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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Feb. 2, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The first half of conference play concluded last week with Gonzaga, Portland, and Saint Mary's coming away undefeated. The Zags are now ranked nationally, coming in at No. 24 in the AP Poll and are receiving the most votes in the ESPN Coaches Poll. This is the first time the program has been ranked since 2005.

It has been a season of milestones so far, as Gonzaga's Heather Bowman became the school's all-time leading scorer, just a week after teammate Courtney Vanderlsoot became the school's all-time leader in assists. Bowman is also the WCC's all-time leading scorer. This week another record could go down as Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson is just 15 blocks away from becoming the NCAA's all-time leader.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
San Diego at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2:00 PM
San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
2:00 PM
Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
5:00 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 Co-Players of the Week: Alexis Gannis, POR and Louella Tomlinson, SMC
Gannis shot 15-for-18 (.833) from the field and averaged 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds to help the Pilots pick up home wins over San Francisco and Santa Clara During Thursday's 53-50 win over USF, she scored 20 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds, becoming the first Pilot to record that many boards since Rachel Warren in 2006; missed just two shots, going 7-for-9 from the field, while hitting six free throws and scoring Portland's final 11 points of the game; the double-double is her fifth of the season On Saturday, she missed just one shot (8-for-9) from the floor en route to 16 points during UP's 73-65 win over Santa Clara; she grabbed seven boards to help the Pilots win their fourth straight game Also averaged 2.5 steals per game during the weekend.

Tomlinson led the Gaels with game-high's in points and rebounds in both victories over the weekend...Tomlinson posted back-to-back double-double's last weekend, 13th and 14th of the season, finishing with 29 points and 15 rebounds against Pepperdine and 19 points and 12 rebounds versus Loyola Marymount...she recorded 13 blocks on the weekend, putting her 15 blocks away from breaking the NCAA D-I career record in blocks...on the weekend, Tomlinson averaged 24.0 ppg and 13.5 rpg, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field (17-for-34) to bump her season averages to 17.8 ppg and 10.2 rpg...the Gaels are on a four-game winning streak and finished the first half of conference with a 6-1 record, a feat that has not been accomplished since the 1999-2000 season.

Also nominated: Courtney Vandersloot, GON; Dominique Conners, USD

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: 18-4
WCC Record: 7-0
  • Gonzaga extended its winning streak to a season-best nine straight with wins over Santa Clara, 81-43, and San Francisco, 93-53. The Zags are now ranked 24th in the AP Poll, the program's first ranking since 2005.

  • SR Heather Bowman made history again, becoming the school's all-time leading scorer just a week after becoming the WCC's all-time leader. Her 2,018 career points surpassed Tammy Tibbles' 2,011, who set the mark during the 1987-88 season, the program's first in the WCC.

  • SO Courtney Vandersloot had a game-high 19 points (8-13) including three from beyond the arc against the Broncos and added eight assists and seven steals, before going for another game-high 20 points (7-12) and 11 assists against the Dons. She is averaging 10.6 assists and 18.8 points over her last four games.

  • The Zags have just one game this week, at Portland (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 9-12
    WCC Record: 2-5
  • LMU went winless last week, falling to San Diego, 69-60, and Saint Mary's, 72-63.

  • SO Alex Cowling had her fourth 20 point game of the conference season against San Diego, finishing with 24 points and adding seven rebounds. For the week, she averaged 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in the two games.

  • SR Lisa Helmers broke out of her three-point shooting slump, hitting 4-of-9 against Saint Mary's, to finish with 14 points.

  • SO Candice Nichols nabbed four steals against the Gaels, bringing her average to 3.7 over her last three games.

  • The Lions have just one game this week, hosting cross-town rival Pepperdine (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 13-8
    WCC Record: 4-3
  • Pepperdine split its games last week, falling to Saint Mary's, 80-65, before defeating San Diego, 61-49.

  • SR Miranda Ayim averaged 15.0 points and 6.0 blocks in the two games. She has now had five games with at least five blocks this season.

  • In the win over San Diego, SO Jazmine Jackson had a team-high 14 points, on 6-of-12 shooting, while SO Katie Menton hit three from beyond the arc. Menton is currently shooting 44 percent from downtown in her last three games.

  • Ayim is currently ranked fifth in the league in scoring (15.2), sixth in rebounding (6.5), and second in blocks (52).

  • Pepperdine has just one game this week at cross-town rival Loyola Marymount (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 15-7
    WCC Record: 4-3
  • Portland went undefeated last week, beating San Francisco, 53-50, and Santa Clara, 73-65.

  • SO Alexis Gannis had a big week en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors. She averaged 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds, while shooting an impressive 83.3 percent from the field. Her biggest game came against the Dons in which she scored 20 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds, the most by a Pilot since 2006 by Rachel Warren.

  • SR Laiken Dollente also had a big week, averaging 16.0 points and 4.5 assists, while also collecting five steals. She also made all 10 of her free-throws bringing her league-leading percentage to 91.9, which ranks second nationally.

  • Portland has just one game this week, hosting Gonzaga (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 15-7
    WCC Record: 6-1
  • Saint Mary's went undefeated last week, beating Pepperdine, 80-65, and Loyola Marymount, 72-63.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson posted her league-leading 13th and 14th double-doubles of the season en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors. She averaged 24.0 points and 13.5 rebounds, and also added 13 blocks.

  • SR Jontelle Smith averaged 15.5 points over the week, while shooting 66.7 percent from the field. She also connected on six three-pointers bringing her total to 10 over her last three games.During conference play, she has a league-leading 17 three-pointers.

  • Tomlinson is now just 15 blocks away from becoming the NCAA's all-time career leader.

  • The Gaels are on the road this week at Santa Clara (2/4) and San Francisco (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 12-9
    WCC Record: 4-3
  • San Diego split its games last week, defeating Loyola Marymount, 69-60, before falling to Pepperdine, 61-49.

  • SO Dominque Conners led the team in scoring and rebounding over the week, with averages of 23.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, all while shooting 62.1 percent. She has now led the team in scoring in seven different games.

  • SR Morgan Henderson had her best game of the season against the Lions, going for a season-high 22 points, on 7-of-9 shooting, while hitting three from beyond the arc and going for four steals. She now has 983 points in her career, just 17 away from the 1,000 point mark.

  • During WCC play, Conners is averaging 17.1 points, ranking fifth in the conference, while SO Morgan Woodrow leads the conference in three-point percentage (55.6).

  • The Toreros are on the road this week at San Francisco (2/4) and Santa Clara (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 4-20
    WCC Record: 0-7
  • San Francisco went winless last week, falling to Portland, 53-50, and Gonzaga, 93-53.

  • SO Rheina Ale scored in double figures in both games, bringing her streak to nine straight games. She averaged 13.5 points in the two games, while hitting two threes in each.

  • In the game against Portland, SR Nnenna Okereke tied her career-high with eight points and also pulled down 13 rebounds. Ale also tied her career-high, dishing out six assists, which she also did earlier in the year against Cal State Fullerton.

  • Ale is third in the WCC in threes (50), while JR Donnisha Taylor is third in rebounds (167).

  • San Francisco is at home this week, hosting San Diego (2/4) and Saint Mary's (2/6).
  • Overall Record: 3-19
    WCC Record: 1-6
  • Santa Clara went winless last week, falling to Gonzaga, 81-43, and Portland 73-65.

  • Three Broncos scored in double-digits against the Pilots, led by JR Lena Gipson's 19 points, on 7-of-14 shooting. SO Alyssa Shoji and FR Meagan Fulps tossed in 13 each, while combining for six three-pointers.

  • Gipson now has 517 career rebounds in just her second season with the Broncos and is just 18 away from entering the school's all-time top 10 list.

  • Gipson is second in the league in rebounding (9.5), while Shoji leads the league with 55 three-pointers. Fulps is currently leads all freshmen in the league in scoring (11.5).

  • Santa Clara is at home this week, hosting Saint Mary's (2/4) and San Diego (2/6).