Feb. 22, 2007
WCC Women's Basketball All-Access
The WCC women's basketball All-Access video streaming package wraps up this week, as Saint Mary's hosts Pepperdine on Thursday before the Waves travel to Santa Clara for the season finale on Saturday. To watch the games for free, fans can sign up for the WCC's All-Access package on WCCsports.com.
Pepperdine at Saint Mary's
In the first of the final two WCC Free All-Access regular season games this week, Pepperdine travels to Saint Mary's looking to finish the season in the top half of the conference. Entering the final week of WCC play, the Waves are 12-15 overall and 5-7 in league play, good for a tie for fifth place. Meanwhile, the Gaels bring a 13-12 overall record and 7-5 conference record into the weekend and have won four of their last five 11.games.
Although Pepperdine was picked to finish tied for first in the WCC by conference coaches in the preseason poll, the Waves have struggled through several injuries this season. Since the return of 2006 WCC Tournament MVP Daphanie Kennedy, the Waves have gone 4-3 after starting the conference season 1-4 her. A junior guard, Kennedy leads the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game. Pepperdine also boasts a powerful frontcourt in freshman Teena Wickett and junior Teiosha George. Wickett is shooting 61.9 percent from the field and averaging 7.1 boards and 10.0 points per game, while George is fifth in the league in rebounding at 6.9 rebounds per game and chips in 9.9 points per contest. The trio has combined to score nearly 40 percent of the Waves' total points this season. In its last meeting with the Gaels, Pepperdine stole a 66-63 win in Malibu, posting 43 second half points.
In its first year under Head Coach Paul Thomas, Saint Mary's is seeking its first winning WCC record since the 2001-02 season. The Gaels are 6-6 at McKeon Pavilion heading into their final two home games of the regular season. Saint Mary's has not lost back-to-back games in league play this year, and is looking to continue a three-game winning streak on Thursday. Sophomore guard Jontelle Smith leads the Gaels, averaging 11.9 points per game, eighth in the WCC. SMC will counter the Waves' Wickett and George with its own frontcourt trio of seniors Sheridan Arredondo and Eghosa Obaiza and junior Maija Lahde. Both Arredondo and Lahde are averaging 9.8 points per game, while Obaize is third in the WCC, averaging 7.5 boards per game to go along with Arredondo and Lahde's combined 11.8 rebounds per contest. Obaiza posted a double-double, while Smith notched 20 in the Gaels' last meeting with Pepperdine.
Pepperdine at Santa Clara
In the final WCC Free All-Access game of the season, Pepperdine travels to Santa Clara for Senior Day at the Leavey Center. The Waves will be coming off of a game at Saint Mary's, while the Broncos host LMU on Thursday. The two teams enter the week tied for fourth place in the WCC with 5-7 records. In their last meeting with the Waves, the Broncos took home a 69-60 victory, marking their fourth win in the past five games against Pepperdine.
After starting off the conference season 4-2, Santa Clara has dropped five of its last six WCC games, including three straight. The Broncos boast one of the top offenses in the league, averaging 69.8 points per game and hitting 8.8 three pointers per game, tops in the conference and second in the nation. Juniors guard Chandice Cronk and forward Jen Gottschalk lead the offense, averaging 16.7 and 11.5 points per game, respectively, both in the top 10 in the WCC. Cronk's 43.9 percent shooting from three-point range is sixth in the nation, while her 3.3 treys per game ranks second. Gottschalk ranks seventh in the WCC with 6.5 boards per game. Meanwhile, senior guard Ashley Graham is sitting just five points away from becoming the 16th Bronco to enter the 1,000-point club coming into the final week of the regular season.
The Waves enter the second rematch of last year's WCC Tournament championship game looking to gain momentum heading into the 2007 tournament. Junior guard Daphanie Kennedy leads Pepperdine, averaging 10.9 points per game, while freshman forward Teena Wickett is shooting 61.9 percent and averaging 10.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Junior forward Teiosha George also contributes in the paint, averaging 9.9 points and 6.9 boards per game, good for fifth in the WCC. Pepperdine will be looking to avoid the second-straight season sweep by Santa Clara.