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WCC Closes Out Regular Season This Week

Feb. 24, 2009

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WCC TEAMS CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON THIS WEEK
The race for the top four seeds, and at least one bye week in the conference tournament, in the conference standings tightens up this week as all eight schools look to close out the regular season. With two games left, Gonzaga holds a one game lead on Portland, while Pepperdine is only two games back. Loyola Marymount is currently in fourth place, and is just two games back of second. The Zags would need at least one win coupled with at least one Portland loss to win the title outright as well as the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Portland would need one win coupled with a Pepperdine loss to secure at least a No. 2 seed in the tournament.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
Santa Clara at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
San Diego at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
San Diego at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
2:00 PM
Pepperdine at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2:00 PM
Santa Clara at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
7:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Players of the Week: San Diego's Amber Sprague Earns Weekly Honor
San Diego senior center Amber Sprague helped lead San Diego to its second largest margin of victory in program history, a 94-52 win over Saint Mary's last Saturday. Playing in her final home game, Sprague finished with a game-high 23 points, going 8-for-13 from the field, and four boards. She also had six assists and four blocks on the night. She is currently the program's all-time leading scorer and is only 11 rebounds away from being the top rebounder as well with two games left in the regular season.

Also Nominated: Alex Cowling, LMU; Sara Majors, SCU

Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot Considered Among Top Point Guards in the Country
Gonzaga University women's basketball sophomore point guard Courtney Vandersloot is one of 13 finalists for the 10th Annual Nancy Lieberman Award.

The award is a national project for the Rotary Club of Detroit honoring the nation's top collegiate point guard in women's Division I basketball. The criteria for the award are the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personified Hall of Famer, Nancy Lieberman during her career.

Vandersloot is currently third in assists per game (7.3) in NCAA Division I, is the fourth leading scorer in the West Coast Conference (16.1 ppg) and is a leading candidate for Player of the Year in the WCC.

She currently holds the fourth spot in the Bulldog career record book for assists with 381; 13 shy of taking over third. Vandersloot has handed out double-figure assists in five contests this season, including a career-high 13 versus Montana State University on Nov. 21.

Sportswriters from across the country have determined the final nominee list. They will now select three finalists from the list and one winner at the beginning of April 2009. The announcement of the three finalists and one winner will be made during the Final Four Weekend (April 5-7, 2009) and the winner will be invited to attend the April 22 award luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club.

San Diego's Amber Sprague is No. 1
San Diego senior center Amber Sprague became the school's all-time leading scorer recently, and has 1,629 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 821 career rebounds, and would only have to average 5.0 boards per game, well under her current average of 7.8, 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 5.3 blocks a contest, and is ranked second in the country. 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.


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 22-6
WCC Record: 10-2
  • Gonzaga split its games on the road last week, defeating Loyola Maryount before falling to Pepperdine and have a one game lead of first place.

  • The Zags were down 15 after the first half against Loyola Marymount, before coming back behind sophomore Courtney Vandersloot's 22 second half points. She finished with a game-high 26 points, on 9-of-15 shooting, and a game-high seven assists.

  • Junior Heather Bowman turned in an impressive performance against the Lions, hitting 10-of-13 shots, to finish with 24 points. Junior Vivian Frieson had a solid all-around game, with 13 points (5-8) and 10 rebounds to go along with a game-high five blocks.

  • Vandersloot was named one of 13 finalists for the 10th Annual Nancy Lieberman Award given to the nation's top point guard this week. The winner announced in the beginning of April.

  • The Zags host Santa Clara (2/26) and San Diego (2/28) to close out the regular season.
  • Overall Record: 17-9
    WCC Record: 7-5
  • LMU suffered a pair of setbacks against the top two teams in the conference, losing to Gonzaga and Portland.

  • In the game against Gonzaga, LMU came out to a 15 point halftime lead, before losing the heartbreaker. Freshman Alex Cowling had 22 points, while senior Cassady Moore, who matched the total for a career-high, nabbed four steals. Sophomore Renahy Young chipped in 17 points, going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc.

  • Cowling had her third straight 20 point game against the Pilots, finishing with a game-high 24 points, while hitting 4-of-5 from downtown.

  • Cowling has been consistent all year for the Lions, leading the league in field goal percentage at .583 to rank 12th in the country.

  • The Lions close the season on the road at San Francisco (2/26) and Saint Mary's (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 15-11
    WCC Record: 8-4
  • Pepperdine added to its win streak, collecting huge wins against Portland, on CBS College Sports, and Gonzaga.

  • Junior Miranda Ayim led the scoring for the Waves against Portland with 15 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Joy Lelo had a career-high 11 points, four rebounds and five steals, while senior Taylor Smith also scored 11 points.

  • Against Gonzaga, freshman Alex Jarrell had a career-high 15 points, leading four other Lions in double figures. Senior Nakeya Isabell had 14 to go along with seven steals, while Ayim and freshman Jazmine Jackson had 12, and senior Alisha Bryant had 11.

  • The Waves combined for 31 steals over the two games and rank first in the country in turnover margin at +7.15.

  • The Waves close the season on the road at Saint Mary's (2/26) and San Francisco (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 16-11
    WCC Record: 9-3
  • The Pilots split their games on the road losing to Pepperdine, before bouncing back to defeat Loyola Marymount.

  • The win means the second-place Pilots remain two games ahead of the Lions (17-9, 7-5) in the league standings.

  • In the game against Pepperdine, senior Allyson Sievers had a game-high 16 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, while junior Laiken Dollente chipped in 13.

  • Sophomore Lauren Angel led three players in double figures in the win over the Lions, finishing with 16 points, on 7-of-11 shooting. Dollente and sophomore Tara Cronin chipped in 10 each.

  • The Pilots close the season at home and host San Diego (2/26) and Santa Clara (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 9-18
    WCC Record: 5-7
  • Saint Mary's had just one game last week, losing on the road to San Diego.

  • Sophomore Louella Tomlinson led the way for the Gaels, finishing with 14 points, the only player in double digits. Senior Maija Lahde was the next highest scorer with nine points.

  • In conference play, Tomlinson is the only player in the league to average a double-double with averages of 16.2 ppg and 10.4 rpg.

  • Tomlinson is currently second in the NCAA in blocks per game (5.3) and with 144 blocks this season has a chance to break her NCAA single-season record of 156, which she set last year.

  • The Gaels close out the regular season at home, hosting Pepperdine (2/26) and Loyola Marymount (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 15-11
    WCC Record: 6-6
  • San Diego had just one game last week, defeating Saint Mary's at home with its second largest margin of victory in school history.

  • The 94 points scored marked the most scored for a conference game in program history.

  • Senior Amber Sprague had a solid all-around game, finishing with a game-high 23 points, on 8-of-13 shooting, while dishing out six assists and blocking four shots. For her efforts, she was awarded WCC Player of the Week.

  • Freshman Dominique Conners went a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, hitting 7-of-8 free throws to finish with 19 points, while sophomore Sam Child and senior Kiva Herman had 14 each.

  • San Diego finishes the season on the road against Northwest opponents Portland (2/26) and Gonzaga (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 6-20
    WCC Record: 2-10
  • San Francisco had just one game last week, losing on the road to Bay Area rival Santa Clara.

  • Senior Shay Rollins and freshman Rheina Ale were the only Dons in double figures with 15 and 12 points respectively.

  • The game marked Rollins' eighth straight with double digits scoring. She has been held to single digits in only two games this year and ranks third in the conference in scoring at 16.3 ppg, while leading the league in made three pointers with 68.

  • The Santa Clara game was a "Pink Zone" game for both schools. "Pink Zone" is a breast cancer awareness campaign created by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

  • San Francisco closes out the season at home, hosting Loyola Marymount (2/26) and Pepperdine (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 3-24
    WCC Record: 1-11
  • The Broncos gave first-year Head Coach Jennifer Mountain her first career conference win, defeating San Francisco last week.

  • Senior Sara Majors led the way on offense against the Dons, finishing with a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds. Majors also went 8-for-10 from the free throw line and added three steals.

  • Sophomore Lena Gipson barely missed out on a league-leading 18th double-double, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds.

  • Senior Elizabeth Doran rounded out the Broncos in double figures with 11 points, including hitting three three-pointers. She is third in the league in three-pointers per game at 1.85.

  • The Broncos close out the regular season on the road against Northwest opponents Gonzaga (2/26) and Portland (2/28).