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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Jan. 19, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The second week of conference play concluded last week with Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine all recording clean sweeps. The Zags are now receiving their most votes in the AP Poll with 26. Last week, history was made as Gonzaga's Heather Bowman became the WCC's all-time leading scorer and is on pace to become the only player to have scored 2,000 points.

This week, the top two teams in the conference, Gonzaga and Pepperdine at both 3-0, will square off for sole possession of first place in the conference standings on Thursday.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
7:00 PM
Portland at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
2:00 PM
Portland at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Diego San Diego, CA
2:00 PM
San Francisco at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
2:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC December Player of the Month: Louella Tomlinson, SMC
Tomlinson led the Gaels to a 6-3 record in December, including a 6-game winning streak with four out of the six games on the road. In December, Tomlinson shot 59.6 percent from the field (53-89), averaged 16.2 points per game and 7.1 blocks per game, keeping her atop the WCC leader board in all three categories going into January's conference action. She is second in the WCC in rebounds (9.7 rpg), maintaining that in the month of December by averaging 9.4 rpg in nine games. On December 3 in the win over Washington State, Tomlinson surpassed USD's Chris Enger (372) to become the new WCC leader in career blocks, recording 12 blocks to give her 373. In the win over Boise State on December 12, Tomlinson recorded 15 blocks, tying a WCC record of blocks in a game (Amy Lundquist, LMU vs. W. Illinois, 12/20/92). The junior was one shy of breaking the NCAA record of blocks in a game, still held by Sandora Irvin of TCU (16 vs. UAB, 1/16/05). The 12 blocks against the Cougars marked a new career high for Tomlinson, but it only lasted a few games before she broke it again with 15 blocks versus Boise State. Tomlinson posted one triple-double and four double-double's in nine games. Her triple-double came in the 80-70 victory over Washington State, finishing with 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 blocks. Going into January, Tomlinson leads the nation in triple-double's (3) and blocks (7.0 bpg). She is also seventh in the nation in field goal percentage (62.3). Tomlinson was named WCC Co-Player of the Week for the week of December 7-13 for her outstanding efforts against Boise State.

Also nominated: Heather Bowman, GON; Renahy Young, LMU; Sam Child, USD

WCC Players of the Week: Heather Bowman, GON and Miranda Ayim, PEP
Bowman became the new all-time leading scorer in West Coast Conference history, surpassing Martha Sheldon, of the University of Portland's mark of 1,953 scored from 1987-92. Bowman has now scored 1,956 points. Bowman went into GU's contest against San Diego needing 19 points to top Sheldon and finished with 21 to increase her WCC leading total to 1,956 career points. Bowman claimed the title at the 9:49 mark of the second half when she received a pass from sophomore Katelan Redmon and scored a fast break layup. One minute later she added to her total with her final bucket of the game.

Ayim averaged 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks as Pepperdine won twice on the road at Santa Clara and San Francisco. She has helped Pepperdine to a 3-0 league start, its best in the WCC since 2003 (the last time Pepperdine won a regular-season title). The Waves have also won seven of their last eight games. Ayim scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds at Santa Clara for her fourth double-double of the season. She made 14 of 24 shots and connected on her only three-point attempt. Then, she just missed another double-double with a game-high 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds at San Francisco. She also had six blocks at USF, her third time this season with at least six blocks. That moved her up to #3 on Pepperdine career blocked shot list (134). Over the two games, she hit 58% of her shots from the field (23-for-40). She scored nearly a third of Pepperdine's points over the weekend (47/150). For the season, she is averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.Also nominated: Renahy Young, LMU; Louella Tomlinson, SMC

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: 14-4
WCC Record: 3-0
  • Gonzaga went undefeated last week, beating Saint Mary's, 87-52, and San Diego, 75-46. Gonzaga is outscoring its opponents by an average of 33.3 points over its last three games.

  • SR Heather Bowman made history against San Diego en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors by becoming the conference's all-time leading scorer as she needed 34 points over the two games to achieve the feat. She is now on pace to become the only player in WCC history to score over 2,000 points.

  • JR Courtney Vandersloot averaged 20.5 points in the two games, while shooting 60 percent. She also collected 11 steals. She has averaged 5.6 steals in her last three games while shooting 58.9 percent over her last five.

  • The Zags are on the road this week at Pepperdine (1/21) and Loyola Marymount (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 9-8
    WCC Record: 2-1
  • LMU went undefeated last week, beating San Francisco, 63-55, and Santa Clara, 60-56.

  • JR Renahy Young became the 11th player in school history to score 1,000 points as she scored 19 points in the win over San Francisco. For the week she averaged 17.0 points, while connecting on five three-pointers.

  • SO Alex Cowling averaged 20.0 points in the two games, while shooting 60 percent, including going 7-for-8 in the win over Santa Clara.

  • After coming into the week averaging 4.9 rebounds, JR Melanie Ysaguirre collected 17 in the two games and has averaged 7.8 over her last four games.

  • The Lions are at home this week, hosting Portland (1/21) and Gonzaga (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 12-5
    WCC Record: 3-0
  • Pepperdine went undefeated last week, beating Santa Clara, 83-67, and San Francisco, 67-43.

  • SR Miranda Ayim had a monster week en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors. She averaged 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks in the two games helping the Waves stay atop the league standings. She had a career-high 29 points in the game against Santa Clara and collected six blocks against San Francisco, marking the third time she has had at least six blocks in a game this year.

  • SO Jazmine Jackson had a good all-around game against San Francisco, posting nine points, eight assists, and five rebounds.

  • The Waves forced 42 turnovers last week and are ranked 10th in the NCAA in TO margin (6.8).

  • Pepperdine is at home this week, hosting Gonzaga (1/21) and Portland (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 11-7
    WCC Record: 0-3
  • Portland went winless last week, falling to San Diego, 59-53, and Saint Mary's, 72-65.

  • JR Tara Cronin had back-to-back games scoring in double figures with 16 points against San Diego and 15 versus Saint Mary's. She also hit six shots from downtown and collected seven steals in the two games.

  • SR Laiken Dollente was held to single-digits for just the second time all season with nine points against San Diego, before bouncing back with 16 against Saint Mary's. She also connected on six from beyond the arc. Her streak of 22 made free throws was snapped as she went 3-of-4 for the week, but is still ranked third in the country with a 92.3 shooting percentage from the line.

  • Portland is on the road this week at Loyola Marymount (1/21) and Pepperdine (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 12-7
    WCC Record: 3-1
  • Saint Mary's split its games last week, falling to Gonzaga, 87-52, before defeating Portland, 72-65.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson was just one block shy of her fourth triple-double of the season in the win over Portland as she finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and nine blocks. She is now just 31 blocks away from setting the NCAA career record in just her third year.

  • SO Jasmine Smith led all scorers in the win over Portland with 17 points, going 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

  • SR Jontelle Smith was the only other Gael in double figures against the Pilots, finishing with 16 points along with dishing out five assists.

  • The Gaels have just one game this week at San Diego (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 11-7
    WCC Record: 3-1
  • San Diego split its games last week, defeating Portland 59-53, before falling at Gonzaga, 75-46.

  • JR Sam Child led all scorers in the win over Portland with 20 points, while SR Morgan Henderson pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds and just missed out on a double-double, adding eight points.

  • SO Dominique Conners averaged 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in both contests, including a career-high nine boards against the Pilots. She came into the week averaging 3.8 rebounds per game.

  • Conners' 2.9 steals per game currently ranks 30th in the country.

  • The Toreros have just one game this week, hosting Saint Mary's (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 4-17
    WCC Record: 0-4
  • San Francisco went winless last week falling to Loyola Marymount, 63-55, and Pepperdine, 67-43.

  • SO's Rheina Ale and Vania Singleterry paced the offense against the Lions, finishing with 17 and 16 points respectively. Singleterry also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and went 6-for-6 from the line.

  • Singleterry posted her first double-double of the season in the game against the Waves with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Ale was the only other Don in double-figures with 14 points and just missed out on her own double-double, adding eight rebounds.

  • Ale is third in the WCC in three-pointers (43), while JR Donnisha Taylor is third in rebounding (7.5).

  • San Francisco has just one game this week, at Santa Clara (1/23).
  • Overall Record: 2-17
    WCC Record: 0-4
  • Santa Clara went winless last week losing to Pepperdine, 83-67, and Loyola Marymount, 60-56.

  • In the game against Pepperdine, JR Lena Gipson posted her 10th double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds despite being limited to just 25 minutes due to foul trouble. FR Ashley Armstrong led five players in double-figures with 13 points, including going 3-for-4 from downtown.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji led the team offensively against the Lions scoring 15 of her 17 points in the second half. Gipson just missed out on another double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds, also adding four steals.

  • Shoji paces the WCC with 50 three-pointers, while Gipson leads the league in rebounding (9.9)

  • Santa Clara has just one game this week, hosting San Francisco (1/23).