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2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships Begin this Friday

March 2, 2010

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All-WCC Teams

Women's Bracket

2010 ZAPPOS.COM WCC BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS BEGIN FRIDAY
With the West Coast Conference regular season in the books, the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Tournament is all set to begin this Friday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Earning double-byes into the semi-final rounds are No. 1 seed Gonzaga and No. 2 Saint Mary's. No. 3 seed Pepperdine and No. 4 seed Portland earned a bye until the quarterfinal rounds. Playing in the first round will be No. 5 seed San Diego against No. 8 seed Santa Clara and No. 6 seed Loyola Marymount against No. 7 seed San Francisco. The women's championship game will air nationally on ESPNU on Monday, March 5 at 12:30 pm.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, MARCH 5
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
#5 San Diego vs. #8 Santa Clara Las Vegas, NV
12:00 PM
#6 Loyola Marymount vs. #7 San Francisco Las Vegas, NV
30 min. after previous game ends
SATURDAY, MARCH 6
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
#5/#8 vs. #4 Portland Las Vegas, NV
12:00 PM
#6/#7 vs. #3 Pepperdine Las Vegas, NV
30 min. after previous game ends
SUNDAY, MARCH 7
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
#5/#8/#4 vs. #1 Gonzaga Las Vegas, NV
11:30 AM
#6/#7/#3 vs. #2 Pepperdine Las Vegas, NV
30 min. after previous game ends
MONDAY, MARCH 8
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Semi #1 winner vs. Semi #2 winner Las Vegas, NV
12:00 PM
ESPNU

AROUND THE WCC

2010 All-Conference Teams Announced

Player of the Year
Courtney Vandersloot, GON

Defensive Player of the Year
Louella Tomlinson, SMC

Coach of the Year
Kelly Graves, GON

Newcomer of the Year
Katelan Redmon, GON

ALL-WCC First 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

All-Freshman
Shay Cooney-Williams, PEP
Meagan Fulps, SCU
Kate Gaze, SMC
Tifa Puletasi, SMC
Felicia Weinberg, USD

Honorable Mention
Rheina Ale, USF
Sam Child, USD
Alexis Gannis, POR
Jazmine Jackson, PEP
Tiffanie Shives, GON
Alyssa Shoji, SCU
Renahy Young, LMU

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: Dominique Conners, USD
Conners carried USD last week and put USD into a position to almost earn a bye in the first round of the WCC Tournament. Conners averaged 25.0 ppg, 8.0 rebounds per game and had 7 steals. Conners shot .487 from the field, and in Saturday's loss to Pepperdine, Conners turned it on in the second half of the game, as she scored 20 of her team-best 22 points in the second half, including putting USD up 2 with 11 seconds left. In the Pepperdine game, she also recorded her first career double-double as she had a career-high 11 rebounds in the loss. In the win over LMU, Conners scored a game-high 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor and she recorded seven steals.

Also nominated: Vivian Frieson, GON; Jontelle Smith, 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 Makes the List
Gonzaga University junior point guard Courtney Vandersloot is no stranger to national player of the year lists across the country. Before the season, she was named to the Wooden Award and the Wade Award watch lists and has made the cut to the Wooden Award midseason watch list. In addition, she was recently named one of just eight finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the country's best point guard, and the Naismith Award midseason top 30 list.

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: 25-4
WCC Record: 14-0
  • Gonzaga finished conference play undefeated with wins over Santa Clara, 83-52, and San Francisco, 83-35.

  • JR Courtney Vandersloot was named WCC Player of the Year for the second straight season, becoming just the second player in WCC history to win the award in back-to-back seasons as SMC's Anjo Bordt did it in 1989 and 1990. She averaged 14.7 points, 9.4 assists, and 3.4 steals, leading the NCAA in assists and ranking second in steals.

  • SR's Heather Bowman and Vivian Frieson joined Vandersloot on the All-WCC First Team. Bowman became just the third player in WCC history to be named to the All-WCC First Team four times after becoming the league's all-time leading scorer this year.

  • The Zags will have most of the week off as they earned a double-bye until the semi-final round on Sunday March 7.
  • Overall Record: 12-16
    WCC Record: 5-9
  • LMU went winless last week losing to San Diego, 71-68, and Saint Mary's, 67-64, finishing as the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament.

  • SO Alex Cowling averaged a double-double for the week as she posted 16 points and eight rebounds against San Diego, before going for 20 points and 12 rebounds versus Saint Mary's. She leads the league with 11 20+ point performance games. She was named to the All-WCC First Team after winning the Newcomer of the Year Award last year.

  • JR Renahy Young averaged 21.0 points in the two games, including going 8-of-13 from downtown for the week. Against the Gaels, she hit five threes for the second time in three games. She was also named to this year's All-WCC honorable mention team.

  • Loyola Marymount will face No. 7 seed San Francisco (3/5) in the first round of the WCC tournament.
  • Overall Record: 18-10
    WCC Record: 9-5
  • Pepperdine split its games last week, falling to Saint Mary's, 52-38, before defeating San Diego 75-65 in overtime and finishes as the No. 3 seed in the WCC tournament.

  • SR Miranda Ayim had a huge week on the defensive end finishing with nine blocks against Saint Mary's and four versus San Diego setting a new Waves' single-season (79) and career (176) blocks records. Ayim was named to her third All-WCC First Team, making her the 25th player in the conference to do so.

  • Shay Cooney-Williams was named to the All-Freshman team after leading all freshman in the league in steals (1.4) and ranking second in assists (1.6) during WCC play.

  • Pepperdine will have a first round bye in the WCC tournament and will take on the winner of the first round game between LMU and San Francisco on March 6.
  • Overall Record: 18-11
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • Portland closed the regular season with a 80-52 win over San Francisco and a 67-64 victory against Santa Clara. The Pilots were awarded the No. 4 seed in the WCC tournament via a tie-breaker over San Diego.

  • SR Laiken Dollente averaged 19.0 points over the two games and dished out eight assists against the Dons. Dollente was named to the All-WCC First Team for the third time, joining Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot, Pepperdine's Miranda Ayim, and Saint Mary's Jontelle Smith as one of 25 players in league history to do so. She leads the NCAA in free-throw percentage (92.6).

  • SO Alexis Gannis was named an All-WCC honorable mention after ranking third on the team in scoring (9.6) and third in the league in rebounding (8.3).

  • Portland has a first round bye in the WCC tournament and will face the winner of the game between San Diego and Santa Clara on March 6.
  • Overall Record: 21-8
    WCC Record: 12-2
  • Saint Mary's went undefeated last week with a 52-38 win over Pepperdine, and a 67-64 win against Loyola Marymount and are the #2 seed in the WCC tournament. Their conference record ties the best in school history.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, becoming the only player in conference history since Toni Russell of San Francisco (2004 and 2005) to do so, after setting NCAA records for career (500) and single-season blocks (183).

  • SR Jontelle Smith was named to the All-WCC First Team for the third time in her career, becoming one of just 25 players in conference history to do so. The program's all-time leading three-point shooter ranks second on the WCC's all-time career list (263).

  • The Gaels have a double-bye in the WCC tournament and will play on March 7.
  • Overall Record: 15-13
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • San Diego split its games last week, defeating Loyola Marymount, 71-68, before falling to Pepperdine in overtime, 76-65 and are the No. 5 seed in the WCC Tournament.

  • SO Dominique Conners was named this week's Player of the Week in addition to making the All-WCC First Team. For the week, she averaged 25.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, while collecting seven steals. She has increased her scoring from 13.8 in non-conference to 16.1 in conference play.

  • JR Sam Child was named an All-WCC honorable mention. She ranked second on the team in scoring (11.6). Felicia Wijenberg was named to the WCC's All-Freshman team as she led all freshmen in the conference in blocks.

  • The Toreros take on No. 8 seed Santa Clara (3/5) in the first round of the WCC tournament.
  • Overall Record: 5-26
    WCC Record: 1-13
  • San Francisco suffered a pair of losses last week falling to Portland, 80-52, and Gonzaga, 83-35.

  • The Dons tied with Santa Clara in the conference standings, but earned the No. 7 seed thanks to a tie-breaker of higher RPI over the Broncos.

  • SO Rheina Ale was named an All-WCC honorable mention after leading the team in scoring (13.2) and ranking fourth in the league in three-pointers made (58).

  • Ale's 58 three-pointers this season ranks third on the school's all-time single season list and is just two away from taking the second spot.

  • San Francisco will play No. 6 seed Loyola Marymount in the first round of the WCC tournament on March 5.
  • Overall Record: 3-26
    WCC Record: 1-13
  • Santa Clara suffered a pair of losses last week, falling to Gonzaga, 83-52, and Portland 67-64 and will be the No. 8 seed in the WCC tournament.

  • JR Lena Gipson was named to the All-WCC First Team after receiving honorable mention last year. She is just one of two players in the conference to average a double-double (12.2p, 10.0r) and has had 17 double-digit rebounding performances including 20 against Cal State Bakersfield.

  • Meagan Fulps was named to the All-Freshman team after leading all freshman in the league in scoring (11.2), the only one to average double-figures all year. SO Alyssa Shoji was named an honorable mention after leading the league in three-pointers (79), tied for sixth on the WCC's single season list.

  • Santa Clara plays No. 5 seed San Diego in the first round of the WCC tournament on March 5.