Feb. 5, 2010
SAN BRUNO, Calif., -With the first half of conference play completed, the West Coast Conference announced the Players of the Month for January. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's split both awards as Elias Harris (GON) and Omar Samhan (SMC) shared the men's honor, while Courtney Vandersloot (GON) and Louella Tomlinson (SMC) split the women's award.
Men's Co-Players of the Month
Elias Harris, GON
Harris averaged a double-double for the month with 20.9 ppg and 11.0 rpg. He totaled four double-doubles - 19/14 vs. Illinois, 31/13 at Saint Mary's, 20/13 vs. Pepperdine, 16/14 at Santa Clara. Harris posted a season/career high 31 points at Saint Mary's, 16 rebounds vs. Illinois. He scored winning basket in overtime against Illinois in the United Center in Chicago and scored 20 or more points in 5-of-8 games for the month as Gonzaga went 7-1 in the month and was ranked in Top 10 of ESPN/USA Today poll for two weeks. He also had 12 assists for 1.5 assists/game and 8 steals for 1.0 steals/game and shot 59.2 percent from the field (61-103) and 50.0 percent from 3-point range (5-10).
Omar Samhan, SMC
During the first seven games of WCC play, Omar Samhan led the Gaels to a 6-1 record in January, while leading all-WCC players in scoring (23.1 ppg), rebounds (11.4 rpg), blocked shots (2.6 bpg). The 6-11 center averaged 34.3 minutes per game, scored in double figures in all seven games, while reaching the 20-point mark in five games. His best scoring game of the month came against No. 13 Gonzaga when he had 31 points and 12 rebounds. Against Pepperdine, he had 23 points to go along with a career-high tying 19 rebounds. Samhan finished the month shooting 53.9 percent from the floor, making 62-115 shots, and shot 73.1 percent from the free throw line, making 38-of-52 free throws. For the season he ranks ninth (9th) in the country in rebounds per game (11.1 rpg), 14th in the nation in scoring average (21.5 ppg), 18th in the nation in field goal percentage (54.4 %), and 27th in the nation in blocks (2.5 bpg).
Women's Co-Players of the Month
Courtney Vandersloot, GON
Vandersloot helped Gonzaga to a perfect 7-0 record in the month of January, winning its games by an average of 33.6 points per contest. She averaged 19.9 points, 9.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 4.1 steals per contest. The point guard, who leads the nation in assists, also shot an impressive 59.1 percent from the field, hitting 52-of-88, and was 47.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc, draining 11-of-23, and was 80.0 percent at the charity strip (24-of-30). She scored double-figures in all seven contests, including four 20-plus points contests. She also registered two double-doubles (pts, a). During the month, Vandersloot became the Gonzaga University all-time assist leader, breaking Shannon Mathews record of 600 (set from 2002-205) at Pepperdine University. She currently has dished out 635 dimes.
Louella Tomlinson, SMC
In the month of January, Tomlinson averaged 20.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.3 blocks, and 3.3 assists. She posted a 51.1 percent field goal percentage, knocking down 48-of-94 from the field. Tomlinson finished the month leading the conference in four major categories: scoring (17.8), rebounding (10.2), blocked shots (149), and defensive rebounds (190) while leading the nation in blocked shots and triple-double's (3) and is second in the nation in double-double's (14) and No. 17 in field goal percentage (45.9) going into February.
In January, the team posted a 6-1 record, the best start to conference since the 1999-2000 season. In each of those six wins, Tomlinson posted double-double's, including a string of four in a row, to bump her season total to 14. Against USF, Tomlinson had a big night from the field and the free throw line, going 8-for-12 from the field and a record-tying 19-for-20 from the charity stripe to finish with a career-high 35 points. The 19 made free throws tied an SMC and WCC single-game record in free throws made. Tomlinson fell two blocks shy of a triple-double in that game as well. Tomlinson scored in double-figures in every game in January as her streak grows to 20 straight games with double-digit points. At San Diego, Tomlinson contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds to help the Gaels clinch the overtime victory.
With Tomlinson's 44 blocks in January, her career total climbs to 466 and her season total stands at 149. Going into the final conference stretch, she is 15 blocks shy of the NCAA D-I career blocks record set in 2002-05 by TCU's Sandora Irvin (480) and 17 blocks shy of the NCAA D-I single-season record, which was set last season by Brittany Pittman (164).