By Peter Tormey
SPOKANE – Gonzaga women’s basketball home-game attendance during the 2010-11 season ranks 25th in the nation among NCAA Division I schools, and the Zags recorded the sixth-largest increase in home attendance this season from the 2009-10 campaign, the NCAA announced this week.
Coach Kelly Graves praised Gonzaga’s fans for the sharp attendance increase this past season, the best ever in Gonzaga’s history as the (31-5) Bulldogs advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time, topping the breakthrough 2009-10 season when they made their first appearance in the Sweet 16. They upset Iowa, UCLA and Louisville before losing to Stanford 83-60 March 28 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
“We have the best fans,” Graves said, after hearing the news. “Our fans are extremely supportive, loyal, and our following keeps building and building. How vital and great our fans are especially showed during our NCAA run this year; we are a women’s basketball community.”
Gonzaga’s All-WCC first-team player Katelan Redmon, who returns for her senior year this coming season, said the fans’ support is a factor in the Zags’ success.
“I think it’s an intimidation factor for the other teams,” Redmon said.
The Bulldogs averaged 4,060 fans at their 16 home games this season – an increase of approximately 1,130 from the 2009-10 season average of 2,931 fans per game – for a total of 64,966. GU hosted seven non-conference games, seven West Coast Conference games and two NCAA Tournament games at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Kennel sold out four games: Stanford (Nov. 21), San Diego (Feb. 26), Iowa (March 19), and UCLA (March 21).
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