Senior guard Taelor Karr had a career night for Gonzaga on Thursday, hitting 8 of 9 3-pointers and finishing with a career-best 27 points during a West Coast Conference-opening win over visiting San Diego. Karr missed the school record for 3-pointers by one. The Bulldogs are vying for a ninth consecutive WCC crown. Read story
Graves said the Bulldogs' coaching staff talked with each player this week about their roles following the end to nonconference play.
One thing Graves wanted to do was substitute less. He felt he had thrown off the Bulldogs by going to the bench too much during last Saturday's loss to Washington State.
“If you noticed, we tightened up the rotation, and I just think that's critical,” he said. “You have to do that this time of year.”
Karr ended up playing 34 minutes instead of the 24 she had against WSU. Former starter Stephanie Golden, who comes in for Sunny Greinacher or Shelby Cheslek, played 24 minutes instead of 13.
Graves cautioned his team not to overlook the Toreros when the teams meet again in two weeks in San Diego.
“San Diego, I thought coming into the game, had the best nonleague performance of any team in our conference,” Graves said. “I thought they had played the best.
“Conference this year, every night you'd better bring it or you're going to get beat.”
Karr admitted that she hadn't looked enough to score this season, but there was no specific goal for her to shoot 3-pointers on Thursday.
“It's just whatever came to us,” Karr said. “We have to be aggressive and assertive, and that's one of the problems I've been having this season.
“I think I just need to be that senior leader that any team needs.”