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Lions Head to the Northwest

Jan. 31, 2007

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Briefly
The Lions begin the second half of West Coast Conference play on the road, traveling to Portland and Gonzaga this weekend. LMU will face the Pilots on Thursday night at 7:00pm, and will take on the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. The Lions sit in third place in the WCC following the first half of the conference schedule, and are looking to gain ground on the conference leaders heading into the WCC Championships. Both games will be broadcast live on Lions All-Access at www.LMULions.com, and Thursday's game will be broadcast on KXLU 88.9FM.

Looking Back
LMU recorded another WCC split, falling to Saint Mary's before rebounding with a victory over Santa Clara.

Cassady Moore smashed her career-high with 22 points but it was not enough as the Lions fell to Saint Mary's 64-59. The Gaels led by as many as 16, but the Lions cut the lead to two points late in the second half. Missed field goals and free throws in the final minutes slowed the comeback bid and the Gaels pulled out the road win.

The Lions responded with an outstanding performance against Santa Clara, shutting down the conference's top scoring offense for a 67-52 win. LMU pulled ahead early, extending to a double digit lead midway through the first half, and led by as many as 23 points in the game. Amanda Patton led a group of four Lions in double digit scoring, putting in 17 points in the win.

About Portland
The Pilots are 9-13 overall, and are 1-6 after the first half of WCC action. Portland's first WCC win came on Saturday as the Pilots defeated San Francisco 64-61. Freshman Laiken Dollente had nearly half of the team's points, finishing with 30 points in the game. For the season, Dollente is averaging 16.7 points and leads the team in assists and steals. Rachel Warren leads the team in rebounds at 7.7 per game, and is also averaging 10.6 points per contest. She has recorded 46 blocks this season.

About Gonzaga
The Bulldogs are 15-8 overall, and sit in first place in the WCC with a 7-0 record after the first half of conference play. Stephanie Hawk leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averagin 14.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. In conference games, her scoring and rebounding production have both increased to 16.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Heather Bowman has also done well in conference games, averaging 15.9 points per game. Michelle Elliott leads the team in three-point shooting and has converted 36 this season. Gonzaga will face Pepperdine on Thursday night before Saturday's showdown with the Lions.

The Last Time Out vs. Portland, Gonzaga
The Lions went 1-1 in the first weekend of WCC play, dropping a close game to Gonzaga before rebounding with a strong team defensive effort against Portland.

The WCC opener was a nailbiter, and the Zags pulled away with the 60-56 win. The game was tied with less than a minute on the clock, but Gonzaga pulled ahead for good on a layup with 44 seconds remaining. LMU had its chances, but missed two shots on its next possession. Amanda DeCoud led all players with 16 points, and Jennifer Hall chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds. Valerie Ogoke had a solid all-around game with 12 rebounds, three blocks, a career-high five assists and six points.

LMU rebounded with an outstanding defensive effort on against Portland, limiting the Pilots to a program-low 34 points for a 20 point win. The Lions pulled out to a double digit lead in the first half, and continued to play well in the second. Portland's Laiken Dollente, who entered the game as the WCC's leading scorer, was held without a point and committed eight turnovers. The duo of Cassady Moore and DeCoud shut down the Pilot guard. Moore recorded seven steals in the win, and the Lions forced 25 Pilot turnovers. Amanda Patton hit four three-pointers and led all players with 14 points.

Defensive Excellence
For the second straight home game, and the third time this year, LMU limited an opponent to less than 40 points as the Lions shut down Pepperdine in a 52-35 win. It matched a program-low for points by the Waves, and Pepperdine's 13 points in the first half also matched a program-low. It was the second time this year that LMU has written its name in an opponent's media guide. LMU defeated Portland 54-34, a program-low for points by the Pilots, whose previous low was 35 points.The 34 points allowed by LMU were the lowest since the Lions limited the University of San Francisco to 30 points in the 1987-88 season. Earlier this year, the Lions defeated Long Beach State, 61-38, setting a new LMU program low by allowing just nine points in the second half.

More from Moore
Cassady Moore shattered her career-high when she scored 22 points against Saint Mary's. The sophomore guard almost singlehandedly kept the Lions in the game in the first half, scoring 18 of LMU's 29 points in the opening half. She was 7-for-11 from the field in the first half, and finished 9-for-16 for the game. She also had two assists, three rebounds and a steal in the game.

New Faces Emerge
Two players took advantage of their playing time against Santa Clara to help the Lions secure the win. Sophomore Jenna Sybesma had a career day, scoring a career-high 12 points in a career-high 20 minutes of action. Freshman Jessica Vargas was a defensive catalyst off the bench to help shut down Santa Clara's guards and limit the Broncos' shooting efficiency from behind the arc. Both players entered the game early in the first half and were instrumental to LMU pulling away from the Broncos in the first half.

Patton Eyes Single Season Mark
A year after setting the LMU single season record for three-pointers, Amanda Patton has caught fire from behind the arc and is eying her own record. She enters Thursday's game with 46 on the season and sits in fifth place on the single season list. She needs just two more to move into a tie for third place. Last year, she connected for 67 to break the LMU single season mark.

Patton Breaks Record
With her second three-pointer against Pepperdine, Amanda Patton broke the LMU career record for three-pointers and now has 132 and counting. She broke the year-old record set by former teammate Rachael Ziemann of 126. Patton also owns the LMU single season record for three-pointer and shares the LMU record for three-pointers in a single game with Ziemann.

I'll Take That
Amanda DeCoud and Cassady Moore continue to be two of the greatest thiefs in the WCC, ranking first and fourth in steals in conference games. With a six steal performance against Santa Clara, DeCoud raised her average to 3.0 per game in conference games, and Moore is coming in at 2.43 per game. For the year, DeCoud leads the team with 52 steals, and Moore has added 40.

Statistics Nationally
LMU had several players ranked in the top 100 in the national statistics when the NCAA released its stats on Monday. Amanda Patton has her name listed twice, ranked 43rd in three-point field goal percentage (39.7) and 70th in three-point field goals made (2.2). Jennifer Hall is 55th in the nation in free throw percentage at 83.5%. Valerie Ogoke cracked the nation's top 100 in blocks, ranked 97th, averaging 1.7 per game. Amanda DeCoud is also ranked in steals, coming in at 67th by averaging 2.5 per game. As a team, LMU is ranked 13th in the nation in fewest fouls committed.

Hall was December's Finest
Junior Jennifer Hall was named the WCC Player of the Month for December. The forward averaged 14.6 points and a WCC-best 8.9 rebounds in LMU's seven games. The Lions faced a challenging December slate that included four opponents that competed in the 2006 post-season. Hall scored in double digits in six of the seven games during the month, including a 24 point night against Hawaii on December 7th. In that game, she tied the LMU single game record for free throw percentage while going a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. The transfer from Vanderbilt recorded three double doubles in December. Hall shares the monthly award with San Diego's Amanda Rego.

Lions Challenged Early
LMU has faced two teams ranked in the top 12 this season, and two more teams that have received votes in the polls. The Lions faced then-#4 Stanford in the season opener, and played then-#12 Texas A&M in the Championship game of the LMU Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. Xavier, who has been receiving votes in the polls, defeated the Lions in the championship game of the Xavier Invitational. LMU fell to Iowa State, another team receiving votes, in the Cyclone Classic.

Looking Ahead
The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion for their final home weekend of the season. LMU will host San Diego on Thursday night at 7:00pm. The Lions will honor its two seniors, Amanda Patton and Ashlee Dunlap, in a ceremony before Saturday's home finale against San Francisco at 2:00pm.

All-Tournament Honors
Four different Lions have earned All-Tournament team honors this season. Amanda DeCoud was named to the All-Tournament team at the Xavier Invitational. Amanda Patton and Valerie Ogoke got the nod at the LMU Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. Ogoke joined Jennifer Hall to earn All-Tournament honors at the Cyclone Classic to round up tournament action.

Lions Top Preseason Poll
For the second straight year, LMU was chosen as the favorite to claim the WCC women's basketball title in the 2006-07 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Lions, who posted a 17-12 overall record last season and a 10-4 mark in conference play to finish in third place, tied Pepperdine as the coaches' picks to win the WCC. Gonzaga finished third in the poll, with Santa Clara coming in fourth. Saint Mary's and San Diego were picked fifth and sixth, respectively, with San Francisco and Portland placing seventh and eighth.

Lions All-Access
For the fourth straight year, every LMU women's basketball game will be broadcast live on LMU's website at www.LMULions.com. This season, all Lions All-Access broadcasts will be free. Fans just need to register and they will gain free access to all LMU broadcasts. In addition to audio for all games, streaming video will be available for most LMU home games. Angie Kiel and Patrick Duggan return for the third year as the voices of the Lions to provide play by play, along with insight and analysis for every Lion broadcast. Check www.LMULions.com for more information on Lions' All-Access.