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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Jan. 5, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEK
Only one non-conference game remains with San Francisco hosting Sacramento State before conference play gets underway this Friday. The WCC is currently 63-56 against non-conference opponents, a considerable improvement upon the 42-55 record from last season, with six of the eight teams having .500 records or better. Currently, the top two teams in the conference are Gonzaga and Portland, who both boast 11-4 records, and will open the conference season against one another as the Zags host the Pilots on Saturday.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Sacramento State at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 8
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
San Francisco at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
7:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Diego San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine Malibu, CA, CA
4:00 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 3
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego San Diego, CA
2:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC November Player of the Month: Louella Tomlinson, SMC
In the month of November, Tomlinson led the West Coast Conference in scoring (17.2 avg/g), rebounding, (10.0 avg/g), and blocked shots (6.8 avg/g). She has recorded two triple-double's in six games, the first was on opening night in the victory over Idaho State (14 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 blocks), and the other in the win over Nevada on November 20 (18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 blocks).

Also nominated: Courtney Vandersloot, GON; Alex Cowling, LMU; Miranda Ayim, PEP; Dominique Conners, USD

WCC Player of the Week: Dominique Conners, USD
Conners was named Tournament MVP en route to earning WCC Player of the Week honors. She averaged 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.0 steals over the tournament, while shooting 50 percent. She has now scored in double figures in four of her last five games. Her 2.9 steals per game ranks 28th in the country.

Also nominated: Courtney Vandersloot, GON

Gonzaga Picked as the Favorite in WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the WCC title this year, receiving seven out of the eight first place votes, for 49 points, as voted on by the league head coaches. The Zags edged out Loyola Marymount, who received the remaining first place vote and totaled 40 points. Coming in a close third to the Lions was Pepperdine with 34 points. In the middle of the pack were Portland, with 31 points for a fourth place finish, and Saint Mary's, who received 29 points for the fifth spot. San Diego finished just behind the Gaels, with 22 points for sixth place. Rounding out the poll are San Francisco and Santa Clara, who tied for seventh with 10 points each.

2009-10 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga - 49 (7)
2. Loyola Marymount - 39 (1)
3. Pepperdine - 34
4. Portland - 31
5. Saint Mary's - 29
6. San Diego - 22
7. San Francisco - 10
Santa Clara - 10

2009-10 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Miranda Ayim, PEP
Heather Bowman, GON
Dominique Conners, USD
Alex Cowling, LMU
Laiken Dollente, POR
Vivian Frieson, GON
Lena Gipson, SCU
Jontelle Smith, SMC
Louella Tomlinson, SMC
Courtney Vandersloot, GON
Renahy Young, LMU

Three Conference Games Slated For National TV Broadcasts
This season, three WCC women's basketball games will appear on national TV on the CBS College Network as well as ESPNU. Two of the games will air on the CBS College Network, with the WCC Tournament championship game from Las Vegas airing on ESPNU.

WCC Women's Hoops Television Schedule

Feb. 18Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga - 8:00 pm (PT) CBS College Sports
Feb. 27San Diego at Pepperdine - 7:00 pm (PT) CBS College Sports
Mar. 8WCC Tournament Championship - 12:00 pm (PT) ESPNU

WCC Extends Reach Overseas
Several WCC players and coaches decided not to take the summer off and instead took their games overseas. Gonzaga's Janelle Bekkering took the last spot on Canada's Senior Women's National Team, beating out 15 other players selected to tryout. This gave her a chance to play in the FIBA Americas Championships. Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson played for Australia in this year's World University Games, where she helped her team win a Bronze Medal against the Czech Republic. Dons' Head Coach Tanya Haave took her team on a journey throughout Scandinavia, where it played a five-game tour, going 3-2 against top teams from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Pepperdine Head Coach Julie Rousseau got her first taste of Team USA as she was an assistant coach for the World University Team, who ended up winning the Gold Medal against Russia at the World University Games. Below is a list of all the international players competing in the WCC.

Multiple WCC Teams In The Postseason For 11th Straight Year
For the 11th straight season, and the 15th time in the past 16 years, the West Coast Conference was represented by multiple teams in the postseason. Gonzaga captured the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament by winning the WCC Tournament, while Portland was selected to play in the WNIT against Portland State. It marked the second appearance for both programs in their respective tournaments. Gonzaga pulled off the upset as the 12th seed, taking down fifth seeded Xavier, 74-59 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to give the program its first ever NCAA Tournament victory. In round two, the Zags went back and forth with No. 4 seed Pittsburgh, as the lead changed 16 times, before losing the lead for good with two minutes to go, losing 65-60. The Pilots had control of their game in the second half, leading by as many as nine, but were unable to hold on for the win.

WCC Basketball Championships Remain in Las Vegas Through 2012
The West Coast Conference and Orleans Arena announced a three-year contract extension that will keep the WCC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships in Las Vegas through 2012.

The extension comes after the West Coast Conference sold out the Orleans Arena for the 2009 WCC Basketball Championships. The 2009 championship, which was the WCC's first-ever at a neutral site, set conference records for both total championship attendance (33,320) and single session championship attendance (7,845).

The agreement will bring the WCC Basketball Championships to the Orleans Arena on March 5-8 of 2010, March 4-7 of 2011, and March 2-5 of 2012.

The 2010 WCC Championships will feature the same format as the 2009 event, with a combined total of 14 men's and women's games over four days. Tickets for the 2010 championship will go on sale to the general public on Friday, November 13.

Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson Re-Breaks WCC Blocks Record
Junior Louella Tomlinson followed up her record-setting freshman campaign, in which she set an NCAA and WCC single-season blocks (152) record, by setting a new WCC record with 161 in her sophomore season. The NCAA record for career blocks is 480, and if Tomlinson keeps up her pace, she will shatter that mark with 626 career blocks. Her single season total for one season was so high, that it also ranks No. 1 on the Gaels' all-time career list.

Gonzaga's Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot Named to Preseason Wooden Award Watch List
Gonzaga University women's basketball teammates Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot were named to the preseason Women's Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman. Bowman, a senior, becomes the first Bulldog to be nominated for the award in back-to-back seasons as she also made the list last season. Vandersloot is the second-ever Zag player to make the list.

Gonzaga is one of only four schools with two preseason candidates. The others are the University of Connecticut (Maya Moore, Tina Charles), Ohio State University (Jantel Lavender, Samantha Prahalis) and Stanford University (Jayne Appel, Jeanette Pohlen).

This list is composed of 31 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women's Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament. The presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

WCC Returning Record Setters
The WCC returns seven players who are already in the the league's all-time season and career record books.

Record         Player                 Place   TotalPoints (S) Heather Bowman, GON  (4)     641Points (C)Heather Bowman, GON  (9)  1,666Assists (S) Courtney Vandersloot, GON (3)     239Rebounds (S) Lena Gipson, SCU  (5)     307Blocks (S)  Louella Tomlinson, SMC  (1)     161FG Pct. (S) Ashlee Smith, SMC  (10)    56.93FG Pct. (S) Morgan Henderson, USD     (9)     44.9Blocks (C)  Louella Tomlinson, SMC  (2)     317FT Pct. (C) Laiken Dollente, POR  (3)     87.0FT Pct. (S)Laiken Dollente, POR  (3)  91.4

S= Season, C= Career

All-WCC Performers Highlight Squads
Seven All-WCC performers return to their respective squads this year, along with five players that earned honorable mention honors last season. Gonzaga returns three all-WCC players in Courtney Vandersloot, who won Player of the Year, Heather Bowman, and Vivian Frieson. Pepperdine returns Miranda Ayim, while Saint Mary's brings back Louella Tomlinson, who won Defensive Player of the Year. LMU's Renahy Young and Portland's Laiken Dollente round out the returning all-conference players.

Player                    YRPPGMiranda Ayim, PEP    SR11.5Heather Bowman, GON    SR19.4Laiken Dollente, POR    SR15.3Vivian Frieson, GON    SR10.0Louella Tomlinson, SMC    JR15.2Courtney Vandersloot, GON   JR16.4Renahy Young, LMU    JR14.7


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 11-4
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga had just one game last week, defeating UC Santa Barbara 88-52 at home.

  • The team hit 10-of-23 three-pointers, marking the first time the Zags have had double-figures from beyond the arc since Dec. 27, 2007. SR Tiffanie Shives led the way, tying her career-high with five three-pointers.

  • JR Courtney Vanersloot had a double-double, finishing with 17 points and 12 assists. This was her sixth game with double-digit assists as she continues to lead the country (9.3 apg).

  • SR Heather Bowman is currently third in the league in scoring (15.4) and is just 57 points away from becoming the league's all-time leading scorer.

  • The Zags open conference play hosting Portland (1/9).
  • Overall Record: 7-7
    WCC Record:0-0
  • LMU split its games last week, losing at UCLA 73-52, before defeating Seattle, 74-68.

  • SR Lisa Helmers broke into double-digits for the first time this season against Seattle, going for 13 points, while hitting three from beyond the arc.

  • Against Seattle, five different Lions hit at least two three-pointers as the team hit a total of 12, just one off its school record of 13 which was set earlier this season in a game at Long Beach State.

  • To date, JR Renahy Young has scored 971 points in her career and she is well on her way to joining the 1,000 point club and would be just the 11th player in school history to achieve the feat.

  • The Lions open conference play at cross-town rival Pepperdine (1/9).
  • Overall Record: 9-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine had just one game last week, falling to No. 21 Kansas, 82-63 on the road.

  • SR Miranda Ayim scored a team-high 21 points (9-of-15), just one off her season-high, to go along with six blocks and two steals. In her last two games, she is shooting 63 percent while averaging 18.5 points.

  • SO Jazmine Jackson was the only other Wave player in double-figures, with 16 points. She is the team's second leading scorer (12.8) and has only missed double-figures in three games this season.

  • Pepperdine is ranked 14th in the country in turnover margin at +6.5.

  • Pepperdine opens conference play at home against cross-town rival Loyola Marymount (1/9).
  • Overall Record: 11-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland went 2-1 last week, defeating Utah Valley, 78-40, falling to BYU, 69-57, and beating Seattle, 74-69 in overtime.

  • Against Utah Valley, SR Laiken Dollente dished out a career-high 10 assists, three off the school record, becoming the first player since 2000 with double-digit assists. JR Jessica Clemens also had a career-high with 10 rebounds.

  • Dollente finished with 46 points in the three games and moved up to No. 3 on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,612 points.

  • The 11-4 record is the program's best start since the 1996-97 season.

  • Portland opens conference play at Gonzaga (1/9).
  • Overall Record: 9-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's had just one game last week, losing to Pacific, 70-63 on the road.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson was just two rebounds shy of her fourth triple-double of the season, finishing with a game-high 18 points, 11 blocks, and eight rebounds. It marked her fifth game with double-digit blocks as she continues to lead the country (7.0).

  • SR Jontelle Smith was one of four players in double-figures, putting in 13 points, while grabbing five boards and nabbing four steals. She is second in the leauge in three-pointers (37).

  • Tomlinson is among the league leaders in several categories. She is first in scoring (16.6), first in blocks (7.0), first in field goal percenatage (62.3), and second in rebounding (9.7).

  • The Gaels open conference play hosting San Francisco (1/8) and Santa Clara (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 8-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego won its annual Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic, defeating Nevada, 72-60, and Boston College, 61-56.

  • SO Dominique Conners was named Tournament MVP en route to earning WCC Player of the Week honors. She averaged 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.0 steals over the tournament. Her 2.9 steals per game ranks 28th in the country.

  • JR Sam Child had a career-game in the win over Nevada. She ended up with career-highs of 28 points and six steals. She has now scored in double-digits in five straight games.

  • SR Morgan Henderson went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in the win over Boston College and has gone 7-for-14 in her last three games.

  • The Toreros open conference play hosting Santa Clara (1/8) and San Francisco (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 4-12
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco went 0-2 at the Wildcat Holiday Classic, falling to host Villanova, 67-35, and Loyola (MD), 60-51.

  • In the game against Loyola, SO Rheina Ale put in a solid all-around effort, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

  • Ale failed to hit a three-pointer for the first time all season in the game against Villanova. For the season, she is ranked third in the league in both three-pointers made (35) and percentage (.422)

  • JR Donnisha Taylor just missed out on a double-double against Loyola with eight points and eight rebounds. She is currently third in the league with 117 boards this season.

  • USF hosts Sacramento St. (1/5) before opening conference play at Saint Mary's (1/8) and San Diego (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 2-13
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara went 0-3 last week, falling to Robert Morris, 57-56, No. 21 West Virginia, 78-55, and San Jose State, 75-64.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji tied the West Virginia Coliseum opponent record with a career-high seven three-pointers, which was also just two off the school record set back in 2006. She finished with a career-high 24 points. She is currently ranked 24th in the country in three-pointers made at 2.9 per game.

  • JR Lena Gispson finished with two double-doubles over the week with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Robert Morris and 14 points and 11 rebounds against San Jose State. She leads the league with nine double-doubles and is the only player in the conference to average a double-double with 12.9 ppg and a league-leading 10.2 rpg.

  • Santa Clara opens conference play at San Diego (1/8) and Saint Mary's (1/10).