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Bowman gets record, Zags roll

It was a big day for the Gonzaga women’s basketball team and a bigger day for Heather Bowman, who became the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer. Meanwhile the Zags had a splendid second half to beat San Francisco 93-53 in a game that was interesting for 25 minutes.

The unedited game story is below. In other news, Portland State ended Eastern Washington’s run and Portland turned back Santa Clara. In both games, local products led the way. Kelli Valentine (Mead) had 16 for PSU, with Lexi Bishop (Shadle Park) also scoring in double figures, while Tara Cronin (Gonzaga Prep) paced Portland with 17.


By Dave Trimmer

davet@spokesman.com; (509) 927-2154

Don’t think the Heather Bowman Watch is going to end any time soon.

The prolific Gonzaga senior, who set the West Coast Conference women’s basketball scoring record two weeks ago, added the school record to her list of accomplishments Saturday afternoon during the Bulldogs’ 93-53 win over San Francisco before 3,202 fans at McCarthey Athletic Center

With 2,018 points, Bowman also passed former GU men’s player Jim McPhee (2,015) and only trails legendary Frank Burgess, who scored 2,196 points at Gonzaga from 1958-1961.

“I remember coming in as a freshman, my goal was playing time,” Bowman said after her historic game. “My wildest dream was starting on a college team. I didn’t have any idea it would go this far.”

Bowman has started all 118 games and missed six with injuries while the Bulldogs have gone 94-30.

“We all thought she was going to be a great player,” GU coach Kelly Graves said. “It was a coup when she came here. We were really thrilled but I don’t think anyone can ever envision that, that’s a lot of points.”

The women’s record, on her third basket and sixth point, came with 7:03 left in the first half.

“It was kind of an intense time of the game,” Bowman said. “I actually can’t remember the basket.”

Bowman cut across the key and reserve guard Tatriana Lorenzo fed her for an uncontested layup. That bumped the 2,011 points Tammy Tibbles scored from 1984-88 to second place.

“It was perfect because it was just another play,” Bowman said. “It’s not only Tatri making that pass; it was whoever set that screen for me to get open … it’s just the execution of the play.”

Graves said, “Her key is consistency. She’s been consistent throughout her whole career. Never too high, never low. That’s the reason she’s there.”

Battling foul trouble, Bowman finished with 11 points.

Maybe the record run was a slight distraction because the Zags (18-4, 7-0) had a little trouble putting away the last place team.

Despite holding the Dons (4-20, 0-7) without a field goal for 11 minutes to make an 18-2 run that produced a 15-point lead, the Bulldogs led just 42-29 at the half. USF got off to a quick start in the second half to get within six but then came a patented Zag run.

A little 8-1 spurt boosted the lead back to 15. Then the Bulldogs turned up the defense and scored 27 straight points to lead 85-46 with 4:04 left. The Dons went 9½-minutes with a point and almost 12 minutes with a field goal.

Courtney Vandersloot led five players in double figures with 20 and dished out 11 assists. Janelle Bekkering and reserve Kayla Standish had 15 points and Tiffany Shives added 13 as the Bulldogs shot 55.4 percent.

Gonzaga had 10 turnovers and forced 28 for a 28-0 in points after turnovers and had a 58-16 margin in points in the paint. The Bulldogs also shot 55.4 percent while holding the Dons to 34 percent.

But the day belonged to Bowman.

“The record is something that we joked about, my teammates said they weren’t going to give me the ball so I would get that three or four points,” Bowman said. “I’m going to wait for the end of the season where I can put it all together. … At the end I think I’ll be able to get a grip on how the season went.”

Tibbles attended the game and was given flowers in the post-game ceremony.

“I’m happy for Heather,” Graves said. “She deserves it. She’s not only a tremendous player, she’s just a tremendous teammate and a great human being. I’m happy she was able to do it here at home.

“And I’m happy for Tammy Tibbles, who was a great player back before a lot of people paid attention to college basketball. It was nice to have her here. It was nice for her to have that recognition as well.”

 


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