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Lions Looking For WCC Championship

Feb. 28, 2006

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Briefly
The Lions head to the Pacific Northwest for the second time in three weeks for the WCC Basketball Championships, hosted by Gonzaga. LMU enters the tournament as the #3 seed and will face #6 San Diego in the tournament opener on Thursday, March 2nd at noon. Should the Lions win, they will play in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon. The tournament championship is on Sunday at 1:00pm. All LMU games will be broadcast live on KXLU 88.9FM and Lions All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

The Tournament Format
Every team will play on Thursday, March 2nd. The winner of each game advances to the semifinals. The brackets will be reseeded after the first day to insure that the highest remaining seed will face the lowest remaining seed. The semifinals are on Saturday, March 4th at noon and 2:00pm, and the championship game is on Sunday, March 5th at 1:00pm. The game will be broadcast tape delayed on ESPNU at 5:00pm.

Conference Awards Announced
Ashlee Dunlap was named the WCC's Newcomer of the Year and named to the All-Conference Team. Amanda Patton and Rachael Ziemann earned honorable mention honors. It is the first WCC award for Dunlap and Patton, while Ziemann was an All-Conference selection in 2005.

Smart Cookie
Senior Rachael Ziemann was named to the WCC All-Academic Team. The guard from Huntington Beach, CA, has a 3.29 GPA and will graduate this spring with a degree in Business Administration. It is the first All-Academic honor for Ziemann.

Looking Back
The two games at Gersten Pavilion had several similarities, but LMU was only on the winning end in one of the games. In both games, a team battled back from a large second half deficit to pull out a win in the final minutes. In Thursday's game against Santa Clara, LMU overcame a 19 point deficit, outscoring SCU by 30 points in the second half for the thrilling 89-74 win. Four Lions scored in double digits, led by Ashlee Dunlap (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Valerie Ogoke (16 points, 12 rebounds). Bianca Ziemann added 18 points and Amanda Patton contributed 10 points.

With a chance at a share of the WCC regular season title, the Lions could not hold off a charging Saint Mary's team and LMU fell 66-58. The Lions led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but SMC outscored LMU 44-26 in the second half to pull out the win. Ogoke had her second straight double double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Patton broke the LMU single season record for three-pointers in the first half.

Patton Breaks LMU Record
With her first three-pointer against Saint Mary's, Amanda Patton broke the LMU single season record for three-pointers. Patton tied the record of 63 against Santa Clara, and her first three-pointer against the Gaels was her 64th of the season. Rachael Ziemann set the record of 63 just last year en route to earning All-WCC honors.

Dunlap Closing In On Rebounding Records
Ashlee Dunlap has been the top rebounder in the WCC all season, and is approaching the top of the LMU single season record book. She has 271 rebounds this season, and needs just six more to tie the single season record of 277 set by Tricia Gibson in 1990-91. She is also on pace to be near the top of the rebounding average chart. Currently Dunlap averages 10.0 boards per game. The LMU record average 10.31, set by Sheri Brown in 1992-93. The second best rebounding average was by Gibson in 1990-91 and was 9.89.

Balancing Act
Any player on any given night can lead the Lions to victory. Six different players are averaging over 6.5 points per game, and five are in the top 30 in the conference in scoring. Six different players have led the team in scoring in a game this season, and almost anyone on the team can score in double digits on any night. Eight Lions have had double digit scoring games this season.

Ziemann Breaks Career Record
Senior Rachael Ziemann broke the LMU career record for three-pointers with a trio of three-pointers against Gonzaga. She has 126 career three pointers, and passed the previous mark of 118 set by Bryn Britton in 1998-2002. She shares the single game record of seven with Amanda Patton, and Patton just recently broke the single season record that Ziemann set last year.

Dunlap Rewarded
Ashlee Dunlap was rewarded for her 23 point, 9 rebound performance at Pepperdine with her fourth WCC Player of the Week honor. Dunlap scored almost half of LMU's 50 points, and had a huge offensive rebound and put back after Pepperdine took its first lead of the game late in the second half. Dunlap shares the weekly honor with Ashley Anderson of Gonzaga.

Saving Her Best For WCC Play
Senior Jenni Smith has started 22 games this season, but recently she has played the best basketball of her LMU career. Her breakout game was against Gonzaga, when she was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, with three three-pointers for a then-career-high 13 points. She also added a season-high six rebounds. Smith put together another strong game a week later, besting her career-high with 15 points at Santa Clara. Smith averaged 2.0 points in non-conference games, but has upped her scoring average to 4.6 points in WCC games. She is making 45.3% of her shots against conference opponents, and 42% of her three-point attempts.

Patton Adds to Her Honors
It has been a breakout year for Amanda Patton, and she added another honor to her list when she was named the WCC Player of the Week on Jan. 16th. She averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds to help the Lions to a sweep over Portland and Gonzaga. It is the fourth time in the six weeks that a Lion earned the WCC's weekly honor.

Dunlap Does It Again
For the third time in five weeks, Ashlee Dunlap was named the WCC Player of the Week. Again, it was the double double that did it for Dunlap, as she had a pair of double doubles to help the Lions to two road wins to open WCC play. She broke her career highs with 20 points and 15 rebounds at San Diego, and followed it up with 16 points and 10 rebounds at San Francisco. She shared this week's honor with Gonzaga's Ashley Anderson.

Callanen Returns
LMU went 5-1 in its first six games of WCC action, but played without assistant coach Will Callanen on the bench. He had received treatment for choroidial melanoma (cancerous tumor in the eye), a rare but highly treatable cancer. After several weeks of recuperation, Callanen returned to the bench to help guide the Lions to a win at Pepperdine. To make donations for research of eye cancers, please go to https://www.willseye.org/donations/give/. Select "Endowment" and the "Brady-Shields Chair for Research of Ocular Oncology".

Strength of Schedule
LMU's non-conference schedule was one of the toughest in school history.

Did you know:
• Four of the teams that LMU faced this year advanced to at least the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament?
• Ten of the teams that LMU has played participated in a national post-season tournament?
• LMU has played five games against teams in the top 10 toughest conferences?
• LMU has faced three teams ranked in the top 25?
•LMU has defeated three 2005 conference champions?

Dunlap Earns WCC Honor Again
Ashlee Dunlap used a pair of double doubles to double her WCC Player of the Week total, earning the weekly honor for the second time after leading LMU to a split against Rice and Cal Poly. She started the week with a 13 point, 10 rebound performance against Rice, and finished the week with a career-high 17 points against Cal Poly. She had 11 rebounds against the Mustangs for her fifth double double of the season.

Amanda Patton for Three!!
Junior guard Amanda Patton put on a show for the fans in Long Beach on December 17th, making virtually every basket she attempted. What was even more impressive was that all eight of her field goal attempts were from three-point range. She made seven of those attempts, tying Rachael Ziemann's LMU single game record for three-pointers made. In addition, her field goal percentage (.875) ranks 9th in school single game history. She finished with a career-high 29 points. Just as important, she made six free throws in the final 26 seconds of the game to secure the 81-72 win.

Wilhoit Named To Hall of Fame
LMU Head Coach Julie Wilhoit has been selected as a member of the 2006 class of the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame. The Osgood, Indiana, native was honored during the Ripley County basketball tournament in Indiana (represented by her parents) on January 7th, and will be honored again on April 8th at a Hall of Fame banquet. Wilhoit is a 1981 graduate of Jac-Cen-Del High School.

Patton Earns Monthly Honor
Amanda Patton was named the LMU/Enterprise Student-Athlete of the Month for November, as chosen by the LMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was one of LMU's top offensive threats in the first four games of the season, averaging 11.5 points per game. Patton scored in double digits in the first three games, breaking her career-high for points in the first (15 points) and second (18 points) games of the year. She scored a then-career-high 18 points to help LMU to a 93-73 win over UC Irvine. She was 5-for-7 from the field and all of her field goals were three-pointers. Her five three-pointers against UC Irvine puts her in the top 10 single game performance list.

Dunlap Earns WCC Honor
Ashlee Dunlap was named the WCC Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 5-11. Dunlap averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds on the week, and recorded her third double double of the season. Her play was instrumental against #24 USC, and she helped LMU cruise to a victory over UC Santa Barbara. Dunlap started off the week well, leading all players in scoring and rebounding against #24 USC. She finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 50% from the field. Dunlap played just 19 minutes of LMU's 79-52 blowout over UC Santa Barbara, and contributed eight points and again led all players with seven rebounds.

One for the Record Books
LMU's 93-73 win over UC Irvine was one of for the Lion record books. The 93 points was the seventh highest point total in school history, and the most points scored since LMU scored 94 points against Gonzaga on February 5, 2000. In addition, Amanda Patton added her name to the single-game record list, making five three-pointers for 18 points. The five treys ties for fifth place on the single game list.

One for the Record Books- Part 2
Several more marks were made to the LMU single game records in the 81-72 win at Long Beach State. Amanda Patton tied the single game record for three-pointers made when she was 7-for-8 from long range. She tied the mark that Rachael Ziemann set last year. In addition, her .875 field goal percentage ranks 9th in single game history. Finally, the team made 11 three-pointers (Patton 7, R. Ziemann 3, DeCoud 1) which is the second most in program history. The 11 threes were just one off the mark of 12 set in 2003. Interestingly, 8 of the 12 three pointers made in that game were made by players on this year's team (Patton, Smith and R. Ziemann). As a team, LMU was 11-for-15 from three-point range, which is the highest single game three-point shooting percentage in the nation this season.

All-Tournament Team
Rachael Ziemann was named to the All-Tournament team at the LMU/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. It is the second career All-Tournament honor for Rachael (2004 WCC All-Tournament Team), but the Ziemanns have been a fixture in All-Tournament teams. Last year, Bianca Ziemann was named to the All-Tournament team at the LMU Thanksgiving Tournament, and in 2003-04, Bianca was named to two All-Tournament teams. Tournament time means Ziemann time. A couple new faces earned All-Tournament honors at the Blue Sky Tournament, hosted by Dartmouth. Amanda DeCoud was named the Tournament MVP, and Amanda Patton was named to the All-Tournament team. It was the first career All-Tournament honor for both players.

Lions Top Preseason Poll
LMU was chosen as the favorite to claim the WCC women's basketball title in the 2005-06 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Lions, who posted a 16-13 overall record last season and a 9-5 mark in conference play to finish in second place, will be seeking their second WCC championship in the last three years. The Lions received 59 points in the poll, including four first place votes, to edge defending champion Gonzaga. Santa Clara, the 2005 WCC Tournament champion, was picked third and received the remaining first place vote. Pepperdine and Saint Mary's tied for the No. 4 spot with 36 points. San Francisco was selected sixth with 25 points, followed by San Diego with 21 points and Portland with 12 points. Additionally, LMU guard Rachael Ziemann was named one of the top returning players in the WCC.

Lions Down Under
LMU started its season a few months early and few miles away from Los Angeles when the Lions took a 10 day tour of Australia in May. The team toured the country, playing five games, and visiting Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Transfers Ashlee Dunlap and Sara Brown wore the LMU jersey for the first time, and the team was able to practice for 10 days in the spring before the trip.

Lions All-Access
For the third straight year, every LMU women's basketball game will be broadcast live on LMU's website at www.LMULions.com. This year, LMU has teamed up with CSTV to provide Lions' All-Access. In addition to audio for all games, streaming video will be available for all LMU home games. Angie Kiel and Patrick Duggan return for the second year as the voices of the Lions to provide play by play, along with insight and analysis for every Lion broadcast. Check www.LMULions.com for more information on Lions' All-Access.