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All Eight Teams Begin Conference Play This Week

Jan. 7, 2009

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After a tough non-conference schedule, the West Coast Conference is set to begin conference play this Thursday. As predicted by the coaches in the preseason poll, the top three teams heading into conference play are Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, and San Diego. Gonzaga arguably played the toughest non-conference schedule finishing with an RPI of 17, according to rpiratings.com. Loyola Marymount finished non-conference play, tying a program record for non-conference wins with 10, while San Diego was able to capture the program's first ever Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic title. Gonzaga continues to receive votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Saint Mary's, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara all play two games this week, while Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, and Portland just have one.


All Times PST

Saint Mary's at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 7:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
Gonzaga at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
San Francisco at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Diego San Diego, CA
2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
5:00 PM

Player of the Month
This past December, junior Heather Bowman averaged 19.9 points and 9.4 rebounds, as she helped Gonzaga to a 4-3 record against tough competition, including University of Tennessee. Shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 84.1 percent from the charity stripe, Bowman finished the month with three double-doubles and led the team in scoring in all but one contest. Bowman has been named WCC Player of the Week three times this season and currently leads the league in scoring at 20.1 points per game.

WCC Player of the Week: Gonzaga's Heather Bowman Earns Weekly Honor
Heather Bowman helped the Bulldogs close out their non-conference action with a 1-1 week. She averaged 26.0 points and 9.5 rebounds, while shooting 62.5 percent (20-32) from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe. Bowman began the week scoring a game-high 19 points in the Zags setback to then-No. 8 University of Tennessee. She then poured in a career-high 33 points, along with 12 boards, her 19th career double-double, in the Bulldogs 93-70 victory over Saint Joseph's. This is her third weekly award.



Overall Record: 12-4
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga split its games last week, losing to No. 8 Tennessee, before bouncing back to defeat Saint Joseph's.

  • Junior Heather Bowman led all scorers with 19 points, on 6-of-11 shooting, against the Lady Vols before following that up with a career-high 33 points against Saint Joseph's, on 14-of-21 shooting, adding 12 boards for her 19th double-double. For her efforts, she was awarded WCC Player of the Week for the third time this season, as well as Player of the Month. Bowman is now the eighth all-time scorer in school history with 1,330 points.

  • Sophomore Courtney Vandersloot had a double-double against Tennessee, finishing with 13 points and a game-high 10 assists.

  • SAgainst Saint Joseph's, all five starters had double figures for the first time this season.

  • The Zags open conference play with just one game, at Portland (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 10-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • LMU lost the Courtyard by Marriott L.A. Westside Holiday Tournament, losing a close one to Delaware, before defeating Cal St. Bakersfield.

  • With the win over Bakersfield, LMU has tied its school record for non-conference wins.

  • Freshman Alex Cowling tied for the team-high with 16 points while grabbing eight rebounds, six on the offensive end in the loss. Sophomore Renahy Young also finished with 16 points while sophomore Aleyse Evans added 10 points and four blocks. Cowling and Young each were named to the all-tournament team.

  • Young led the way in the win over Bakersfield with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Junior Lisa Helmers hit a three pointer late in the game to help seal the victory.

  • The Lions open conference play this week, with just one game, playing at Pepperdine (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 7-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine split its games last week, defeating host Hawaii at the Jack-in-the-Box Rainbow Wahine Classic, before falling to Colorado.

  • Senior Taylor Smith had her first double-double of the season leading the team with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Fellow senior Jessica Ross added 13 points, including three three-pointers.

  • Senior Nakeya Isabell was the key to the Waves' defense against Hawaii, leading the game with 10 steals. She also added eight boards and seven assists. She followed that up with 13 points, seven assists, and five steals against Colorado. Isabell is first in the league in steals (3.07), while ranking second in assists (5.93).

  • Junior Miranda Ayim paced the team against Colorado with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

  • The Waves host Loyola Marymount (1/10) to open conference play.
  • Overall Record: 7-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots' split their games last week, defeating Utah Valley, before losing to BYU.

  • Portland put the pressure on early, limiting Utah Valley to only 11 first half points.

  • Junior Laiken Dollente and sophomore Jessica Clemens led the way for the Pilots, finishing with 14 and 11 points. Clemens also added six steals. Dollente is fourth in the league in scoring (16.8). Senior Karlie Burris was perfect from beyond the arc, going 3-for-3. Senior Carly Koebel had a game-high three blocks and ranks third in the league (2.73).

  • Portland had a strong performance from its bench, outscoring Utah Valley's 41-8.

  • Portland will host Northwest rival Gonzaga (1/10) to open conference play.
  • Overall Record: 4-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's split its games last week, losing to No. 9 California, before defeating Pacific.

  • Senior Maija Lahde had a career game against Pacific, with highs of 28 points, on 12-of-25 shooting, and 17 rebounds. She also added three assists and three steals. Lahde also helped seal the win with a steal with less than a minute remaining, and hitting both free throws for the one point victory. This was her third double-double of the season and she is second on the team in scoring (11.1) and rebounding (7.1).

  • Freshman Ashlee Smith finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, while fellow freshman Alex Carbonel also netted in 10 to round out the Gaels in double-figures in the win. Smith is currently second in the league in field goal percentage at .571.

  • Saint Mary's opens conference play with two games this week, at Santa Clara (1/8), before returning home to face San Francisco (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 9-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego played just one game last week, defeating Long Island State, to capture its first Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic title.

  • Freshman Dominique Conners (7-of-13) and senior Amber Sprague (5-of-11) led the offense for the Toreros as each player recorded 16 points. Sprague also added a game-high seven blocks.

  • Senior Kiva Herman finished with 14, on 7-of-14 shooting, while sophomore Emily Hatch had 13 to round out the Toreros in double figures. Hatch also pulled down 13 boards for her first ever double-double. Herman was named tournament MVP after finishing the tournament with 44 total points and is second in the league in scoring (18.2) and third in field goal percentage (.530).

  • The Toreros stay home this week to open conference play, taking on San Francisco (1/8) and Santa Clara (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 4-10
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco suffered a pair of setbacks losing a close one to Iona at home and Wyoming on the road.

  • Senior Shay Rollins led the Dons against Iona with 18 points, marking her 19th consecutive contest with 10 or more points. She also hit three treys and leads the league (3.07), while ranking third in scoring (18.0). Senior Necolia Simmons and junior Danesha Wright finished with 15 and 14 respectively. Junior Nnenna Okereke had a career-high off the bench with 14 rebounds.

  • Wright had a career and game-high eight boards against Wyoming, while Rollins led the team with 19 points and three steals.

  • The Dons open conference play on the road, playing at San Diego (1/8), before heading back up to play Saint Mary's (1/10).
  • Overall Record: 2-13
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos won their only game last week, defeating San Jose State on the road.

  • Sophomore Kathy Willinsky led the Broncos with a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds. Three other Broncos finished with double figures in seniors Sara Majors and Elizabeth Doran, who both had 12, and sophomore Lena Gipson, who finished with 10.

  • Santa Clara forced the Spartans into 14 first half turnovers, limiting them to just 15 points in the half. The Broncos forced 30 turnovers overall and also held an 11-6 advantage in steals.

  • Gipson is now the only player in the league to average a double-double with 12.9 ppg and 10.4 rpg.

  • The Broncos host Saint Mary's (1/8), before playing at San Diego (1/10) to open conference play.