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BobZag
11-20-2008, 08:51 AM
Junior Tiffanie Shives poured in a career-high 25 points and sophomore Courtney Vandersloot had her third career double-digit assist game with 10 to lead the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team to a 95-79 victory over visiting Utah Valley University Wednesday evening at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 on the season with the 16-point victory while the Wolverines dropped to 1-2 overall.



“We are fortunate to come out with a win,” said head coach Kelly Graves. “Utah Valley played well against us tonight. They are a very good basketball team. They work hard; they are well coached and very explosive on the offensive end. ”



It was the opening minutes of the second half that sealed the fate of the Wolverines and propelled the Zags to the double-digit victory. Gonzaga came out of the locker room putting together a 13-0 run to break a 44-44 halftime tie. The Zags forced eight Utah Valley turnovers and grabbed five offensive boards during this six-minute run. Vandersloot and junior Heather Bowman combined for nine of the 13 points to give Gonzaga the 57-44 edge.



“It [the 13-0 run] set the tone to start the second half,” Graves said about the important opening run. “We built up a lead and played well with the lead after that fast start.”



Gonzaga continued to click on both offense and defense. The Bulldogs took their largest lead of the game at 70-51 after freshman Kayla Standish drained two free throws with 10:50 remaining in the contest.



The Zags also adjusted their defensive game plan on Wolverine Robyn Fairbanks. Fairbanks, who was unstoppable in the first half, finishing with 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-2 on three-pointers, was limited to just 11 points in the final half; most of which came after the game was out of reach.



“Robyn Fairbanks was unbelievable, she played very well overall,” stated Graves. “We eventually adjusted on defense though and pressured the ball before she could get it.”



The game itself seemed to be destined to go down to the wire after how the first half panned out. Utah Valley opened the game similar to how Gonzaga began the second half; using a quick spurt to hold an 11-2 edge just three minutes in.



A quick 30-second timeout by Graves and Gonzaga helped settle the Bulldogs down. The Zags themselves stunned the Wolverines with their own run right after the timeout; stringing together 14-straight points to swing a five-point advantage. Shives, who tied her career-high in points in the opening half with 19, was GU’s catalyst during the spurt, scoring nine points.



“It is really nice to have a player like Tiffanie to come off the bench and light it up instantly from anywhere on the floor,” said Graves of Shives, who finished the game hitting 9-for-14 from the field, including 4-for-6 from behind the three-point arc.



The Bulldogs lead was short lived as the Wolverines drained nearly every shot they let fly which resulted in a 39-30 advantage at the 4:20 mark. Gonzaga, like always, had an answer, using a 14-2 run, capped off by a Shives’ three-pointer, to hold the 44-42 lead with 10 ticks left on the clock.



Asumi Nakayama, of Utah Valley, hit two free throws with no time remaining to knot the game at 44 going into halftime.



Gonzaga continued its stifling defense, causing Utah Valley to turn the ball over 33 times and had 22 steals in the game. It is the second opponent this season to turn the ball over 30-plus times against the Zags and is the second-highest steal total in Bulldog school history. GU capitalized on the Wolverine miscues, scoring 34 points.



Besides Shives, four other players finished in double-figures for Gonzaga. Bowman, playing in just her second game back since elbow surgery, finished with 19 points, and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Frieson chipped in 17 points, Vandersloot added 15 and Bekkering had 11.

Fairbanks finished with a game-high 29 points for the Wolverines and Sandy Marvin Wall added 10.



Gonzaga has a quick turnaround as it welcomes Montana State University to the McCarthey Athletic Center on Friday. Game time is set for 6 p.m.



Newspaper Box Score

UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES vs GONZAGA BULLDOGS

11/19/08 6:00 p.m. at McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER - SPOKANE, WA

At McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER - SPOKANE, WA

GONZAGA BULLDOGS 95, UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES 79

UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES (1-2)

Fairbanks,Robyn 10-13 7-11 29; Marvin-Wall,Sandy 3-6 2-2 10; McMurray,Julie

4-10 0-0 9; Burningham,Kayla 3-7 0-0 8; Nakayama,Asumi 1-2 4-4 7; Koeven,Kim

2-4 0-0 5; Newbold,Erika 2-3 0-1 4; Reynolds,Blake 2-3 0-0 4; Beaman,Hollie

1-3 0-0 3; Smith,Lauren 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-51 13-18 79.

GONZAGA BULLDOGS (3-0)

SHIVES, Tiffanie 9-14 3-3 25; BOWMAN, Heather 8-14 3-4 19; FRIESON, Vivian

8-17 1-2 17; VANDERSLOOT,Courtney 6-13 3-4 15; BEKKERING, Janelle 3-7 5-5

11; STANDISH, Kayla 1-6 2-2 4; RAAP, Claire 1-2 0-0 2; BOWEN, Kelly 1-3 0-0

2; SCHAEFER, Jami 0-3 0-0 0; READER, Shannon 0-0 0-0 0; LORENZO, Tatriana

0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-79 17-20 95.

UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES........ 44 35 - 79

GONZAGA BULLDOGS.............. 44 51 - 95

3-point goals--UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES 10-15 (Fairbanks,Robyn 2-2;

Burningham,Kayla 2-2; Marvin-Wall,Sandy 2-2; McMurray,Julie 1-2; Koeven,Kim

1-3; Nakayama,Asumi 1-1; Beaman,Hollie 1-3), GONZAGA BULLDOGS 4-14 (SHIVES,

Tiffanie 4-6; BOWMAN, Heather 0-1; FRIESON, Vivian 0-1; VANDERSLOOT,Courtney

0-1; BEKKERING, Janelle 0-1; STANDISH, Kayla 0-2; BOWEN, Kelly 0-2). Fouled

out--UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES-McMurray,Julie, GONZAGA BULLDOGS-None.

Rebounds--UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES 33 (Fairbanks,Robyn 9), GONZAGA BULLDOGS 37

(FRIESON, Vivian 6; BOWMAN, Heather 6). Assists--UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES 21

(Nakayama,Asumi 5; Marvin-Wall,Sandy 5), GONZAGA BULLDOGS 21

(VANDERSLOOT,Courtney 10). Total fouls--UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES 18, GONZAGA

BULLDOGS 16.

SpudDawg
11-20-2008, 01:18 PM
Have to think that Michigan State is kicking themselves for losing Tiffanie ...