Jacks face another tough road test

Zach Perry

Zach Perry

However the season plays out, it certainly cannot be said that the Jackrabbit women’s basketball team made it easy for themselves.

SDSU (9-1, 2-0) will travel to Spokane, Wash., for yet another challenging non-conference match-up with the Gonzaga Bulldogs of the West Coast Conference on Dec. 12.

The Jacks have been impressive in non-conference action this year, building up a X-X record with wins over several prominent teams.

Though it has not always been pretty, the Jackrabbits have managed to get off to a very fast start to the season, and it has not gone unnoticed. Their victories against teams from several major conferences have SDSU receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today polls.

The Jacks also got off to a 2-0 start in Summit League play this past week, with a 63-41 win over Centenary and a 76-52 victory over Oral Roberts (Okla.).

Even though SDSU played without key players Maria Boever and Macie Michelson, the Jacks may have put together their most solid effort of the season against ORU. SDSU shot a season-best 49.1 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 47-33. SDSU’s 47 boards were also a season high.

Jenn Warkenthien recorded her fourth double-double of the season against ORU – her third in a row – with a 15-point, 17-rebound performance. Ketty Cornemann also had a big game with 20 points, and Kristin Rotert added 18.

Bench scoring has been a big part of SDSU’s success so far this season, but the starting lineup for the Jacks scored 61 of the 76 total points scored against ORU and will need to continue to be consistently productive to beat a tough Gonzaga team on the road.

Gonzaga (8-2) has been very impressive so far this year. The Bulldogs are coming off of a tough 59-47 road loss to UC Santa Barbara, but the Jacks should not underestimate them.

Not unlike the Jacks, the Zags have received numerous votes to be ranked in both the AP Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Polls. Gonzaga’s impressive record includes victories over then No. 15 Virginia and a very talented Utah team.

Gonzaga is led by junior forward Heather Bowman, who is averaging 18.8 points and eight rebounds per game. Bowman scored a season-high 28 points against Wyoming and has scored in double-digits in eight-of-nine games in which she has appeared.

Sophomore guard Courtney Vandersloot and junior guard Tiffanie Shives also average double-digits in scoring per game. Much of the offense will run through Vandersloot, as she has accounted for almost a third of Gonzaga’s total assists.

The Bulldogs were 25-9 last season and 13-1 in home games. So far this season, the Zags are 3-0 at home and are averaging over 98 points per game in McCarthey Athletic Center.

Gonzaga was chosen in the West Coast Conference preseason coach’s poll to win the WCC title.

SDSU will definitely be seeing red in Spokane, as Gonzaga has designated this game for their “Paint the Kennel Red” promotion in which fans are encouraged to wear red clothing.

#1.882087:321272183.jpg:WBB_Oregon_ES.jpg:Kristin Rotert (14) maneuvers her way through the Oregon defense during the second half of the Nov. 23 game. SDSU routed Oregon 80-63.:Ethan Swanson