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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Feb. 3, 2009

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As all eight teams get set to begin the second half of conference play, Saint Mary's at San Francisco highlights this week's slate of games as the two will play live on national TV on February 5th on CBS College Sports. The Zags sit alone, undefeated in WCC play, at the top of the conference standings and continue to stay in the hunt for a national top 25 ranking as they have received 18 votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, which places them 27th overall. Portland, thanks to its best conference start since the `96-97 season, moved into sole possession of second place, after it knocked off San Diego and Saint Mary's, who were among four teams tied for second place.


All Times PST

Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
CBS College Sports
San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
San Diego at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2:00 PM
Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
4:30 PM
Portland at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
1:00 PM

WCC Player of the Week: Portland's Alexis Gannis Earns Weekly Honor
Portland's freshman Alexis Gannis helped the Pilots to their best WCC start (5-2), since the `96-97 season (7-0), moving Portland into second place in the conference. Against San Diego, she went a perfect 9-for-9 from the field, scoring a career-high 20 points. Gannis then followed that up with 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds in the one-point victory against Saint Mary's. She missed only five shots on the week, giving her a whopping 75.0% shooting. Gannis is the first Pilot to win the award this season.

San Diego's Amber Sprague is No. 1
San Diego senior center Amber Sprague became the school's all-time leading scorer in her game against Pepperdine last week, totaling 1,588 points for her career. The previous record was 1,510 by Susie Erpelding (`96-00). Sprague is also inching closer to the school's all-time rebounding mark of 831, set by Chris Enger (`92-93). To date, she has 791 career rebounds, and would only have to average 5.7 boards per game, well under her current average of 8.0, over the remainder of the season to take the top spot.

Louella Tomlinson Leads Block Party at Saint Mary's
Sophomore Louella Tomlinson has picked up right where she left off last year, when she broke the NCAA record for blocks in a season, with 156. This season, she is averaging 5.7 blocks a contest, and is leading the country once again. She has a chance to own yet another NCAA record, average blocks per game in a season, which currently sits at 5.8. The second year Aussie has also registered two triple-doubles this season, both of which included 11 blocks in a game. She is the only player in the country to have multiple games with double digit blocks.

Gonzaga Sits Alone
After going undefeated on the road last week, the Zags (7-0) sit alone as the only unbeaten team in conference play. The Zags beat Saint Mary's and San Diego, two teams that were in a four way tie for second place, to maintain their perfect conference record. Gonzaga has reeled off eight straight victories since suffering a home loss to then No. 8 Tennessee and have won 12 of its last 13 games.



Overall Record: 19-4
WCC Record: 7-0
  • Gonzaga went undefeated on the road last week, beating Saint Mary's and San Diego to stay undefeated in conference play.

  • All five starters scored in double figures against Saint Mary's, led by sophomore Courtney Vandersloot, who had 19 to go along with eight assists. Sophomore Janelle Bekkering, junior Heather Bowman and freshman Kelly Bowen all had 17 points, while junior Vivian Frieson notched 10. With her 17 points, Bowman became the 5th leading scorer in school history at 1,437 points and leads the conference with 19.9 ppg.

  • Frieson had a career-high 23 points against San Diego, while Bowman had a game-high 28. Both came off 11-of-16 shooting. Vanderlsoot had 11 assists for her fifth double-figure assist contest of the year, and is ranked third in the country with 7.4 apg. The 109 points scored was the most since the `85 season and ranks ninth in the country for total points in a game.

  • The Zags have just one game this week, hosting Northwest rival Portland (2/8).
  • Overall Record: 14-7
    WCC Record: 4-3
  • LMU split its games last week, defeating Santa Clara, before losing to San Francisco for just its second loss at home this season.

  • Junior Lisa Helmers sank two free throws with 0.3 seconds left to help seal the win over Santa Clara, while the team used a 28-0 run to overcome a 17 point first half deficit. Helmers finished with 10 points, while freshman Alex Cowling and senior Cassady Moore added 14 and 13. All but one player who received minutes registered at least one steal, with freshman Candice Nichols pacing the team with four. The Lions scored 24 points off 30 Bronco turnovers.

  • Cowling led the offense once again, hitting 8-of-11 shots, for a game-high 19 points, while pulling down 12 rebounds against the Dons. She leads the league in field goal percentage (58.0%), while ranking 11th in the country, tops among all freshmen in the NCAA. Sophomore Melanie Ysaguirre grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds.

  • The Lions are home to host cross-town rival Pepperdine (2/7) in their only game this week.
  • Overall Record: 11-10
    WCC Record: 4-3
  • Pepperdine got back on the winning track, going undefeated last week, beating San Francisco and Santa Clara.

  • Against the Dons, junior Miranda Ayim had a game-high 19 points, on 9-of-15 shooting, to go along with eight boards and two blocks. Senior Nakeya Isabell dished out a career-high 11 assists, adding three steals. She is currently 10th in the country in assists (6.2) and 23rd in steals (3.0).

  • Ayim led the team once again versus the Broncos, finishing with 13 points, two blocks, and a game-high five steals. Her last steal ended up on Santa Clara's final possession to seal the victory. Isabell continued to run the offense with a game-high eight assists, while only committing one turnover. She now ranks eighth in the country in assist to turnover ratio (2.45).

  • The Waves have just one game this week as they play on the road at cross-town rival Loyola Marymount (2/7).
  • Overall Record: 12-10
    WCC Record: 5-2
  • The Pilots lost a make-up game at Oregon, before bouncing back to defeat San Diego and Saint Mary's.

  • Freshman Alexis Gannis was perfect from the field against San Diego, hitting all nine shots, to finish with a career-high 20 points in 18 minutes. She followed that up with 13 points, on 6-of-11 shooting, against the Gaels en route to the Pilots' first WCC Player of the Week selection of the season. The Pilots are now off to their best conference start since the `96-97 season and have won five of their last six conference games.

  • Against the Toreros, junior Laiken Dollente added 15 points, hitting three shots from beyond the arc, and is now fifth in the league with 15.4 ppg. Against the Gaels, sophomore Lauren Angel hit just two shots, but hit the most important one at the buzzer to give the Pilots the win.

  • Portland will head on the road to play its only game of the week, when it travels to Northwest rival Gonzaga (2/8).
  • Overall Record: 7-15
    WCC Record: 3-4
  • Saint Mary's suffered a pair of setbacks last week, losing to Gonzaga, before falling at the buzzer to Portland.

  • Senior Majia Lahde and freshman Ashlee Smith paced the Gaels offense against the Zags, scoring 19 and 17 points respectively. Smith's points came off an impressive 9-of-14 shooting, and ranks second in the conference, shooting at a .574 clip.

  • Sophomore Louella Tomlinson registered game-highs in points (21) and rebounds (13) against the Pilots. The nation's leading shot blocker (5.6 bpg) also added five blocks to her season total (125). The Aussie is on pace to at least match her total of last year (156) as well as break the NCAA career blocks record of 480. With three games of 11 blocked shots, she is the only player in the country with multiple double digit blocks in a game.

  • The Gaels play at San Francisco (2/5) live on CBS College Sports, and are home against Santa Clara (2/7).
  • Overall Record: 12-9
    WCC Record: 3-4
  • San Diego had a pair of losses last week, losing to Portland and Gonzaga.

  • Senior Kiva Herman led three Toreros in double figures against Portland, with 17 points. Junior Morgan Henderson had 16 (6-12), while junior Amber Sprague finished with 14. Sprague also pulled down a game-high eight boards.

  • Herman and Sprague also led the offense against Gonzaga, finishing with 22 and 18 points respectively and are the top front court scoring duo in the conference as Herman averages 18.3 ppg (2nd in conference), while Sprague averages 16.4 (3rd in conference).

  • Sprague recently became the program's all-time leading scorer. However, she can also become the program's leading rebounder, needing only 41 more boards to take the top spot.

  • San Diego heads to the Bay Area to take on Santa Clara (2/5) and San Francisco (2/7).
  • Overall Record: 6-15
    WCC Record: 2-5
  • San Francisco split its games last week, losing at Pepperdine, before defeating Loyola Marymount.

  • Senior Shay Rollins placed herself in Dons' history against Pepperdine, scoring 10 points to move into the ninth spot on the all-time scoring list. With 1,204 career points, she needs 52 more points to move into the eighth spot. Rollins is currently tied for third in the league in scoring, averaging 16.4 ppg.

  • The Dons had help from the rookies in the victory at LMU as four players reached double figures. Freshman Vania Singleterry led the way with 14 points (7-13), while Rollins had 12. Freshmen Rheina Ale and Katy Keating each had 10, while Ale dished out a career-high six assists. Sophomore Donnisha Taylor pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds.

  • San Francisco stays home to play on national TV on CBS College Sports against Saint Mary's (2/5), before facing San Diego (2/7).
  • Overall Record: 2-20
    WCC Record: 0-7
  • The Broncos lost a pair of heartbreakers, losing by three points to both Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.

  • The Broncos shot 56.5% in the first half against the Lions, building a 17 point first half lead, and were led by sophomore Lena Gipson, who had double-double No. 15, with game-highs of 19 points (8-15) and 14 rebounds. Senior Elizabeth Doran matched her career-high with four three-pointers.

  • Gipson was the game's leading scorer yet again against Pepperdine, finishing with 16 points, on 4-of-7 shooting. Gipson leads the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.2 rpg) and is the only player in the conference to average a double-double for the season.

  • The Broncos have now lost three consecutive games by a margin of just three points.

  • The Broncos stay home to host San Diego (2/5) and Saint Mary's (2/7) this week.