Feb. 28, 2006
WCC Tournament Tips Off On Thursday
With the conclusion of the WCC women's basketball regular season, conference squads now turn their attention to the WCC Tournament, which begins on Thursday, March 2 at Gonzaga University's McCarthey Athletic Center.
Santa Clara and Gonzaga tied for the league title with identical 11-3 marks in league play, but the Broncos earned the top seed in the tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Zags. LMU secured the No. 3 seed in the tournament, while Pepperdine is seeded No. 4, and Saint Mary's received a No. 5 seed. San Diego and San Francisco are seeded No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, and Portland rounds out the tournament field at No. 8.
Teams will be re-seeded following the first round, and the semifinals will take place on Saturday, March 4 following a day off on Friday. Sunday's WCC Tournament championship game is slated for a 1:00 pm start, and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on ESPNU (5:00 pm PT).
Thursday, March 2
No. 3 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 6 San Diego - 12:00 PM
No. 4 Pepperdine vs. No. 5 Saint Mary's - *2:20 PM
No. 1 Santa Clara vs. No. 8 Portland - 6:00 PM
No. 2 Gonzaga vs. No. 7 San Francisco - *8:20 PM
*Games start approximately one half hour following the previous game
Saturday, March 4
Semifinal #1 - 12:00 PM
Semifinal #2 - *30 minutes after first semifinal
Sunday, March 5
WCC Tournament Championship Game - *1:00
Televised on a tape-delayed basis on ESPNU at 5:00pm
WCC Women's Tournament To Be Webcast
Fans of West Coast Conference women's basketball will be able to catch all of the action from the 15th annual WCC Tournament this week. The WCC Tournament Championship game on Sunday will be televised on ESPNU, but fans can see all six tournament games leading up to the final via live webcast on WCCsports.com. It marks the first time that the entire WCC women's basketball tournament has been available via television broadcast or webcast, and fans can catch all the exciting WCC Tournament action for free. The women's tournament begins on Thursday with four games, and the semifinals will take place on Saturday following Friday's day off.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (16-13 / 11-3 WCC)
- Gonzaga captured a share of the WCC regular season title, improving to 11-3 with road wins over San Diego and San Francisco last weekend.
- Ashley Anderson and Stephanie Hawk were named to the WCC all-conference team after both players finished the regular season ranked in the conference's top-13 in scoring and rebounding.
- Jami Bjorklund became the first Zag since 1992-93 to be named to the WCC all-freshmen team.
- Since coming back from injury, senior Anne Bailey has played in the last five games and has averaged 6.6 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per contest.
- Gonzaga takes on No. 7 seed San Francisco on Thursday.
Loyola Marymount Lions (16-11 / 10-4 WCC)
- LMU registered a win over Santa Clara before falling to Saint Mary's at home on Saturday.
- Ashlee Dunlap was tabbed for WCC Newcomer of the Year honors following an outstanding junior campaign. Dunlap tied for the team lead with 10.6 points per game, and led the conference with 10.0 rebounds per contest. Dunlap needs just six more rebounds to tie the LMU single-season record for rebounds with 277.
- Amanda Patton, an All-WCC honorable mention selection, enjoyed a breakout season from beyond the arc. Patton broke teammate Rachael Ziemann's year-old mark for three-pointers with her 64th and 65th treys of the season against Saint Mary's.
- The No. 3 seeded Lions will tip off the WCC Tournament on Thursday, taking on No. 6 seed San Diego at 12:00 pm.
Pepperdine Waves (11-16 / 8-6 WCC)
- Pepperdine earned a split on the final weekend of the season, topping Saint Mary's before falling to Santa Clara on Saturday, 77-74.
- Kelsey Ball earned WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors for 2006, becoming the first Wave since NeSha Thomas in 2001 to take home the league's top defensive honor.
- Jasmane Clarendon and Daphanie Kennedy were both named to the All-WCC first team for the first time in their respective careers. Pepperdine was one of just three teams to have two players named to the All-WCC first team, joining conference co-champions Gonzaga and Santa Clara.
- The Waves rank third in the WCC with a team scoring average of 63.0 points per game.
- The No. 4 seeded Waves face No. 5 seed Saint Mary's on Thursday.
Saint Mary's Gaels (12-15 / 7-7 WCC)
- Saint Mary's split on the road over the weekend, falling at Pepperdine before notching a 66-58 win over LMU on Saturday.
- Although Saint Mary's did not place a player on the All-WCC first team, four Gaels received all-conference honorable mention honors.
- Serena Benavente, an All-WCC honorable mention selection, finished the regular season as the conference's leader in assists with 3.52 per game. She became the first Gael since Corrie Mizusawa in 2001 to pace the circuit in that category.
- Jontelle Smith emerged as the WCC's top scoring freshman, averaging a team-high 12.1 points per game to rank seventh in the conference.
- No. 5 seeded SMC takes on No. 4 Pepperdine on Thursday.
San Diego Toreros (9-18 / 4-10 WCC)
- San Diego rebounded from a loss to Gonzaga to cap off the season with a 71-60 win over Portland on Saturday.
- Tiara Harris enjoyed an outstanding weekend, scoring a career-high 28 points in the season finale against Portland. Harris moved into fifth place on the USD career points list with 1,118, and finished as the league's top scorer in WCC contests with 17.0 points per game. She became the first Torero ever pace the circuit in scoring in conference games.
- Kelly Winther earned WCC all-freshmen team honors after finishing the regular season as the WCC's second highest freshman scorer with 9.1 points per game.
- San Diego led the league with 10.44 steals per game as a team.
- The Toreros begin the WCC Tournament against No. 2 seed Gonzaga on Thursday.
San Francisco Dons (8-19 / 4-10 WCC)
- San Francisco equaled a season-high scoring output in an 80-70 win over Portland before falling to Gonzaga in the season finale on Saturday.
- Dominique Carter earned her second straight All-WCC first team selection after finishing fourth in the league with 13.1 points per game and pulling down 5.1 rebounds per contest.
- LaShaunte Stephens registered her second double-double of the season in the Dons' win over Portland, scoring 13 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.
- Nickie Warren emerged as a solid contributor in her first season on The Hilltop, averaging 8.9 points per game and grabbing a team-high 5.8 rebounds.
- USF faces host Gonzaga in the first round of the WCC Tournament.
Santa Clara Broncos (17-10 / 11-3 WCC)
- Santa Clara earned a share of the WCC regular season title by rebounding from a loss at LMU to defeat Pepperdine on Saturday, 77-74.
- Michelle Cozad became the first Bronco since Lisa Sacco in 1998 to earn the WCC Player of the Year honor. Cozad was the only player in the conference to rank among the top-six in the league in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals. The senior averaged 17.7 points per game, and is the first SCU player to lead the WCC in scoring since Christine Silvernail in 1994.
- Kayla Huss garnered the second All-WCC first team selection of her career after receiving all-conference honors as a sophomore in 2003.
- Santa Clara has shot a WCC-best .387 from beyond the arc and .427 from the field.
- The top-seeded Broncos take on No. 8 Portland at 6:00 pm on Thursday.