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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Feb. 16, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
Just two weeks remain in conference play as Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, and Pepperdine all recorded clean sweeps last week. With their win over Saint Mary's, the Zags took sole possession of first place and have moved up to No. 21 in the latest Associated Press poll. Two more historic milestones were achieved last week as Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot set a new WCC all-time career assists record and Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson set new NCAA career and single-season blocks records.

This week features a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports and Gonzaga will host Loyola Marymount this Thursday at 8:00 PM.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
8:00 PM
CBS College Sports
Pepperdine at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
San Diego at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC January Players of the Month: Courtney Vandersloot, GON/Louella Tomlinson, SMC
Vandersloot helped Gonzaga to a perfect 7-0 record in the month of January, winning its games by an average of 33.6 points per contest. She averaged 19.9 points, 9.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 4.1 steals per contest. The point guard, who leads the nation in assists, also shot an impressive 59.1 percent from the field, hitting 52-of-88, and was 47.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc, draining 11-of-23, and was 80.0 percent at the charity strip (24-of-30). She scored double-figures in all seven contests, including four 20-plus points contests. She also registered two double-doubles (pts, a). During the month, Vandersloot became the Gonzaga University all-time assist leader, breaking Shannon Mathews record of 600 (set from 2002-205) at Pepperdine University. She currently has dished out 635 dimes.

In the month of January, Tomlinson averaged 20.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.3 blocks, and 3.3 assists. She posted a 51.1 percent field goal percentage, knocking down 48-of-94 from the field. Tomlinson finished the month leading the conference in four major categories: scoring (17.8), rebounding (10.2), blocked shots (149), and defensive rebounds (190) while leading the nation in blocked shots and triple-double's (3) and is second in the nation in double-double's (14) and No. 17 in field goal percentage (45.9) going into February.

In January, the team posted a 6-1 record, the best start to conference since the 1999-2000 season. In each of those six wins, Tomlinson posted double-double's, including a string of four in a row, to bump her season total to 14. Against USF, Tomlinson had a big night from the field and the free throw line, going 8-for-12 from the field and a record-tying 19-for-20 from the charity stripe to finish with a career-high 35 points. The 19 made free throws tied an SMC and WCC single-game record in free throws made. Tomlinson fell two blocks shy of a triple-double in that game as well. Tomlinson scored in double-figures in every game in January as her streak grows to 20 straight games with double-digit points. At San Diego, Tomlinson contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds to help the Gaels clinch the overtime victory.

With Tomlinson's 44 blocks in January, her career total climbs to 466 and her season total stands at 149. Going into the final conference stretch, she is 15 blocks shy of the NCAA D-I career blocks record set in 2002-05 by TCU's Sandora Irvin (480) and 17 blocks shy of the NCAA D-I single-season record, which was set last season by Brittany Pittman (164).

Also nominated: Alex Cowling, LMU; Miranda Ayim , PEP; Dominique Conners, USD

WCC Player of the Week: Courtney Vandersloot, GON and Louella Tomlinson, SMC
Vandersloot helped Gonzaga stay undefeated in conference with two road wins. Vandersloot averaged a double-double of 18.0 points and 10.0 assists, and shot 61.9 percent from the field over the Zags two contests. Vandersloot began the week scoring 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 accuracy from the charity stripe in GU's win over second place Saint Mary's. She also dished out 11 assists to register her ninth double-double of the season and blocked a career-high four shots. In the Zags victory over fourth place San Diego, Vandersloot scored another 18 points, this time on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, hitting 2-of-4 from beyond the 3-point arc, and was again 4-of-6 at the free throw line. She added nine assists, five steals and six rebounds in the 75-61 victory. Vandersloot also became the West Coast Conference all-time career assist leader in GU's win over San Diego. Vandersloot needed six assists to take over the top spot that was held by Amanda Rego (659), of San Diego. Vandersloot finished with nine and now has dished out 663.

On Thursday night, Tomlinson broke the NCAA Division I career (480) and single-season (164) blocks records after recording five blocks against Gonzaga. Tomlinson added three more against Portland to put her career total at 486 and her single-season total at 169. Tomlinson averaged 14.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks over the weekend and remains the conference leader in those categories. Tomlinson was one rebound shy of a double-double against Gonzaga, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds, but she bounced back against Portland to finish with 15 points and 14 boards for her 17th double-double of the season.

Also nominated: Miranda Ayim, PEP; Laiken Dollente, POR

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: 21-4
WCC Record: 10-0
  • Gonzaga extended its winning streak to a season-best 12 straight (8th in NCAA) with a 88-75 win over Saint Mary's and a 75-61 win over San Diego.

  • SO Courtney Vandersloot became the WCC's all-time leader in assists en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors as she averaged 10.0 for both games, giving her 663 for her career. She is also just 40 away from setting a new WCC single-season record. She currently ranks first in the NCAA with 9.3 apg.

  • SO Katelon Redmon scored a season-high 20 points on an impressive 7-of-10 shooting against the Gaels, while classmate Kayla Standish shot 8-for-14 for 18 points and had a career-high seven blocked shots as the team shot 66.7 percent in the second half to seal the win and sole possession of first place in the conference.

  • The Zags will host Loyola Marymount (2/18) in a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports, before playing Pepperdine (2/20).
  • Overall Record: 11-13
    WCC Record: 4-6
  • LMU went undefeated last week with a 73-61 win over Santa Clara and a 58-48 victory over San Francisco.

  • SO Alex Cowling tossed in a pair of 20+ point games to give her seven in her last nine games. She averaged 28.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 steals, including going for a career-high 31 points against the Dons. She currently leads the league in scoring (21.3) during WCC play.

  • JR Renahy Young had solid all-around efforts in both games, averaging 15.5 points and 5.0 rebounds for the week as well as nabbing a combined 10 steals.

  • After her week, Cowling moves into 11th on the Lions' single-season scoring list, while Young moved into fifth place on the single-season free throws made list.

  • The Lions travel to Gonzaga (2/18) to play in a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports, before facing Portland (2/20).
  • Overall Record: 16-8
    WCC Record: 7-3
  • Pepperdine went undefeated last week with wins over San Francisco, 68-49, and Santa Clara, 65-51.

  • SR Miranda Ayim had a monster week, averaging 22.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks in the two wins, including tying her career-high with 29 points against the Broncos.

  • Ayim's 65 blocks this season moves her up to No. 3 on the Waves' single-season list and she is just 10 away from breaking the record. Her 162 career blocks is second on the career list, putting her just nine away from breaking that record.

  • SO Katie Menton continued her hot shooting from deep, hitting three three-pointers in each game. She has now hit a total of 12 from beyond the arc in her last four games.

  • Pepperdine is on the road this week at Portland (2/18) and Gonzaga (2/20).
  • Overall Record: 16-9
    WCC Record: 5-5
  • Portland split its games last week, defeating San Diego, 74-68, before falling to Saint Mary's, 67-64.

  • SR Laiken Dollente averaged 22.0 points in the two games, including going for 27 with five threes against the Gaels. For the week, she also hit all 14 of her free throws and now ranks first nationally, with a 92.2 percent clip for the season. Dollente is also the most accurate free throw shooter in school history with a career average of 88.1 percent.

  • SO Rezina Teclemariam had a solid week as well, averaging 16.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two games. After entering WCC play averaging 8.2 points, she has scored in double figures in seven of her last 10 games.

  • Portland hosts Pepperdine (2/18) and Loyola Marymount (2/20) this week.
  • Overall Record: 18-8
    WCC Record: 9-2
  • Saint Mary's split its games last week, falling to Gonzaga 88-75, before defeating Portland 67-64.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson made history en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors. She set two NCAA records by becoming the all-time leader in career blocks (486) and single-season blocks (164). For the week, she averaged 14.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks .

  • In the game against Gonzaga, for a share of first place, SR Jontelle Smith tied her season-high with 24 points, on 8-of-15 shooting, including going 5-of-6 from downtown. Smith's 254 career three-pointers is No. 2 on the WCC's all-time career list. SO Ashlee Smith nearly had a double-double finishing with nine points and 12 rebounds, while SO Jasmine Smith nabbed a season-high five steals.

  • The Gaels have just one game this week, hosting San Diego (2/20).
  • Overall Record: 14-11
    WCC Record: 6-5
  • San Diego went winless last week, falling to Portland, 74-68, and Gonzaga, 75-61.

  • In the game against Portland, JR Sam Child led the team offensively, going for 21 points, while also grabbing seven rebounds. SR Morgan Henderson nearly had a double-double, finishing with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

  • Against Gonzaga, SO Dominique Conners and Henderson each scored 17 to lead the team, while FR Felicia Wijenberg recorded her first double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

  • Conners has increased her scoring to 16.9ppg during WCC play, ranking fifth in the conference.

  • The Toreros have just one game this week, at Saint Mary's (2/20).
  • Overall Record: 4-24
    WCC Record: 0-11
  • San Francisco went winless last week, falling to Pepperdine, 68-49, and Loyola Marymount, 58-48.

  • SO Rheina Ale extended her double-digit scoring streak to 13 straight games over the weekend with 11 points against Pepperdine and 12 points against Loyola Marymount.

  • Against Loyola Marymount, SO Vania Singleterry tied her season-high with 16 points, on 7-of-14 shooting, and grabbed seven rebounds. She also added two three-pointers.

  • Ale continues to lead the team from downtown as she ranks third in the conference with 54 made threes.

  • San Francisco has just one game this week, hosting Santa Clara (2/20).
  • Overall Record: 3-23
    WCC Record: 1-10
  • Santa Clara went winless last week, falling to Loyola Marymount, 73-61, and Pepperdine, 65-51.

  • JR Lena Gipson recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the two games as she had 19 points and 12 rebounds against Loyola Marymount and 15 points and 13 rebounds versus Pepperdine, all while shooting an impressive 73.7 percent from the field.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji continued to be the hottest shooter in the league from downtown as she went 4-of-8 against the Lions and 6-of-10 versus the Waves. Overall, she has hit 20 from beyond the arc in her last five games. For the week, she averaged a team-high 18.0 points.

  • Gipson is averaging just under a double-double with 12.2 points and 9.9 rebounds, while Shoji leads the league with 72 threes, just three away from entering the WCC's single season list.

  • Santa Clara has just one game this week, at San Francisco (2/20).