junior and one senior.
“We learned from this game that we’ve got to get off to a good start in next year’s tournament,” Bowman said. “We never stopped believing we could win this game. We can’t get down to a team by 17 points on their home court and have to always come back.”
The Orleans Arena seats 7,471 fans, 1,471 more than any of the WCC arenas.
In other news coming from the WCC meetings this weekend in San Diego, the league announced the selection of Jamie Zaninovich as its new conference commissioner. Zaninovich, senior associate athletic director for external relations at Princeton University, will replace Michael Gilleran, who has served for 24 years. Zaninovich negotiated a national TV agreement with ESPN, the only such arrangement in the Ivy League. He has been responsible for all revenue-producing programs. Before arriving at Princeton, he was senior assistant athletic director for strategic planning and men’s basketball operations at Stanford University, where he earned his MBA in 2001.