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Familiar Face in First Round

Feb. 28, 2007

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The LMU women's basketball team heads to Portland for the West Coast Conference Basketball Championships this weekend. The Lions are the No. 3 seed and face off against No. 6 seed Santa Clara on Thursday at 6:00pm in the first round. Should the Lions win, they would advance to the semifinals on Saturday afternoon. The championship game is on Sunday at 1:30pm. Free audio will be available live for all tournament games on Lions All-Access at www.LMULions.com and KXLU 88.9FM .

Tournament Format
First round of the WCC Tournament begins on Thursday, with all eight teams in action at the Chiles Center. The winners will face each other in the semifinals on Saturday, and the last two teams remaining will play in the championship game on Sunday at 1:30pm. The title contest will be broadcast live on CSTV. It is the first time that the women's WCC Championship will be shown live on national TV.

All-WCC Awards Announced
Four Lions were honored as the West Coast Conference announced its yearly awards. Senior Amanda Patton was named to the All-Conference team, and junior Amanda DeCoud was selected as the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. DeCoud joins Ashlee Dunlap and Jennifer Hall as honorable mention selections. LMU leads all teams with four players earning honors today.

Patton was LMU's leading scorer in conference action and was one of the top three-point shooters in the conference. In conference play, Patton averaged 12.6 points and 2.86 assists per game.

DeCoud is LMU's first Defensive Player of the Year since Adrianne Slaughter won the award in 2002-03. The junior guard was unbelievable on defense this season, leading the conference in steals in conference games, averaging 3.0 per game. In addition, she ran the Lion offense, averaging 9.3 points and 3.79 assists per game in conference play. In addition to defensive honors, DeCoud was also named to the honorable mention team.

Dunlap led the conference in offensive rebounds in conference games, and was the Lions' top rebounder against WCC teams. Dunlap averaged 8.2 points and 7.7 rebounds, and recorded double doubles in three of the last four games of the regular season.

Hall rounds out the Lions' honorees. She led the team in scoring and rebounding overall, averaging 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. She was named the WCC co-December Player of the Month and earned WCC Player of the Week honors.

DeCoud Rewarded For Outstanding Week
Junior Amanda DeCoud was named the WCC co-Player of the Week for the final weekend of the regular season. She led the Lions to a sweep on the road, securing the No. 3 seed in the WCC Tournament. DeCoud averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game to lead the Lions to victory.

Seniors Shine on Senior Day
LMU went a perfect 3-0 on Senior Days this season. LMU's seniors Ashlee Dunlap and Amanda Patton were particularly inspired by the pregame ceremonies, leading the Lions to victories over San Francisco, Pepperdine and Saint Mary's. Patton averaged 16.3 points in those three games, hitting almost three three-pointers per game. Dunlap recorded her only three double doubles of the season in those games, averaging 12.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. Their play helped LMU win its own Senior Day, and ruin the final home game for seniors at Pepperdine and Saint Mary's.

Looking Back
LMU extended its winning streak to four games with two crucial wins on the road. The Lions outscored Santa Clara 21-5 over the final seven minutes of the game for a 65-56 come from behind victory. Amanda DeCoud led all players with 16 points and five steals, and Jennifer Hall added 14 points for the win.

The Lions also rallied from a first half deficit for a 76-61 win at Saint Mary's to wrap up the No. 3 seed. The Gaels led in the first half, but LMU rallied to take a 33-30 lead into the break. The Lions scored the first eight points of the second half and never looked back. Amanda Patton led the Lions with 18 points, and Ashlee Dunlap recorded her third double double in four games with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Valerie Ogoke had a season-high 13 points, and DeCoud chipped in 12 points with six assists and four steals.

Vargas Delivers
A key player in LMU's sweep was freshman Jessica Vargas. She played quality minutes in the wins, providing solid defense in critical stretches of the game. She entered the Santa Clara game with eight minutes to go, and was one of the main factors in the Lion comeback. She teamed with Amanda DeCoud to completely limit the SCU guards, as the Lions outscored the Broncos 21-5 to close out the game. She made two free throws to give the Lions their first lead of the second half, and converted another two down the stretch for the win. In Saturday's victory, she contributed even more, playing a career-high 26 minutes. She grabbed five rebounds, made three assists, scored three points and had a block and a steal. The emergence of Vargas has been a key reason why the Lions have been so successful during the second half of conference play.

About Santa Clara
LMU's first round opponent is a familiar face, as the Lions and Broncos will meet up for the second time in a week. The Broncos lost five straight and seven of eight to finish the regular season with a 13-16 overall record. SCU finished the conference season with a 5-9 record and is the No. 6 seed in the tournament. All-WCC selection Chandice Cronk leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game. She has made 94 three-pointers this season and shoot 43.7% from behind the arc. Jen Gottschalk earned honorable mention honors, and averages 11.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. The Broncos are scoring 69.3 points per game and allowing 72.9 points. They are the top three-point shooting team in the country, averaging 8.7 per game. In the two meetings between the schools this year, the Broncos averaged 3.0 three-pointers per game, as a team.

Hall Nabs Academic Accolades
Junior Jennifer Hall has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 8 First Team. The forward is now eligible for national Academic All-American honors. In addition, Hall was named to the WCC's All-Academic team. Hall leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and currently has a 3.79 GPA. Hall was named the WCC's December Player of the Month, and earned Player of the Week honors in December as well. She has scored in double digits in 20 games this season, and has recorded five double doubles. She broke the school's single game record for free throw percentage when she was a perfect 11-for-11 from the line against Hawaii. In that game, she scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Dunlap Eyes Rebounding Milestone
With rebounds at Santa Clara, Ashlee Dunlap moved into the LMU career top-10 for rebounds in just two seasons. She set the LMU single season mark for rebounds last season when she had 295, and the senior has pulled down 186 boards this season. Dunlap's career average of 8.4 rebounds per game puts her in third place all-time at LMU.

DeCoud Cracks the Top 10
With a steal against Pepperdine, Amanda DeCoud moved into the LMU single season top 10 for steals. She now has 73 swipes on the year. The junior has 160 career steals, good enough to move into the LMU career top 10 at number 9.

52 is the Magic Number
In an interesting coincidence, LMU allowed 52 points in four wins of its wins this season. The streak started with a 67-52 win over Santa Clara, then LMU followed it up with a 74-52 win at Portland. LMU won two straight with 52, picking up a 65-52 victory over San Francisco and following it up with a 63-52 win at Pepperdine.

Patton Earns Monthly Honor
Amanda Patton was named the LMU/Enterprise Student-Athlete of the Month for January, as chosen by the LMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Patton broke the LMU career record for three-pointers in January, and now has 138 and counting. She led the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game, and had four double digit scoring games. She had a season-high 24 points against San Francisco, hitting six three-pointers to lead LMU to the win. She also had 17 points in wins over Pepperdine and Santa Clara, and 14 points against Portland. It is the second Student-Athlete of the Month honor for Patton, who picked up the award in November 2005.

Leaders of the WCC
When the WCC released its final regular season statistics, LMU saw its name at the top of several categories. Most importantly, the Lions led the conference in defense, allowing just 54.8 points per game. LMU allowed 52 points or fewer in seven of its 14 conference games this season, including 34 to Portland and 35 to Pepperdine. LMU also led the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing teams to shoot just 25.1%. LMU limited Santa Clara, the nation's top three-point shooting team, to a combined six three-pointers in the two meetings. The Lions were also atop the standings for steals, led by WCC steals champion Amanda DeCoud. LMU averaged 9.21 per game, and nearly a third of those were made by DeCoud (3.0). Ashlee Dunlap was the #1 offensive rebounder in the conference, averaging 3.57 offensive rebounds per game in conference play.

Defensive Excellence
For the second straight home game, and the third time this year, LMU limited an opponent to less than 40 points as the Lions shut down Pepperdine in a 52-35 win. It matched a program-low for points by the Waves, and Pepperdine's 13 points in the first half also matched a program-low. It was the second time this year that LMU has written its name in an opponent's media guide. LMU defeated Portland 54-34, a program-low for points by the Pilots, whose previous low was 35 points.The 34 points allowed by LMU were the lowest since the Lions limited the University of San Francisco to 30 points in the 1987-88 season. Earlier this year, the Lions defeated Long Beach State, 61-38, setting a new LMU program low by allowing just nine points in the second half.

Patton Eyes Single Season Mark
A year after setting the LMU single season record for three-pointers, Amanda Patton has caught fire from behind the arc and is eying her own record. She enters Thursday's game with 62 on the season and sits in third place on the single season list. She needs one more to move into a tie for second place. Last year, she connected for 67 to break the LMU single season mark.

Patton Breaks Record
With her second three-pointer against Pepperdine, Amanda Patton broke the LMU career record for three-pointers and now has 148 and counting. She broke the year-old record set by former teammate Rachael Ziemann of 126. Patton also owns the LMU single season record for three-pointer and shares the LMU record for three-pointers in a single game with Ziemann.

I'll Take That
Amanda DeCoud and Cassady Moore continue to be two of the greatest thieves in the WCC, ranking first and fifth in steals in conference games. During the regular season, DeCoud averaged 3.0 per game, and Moore was close behind at 2.07 per game. For the year, DeCoud leads the team with 73 steals, and Moore has added 52.

Statistics Nationally
LMU had several players ranked in the top 100 in the national statistics when the NCAA released its stats on Monday. Amanda Patton has her name listed twice, ranked 53rd in three-point field goal percentage (36.5) and 63rd in three-point field goals made (2.2). Jennifer Hall is 69th in the nation in free throw percentage at 82.6%. Amanda DeCoud is also ranked in steals, coming in at 47th by averaging 2.6 per game. As a team, LMU is ranked 26th in the nation in fewest fouls committed, and the defense is 79th.

All-Tournament Honors
Four different Lions have earned All-Tournament team honors this season. Amanda DeCoud was named to the All-Tournament team at the Xavier Invitational. Amanda Patton and Valerie Ogoke got the nod at the LMU Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. Ogoke joined Jennifer Hall to earn All-Tournament honors at the Cyclone Classic to round out tournament action.

Lions Top Preseason Poll
For the second straight year, LMU was chosen as the favorite to claim the WCC women's basketball title in the 2006-07 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Lions, who posted a 17-12 overall record last season and a 10-4 mark in conference play to finish in third place, tied Pepperdine as the coaches' picks to win the WCC. Gonzaga finished third in the poll, with Santa Clara coming in fourth. Saint Mary's and San Diego were picked fifth and sixth, respectively, with San Francisco and Portland placing seventh and eighth.

Lions All-Access
For the fourth straight year, every LMU women's basketball game will be broadcast live on LMU's website at www.LMULions.com. This season, all Lions All-Access broadcasts will be free. Fans just need to register and they will gain free access to all LMU broadcasts. In addition to audio for all games, streaming video will be available for most LMU home games. Angie Kiel and Patrick Duggan return for the third 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.