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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Feb. 23, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONCLUDES THIS WEEK
With the West Coast Conference regular season coming to an end this weekend, No. 19 Gonzaga has locked up the #1 seed in the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships. Several crucial games remain however that could determine the second through the fourth seeds. With a win over Pepperdine on Thursday, the Gaels would lock up the #2 seed and a double-bye in the conference tournament. With a win and a Portland loss or two wins, San Diego would lock up the fourth seed and first round bye in the conference tournament.

This week also features a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports as Pepperdine will host San Diego Saturday night at 7:00 pm.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
San Diego at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
7:00 PM
Portland at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
2:00 PM
Gonzaga at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2:00 PM
San Diego at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
7:00 PM
CBS College Sports

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
Vandersloot pushed the Bulldogs winning streak to 14 games with two home victories last week. She averaged 20.0 points, 8.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per contest and shot an impressive 61.9 percent from the field and 90.9 percent at the line. Vandersloot hit 6-of-13 from the field to finish with a game-high 17 points against LMU. She also had eight assists, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. In the win over Pepperdine, which clinched at least a share of its sixth-straight WCC regular season title, Vandersloot hit 7-of-8 from the floor, including 2-of-3 on 3-pointers, to finish with another game-high of 23 points. She also contributed nine assists, four rebounds and nine steals.

Also nominated: Alex Cowling, LMU; Louella Tomlinson, SMC

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 Sets Two NCAA Blocks Records
Junior Louella Tomlinson has now become the NCAA's all-time leader for blocks in a career (486) and a single season (169). She accomplished both feats in the game against Gonzaga on Feb. 11 in a game that decided sole possession of first place in the conference. She currently leads the NCAA with 6.5 blocks per game and had had five games this season with double-digits in blocks with a career-high of 15 in a game against Boise State.

Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot Named to Midseason Wooden Award Watch List
Gonzaga University junior point guard Courtney Vandersloot has been named one of the top 20 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, the nation's most coveted college basketball honor. Composed of the players who will compete for this season's player of the year award, the midseason list is based on individual excellence and team record during the first half of the season.

Gonzaga was also one of only four schools with two preseason candidates (Heather Bowman). The others were the University of Connecticut (Maya Moore, Tina Charles), Ohio State University (Jantel Lavender, Samantha Prahalis) and Stanford University (Jayne Appel, Jeanette Pohlen).

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. 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: 23-4
WCC Record: 12-0
  • Gonzaga extended its winning streak to a season-best 14 straight (7th in NCAA) with a 73-40 win over LMU and a 87-45 win over Pepperdine. With the two wins, the Zags have locked up at least a share of the regular season title and the #1 seed in the WCC Tournament.

  • SO Courtney Vandersloot had a big week en route to earning WCC Player of the Week honors. The NCAA's leader in assists (9.3) averaged 20.0 points, 8.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.5 steals over the two games, all while shooting 61.9 percent from the field.

  • SR Vivian Frieson almost had back-to-back double-doubles as she went for 12 points and nine rebounds against Loyola Marymount, before posting 16 points and 11 rebounds against Pepperdine.

  • The Zags will close out the season on the road this week, at Santa Clara (2/25) and San Francisco (2/27).
  • Overall Record: 12-14
    WCC Record: 5-7
  • LMU split its games last week, falling to Gonzaga, 73-40, before defeating Portland, 71-58.

  • SO Alex Cowling nearly averaged a double-double for the week as she posted 11 points and eight rebounds against Gonzaga, before going off for 25 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Portland. She has now reached 20 or more points in eight of her last 10 games.

  • JR Renahy Young averaged 17.0 points in the two games, including going 6-of-8 from downtown for the week. She also tied career-highs of five threes and six rebounds against Portland.

  • In the game against Portland, SR Lisa Helmers sank three three-pointers and is now just six away from setting the school record for career three-pointers.

  • The Lions host San Diego (2/25) and Saint Mary's (2/27) to close out the regular season.
  • Overall Record: 17-9
    WCC Record: 8-4
  • Pepperdine split its games last week, defeating Portland 67-64, before falling to Gonzaga 87-45.

  • SR Miranda Ayim and SO Jazmine Jackson led the way offensivley against the Pilots as Ayim scored 15 points, on 6-of-9 shooting, and Jackson put in 12 points and added six rebounds. JR Lelo Joy paced the defense with five steals as seven of the nine active players nabbed at least one steal.

  • Ayim's 66 blocks this season moves her up to No. 3 on the Waves' single-season list and she is just nine away from breaking the record. Her 163 career blocks is second on the career list, putting her just eight away from breaking that record.

  • Pepperdine hosts Saint Mary's (2/25) in a crucial game that could help decide second place, before taking on San Diego (2/27) in a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports.
  • Overall Record: 16-11
    WCC Record: 5-7
  • Portland went winless last week, falling in a heartbreaker to Pepperdine, 67-64, and Loyola Marymount, 71-58.

  • SR Laiken Dollente nearly had a triple-double against the Waves, finishing with 18 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

  • JR Tara Cronin finished with 14 points, including hitting 4-of-9 from downtown, and dished out a career-high nine assists against Pepperdine.

  • In the game against Loyola Marymount, SO Rezina Teclemariam tied her season-high with 18 points, on 7-of-14 shooting, and added six assists.

  • Portland in on the road at San Francisco (2/25) and Santa Clara (2/27) to close the season.
  • Overall Record: 19-8
    WCC Record: 10-2
  • Saint Mary's had one game last week, just edging out San Diego, 60-54. The Gaels have not 10 conference wins since the 2000-01 team went 11-3.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson posted her NCAA leading 18th double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds, also adding three blocks to regain ownership of the NCAA Division-I career blocks record.

  • SR Jontelle Smith led the team offensively with 18 points while also grabbing a season-high eight rebounds. She has 1,491 career points and is 75 points away from cracking the WCC's all-time scoring list.

  • The Gaels play a crucial game against Pepperdine (2/25), in which they could lock up the #2 seed in the conference tournament with a win, before facing Loyola Marymount (2/27) to close out the regular season.
  • Overall Record: 14-12
    WCC Record: 6-6
  • San Diego just had one game last week, losing a tough one to Saint Mary's, 60-54.

  • SO Dominique Conners led all scorers with 20 points, adding a couple of threes. It marked her fifth game this season with at least 20 points.

  • SO Morgan Woodrow hit 4-of-7 from beyond the arc to finish with 14 points. Averaging 7.8 points for the season, she has scored in double-figures in three of her last four games.

  • After entering conference play averaging 13.9 points, Conners has stepped it up in conference play, averaging 17.2, ranking fourth in the league during WCC play.

  • The Toreros have a crucial game set of games against Loyola Marymount (2/25) and a nationally televised game against Pepperdine (2/27) on CBS College Sports. With a win and a Portland loss or two wins, San Diego would lock up a top four seed in the conference tournament.
  • Overall Record: 5-24
    WCC Record: 1-11
  • San Francisco broke into the win column in the conference standings, defeating Santa Clara, 58-52.

  • SO Rheina Ale extended her double-digit scoring streak to 14 straight games as the sole Don in double-figures, finishing with 17 points, including hitting three three-pointers.

  • SO Heidi Anton dished out a season and game-high six assists, while SO Katy Keating chipped in eight points with two three-pointers.

  • Ale continues to lead the team from downtown as she ranks third in the conference with 57 made threes, which is just two away from the No. 3 spot on the Dons' single-season list.

  • San Francisco hosts Portland (2/25) and Gonzaga (2/27) to close out the regular season.
  • Overall Record: 3-24
    WCC Record: 1-11
  • Santa Clara had just one game last week, falling to cross-town rival San Francisco, 58-52

  • JR Lena Gipson posted her third consecutive double-double, finishing with game-highs of 21 points, on 8-of-15 shooting, and 15 rebounds. She is currently averaging 13.4 rebounds over her last five games.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji was the only other Bronco in double-figures with 12 points and two three-pointers. Her 74 three-pointers this year is just one away from the fourth spot on the program's all-time single season list and from entering the WCC's all-time single-season list.

  • Gipson's 279 career rebounds ranks No. 8 on the school's career list in just her second season.

  • Santa Clara hosts Gonzaga (2/25) and Portland (2/27) to close out the regular season.