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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes - 3/4

March 4, 2008

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WCC Tournament Schedule

With the conclusion of the West Coast Conference women's basketball regular season, conference squads now turn their attention to the WCC Tournament, which begins on Thursday, March 6 at the University of San Diego's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Gonzaga captured its fourth straight regular season league crown this season, and will be the top seed in the WCC women's tournament. Santa Clara earned the No. 2 seed with an 8-6 mark in league play, while host San Diego secured the No. 3 seed. LMU received the No. 4 seed, and Saint Mary's is seeded No. 5. Portland and San Francisco are seeded No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, and Pepperdine 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 8 following a day off on Friday. Sunday's WCC Tournament championship game is slated for a 1:30 pm start, and will be broadcast live for the second straight season on College Sports Television (CSTV).

March 6
No. 2 Santa Clara vs. No. 7 San Francisco - 12:00 PM
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 8 Pepperdine - 2:00 PM*
No. 3 San Diego vs. No. 6 Portland - 6:00 PM
No. 4 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 5 Saint Mary's - 8:00 PM*
*Approx. 30 minutes after end of first game

March 8
First Semifinal - 12:00 PM
Second Semifinal - 30 min. after first
Teams Re-Seed After First Round

March 9
WCC Tournament Championship - 1:30 PM
Televised live on College Sports Television (CSTV)

All-WCC Honors Announced

Gonzaga swept the yearly individual honors after claiming its fourth straight WCC women's basketball regular season title. Sophomore Heather Bowman was named WCC Player of the Year, while junior Jami Bjorklund was tabbed for Defensive Player of the Year honors and freshman Courtney Vandersloot was named as the conference's top newcomer. Gonzaga's Kelly Graves earned WCC Coach of the Year recognition for the fourth time in his career, as the Zags became the first conference program to sweep the individual awards since U.S. International did in 1985-86, the league's inaugural season of women's basketball.

Coach of the Year
Kelly Graves, Gonzaga

Player of the Year
Heather Bowman, Gonzaga

Defensive Player of the Year
Jami Bjorklund, Gonzaga

Newcomer of the Year
Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga

2008 All-Conference Team
Miranda Ayim, PEP - 6-3 - F/C - SO - London, Ont., Canada
Heather Bowman, GON* - 6-2 - F - SO - Spokane, WA
Dominique Carter, USF*** - 5-11 - F - SR - Tracy, CA
Chandice Cronk, SCU* - 5-8 - G - SR - Wasilla, AK
Jen Gottschalk, SCU - 6-0 - F - SR - Littleton, CO
Daphanie Kennedy, PEP* - 5-7 - G - SR - Oakland, CA
Amanda Rego, USD* - 5-10 - G - SR - San Diego, CA
Jontelle Smith, SMC* - 5-5 - G - JR - Pinole, CA
Amber Sprague, USD* - 6-5 - C - JR - San Diego, CA
Courtney Vandersloot, GON - 5-8 - G - FR - Kent, WA

*Previous times on All-WCC first team

Honorable Mention
GON: Jami Bjorklund
LMU: Amanda DeCoud, Renahy Young
POR: Karlie Burris, Laiken Dollente, Rachel Warren
USF: Necolia Simmons

2008 All-Freshman Team
Sam Child, USD - 6-0 - G - Portland, OR
Katie Menton, PEP - 5-10 - G - Yosemite, CA
Louella Tomlinson, SMC - 6-4 - F - Melbourne, Australia
Courtney Vandersloot, GON - 5-8 - G - Kent, WA
Renahy Young, LMU - 5-8 - G - Carson, CA

Around The WCC

CSTV To Broadcast WCC Championship Game
The 2008 West Coast Conference women's basketball tournament championship game will be broadcast by College Sports Television (CSTV). The March 9 telecast, slated for a 1:30 PM (PST) start, will mark the second straight season that the deciding contest for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will be broadcast live to a national television audience. The WCC women's basketball tournament will run March 6-9, 2008 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus

WCC Player of the Week
Heather Bowman, Gonzaga

Heather Bowman led Gonzaga to a pair of victories to close out the regular season last week. The sophomore averaged 25 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in road wins at Santa Clara and Saint Mary's, shooting .472 (17-for-36) from the field as the Zags wrapped up the season with a 13-1 mark in conference play. Bowman scored 30 points on 8-for-17 shooting against the Broncos, falling just two points short of tying her career-high. She was also perfect from the charity stripe against Santa Clara, shooting a perfect 14-for-14.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (22-7 / 13-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga notched road victories at Santa Clara and Saint Mary's over the weekend, finishing the conference season with a 13-1 mark for the second straight year.

- Gonzaga swept the WCC's yearly individual honors with Kelly Graves being named WCC Coach of the Year, Heather Bowman being tabbed for Player of the Year honors, Courtney Vandersloot receiving Newcomer of the Year recognition, and Jami Bjorklund becoming the first Zag to be named Defensive Player of the Year.

- Courtney Vandersloot finished the season ranked second in the conference with 166 assists on the year, which ranks as the third-highest single-season assist total in Gonzaga program history.

- The Zags open up WCC Tournament action against No. 8 seed Pepperdine (3/6).

Loyola Marymount Lions (15-14 / 7-7 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount recorded a split at home, handing USF a 65-41 defeat before falling to San Diego on Saturday, 63-55.

- Amanda DeCoud and Renahy Young were named All-WCC honorable mention, while Young was also tabbed for WCC All-Freshman Team recognition. DeCoud finished the regular season ranked among the conference's top-five in both steals (2.31 spg-2nd) and assists (4.03 apg-4th), while Young ranked second among the conference's freshmen in scoring with 10.8 points per game.

- Valerie Ogoke has pulled down a career-high 249 rebounds this season, and ranks second in the WCC with 8.6 boards per contest. The senior enters the WCC Tournament ranked third on the LMU all-time list with 712 career rebounds.

- The No. 4 seeded Lions face No. 5 seed Saint Mary's in WCC Tournament play this week.

Pepperdine Waves (10-17 / 5-9 WCC)
- Pepperdine enters the WCC Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the WCC, as the Waves recorded wins against San Diego and San Francisco over the weekend to stretch their winning streak to a season-high four games.

- Daphanie Kennedy earned the second first team All-WCC honor of her career after scoring 22.0 points per game in league play to lead the conference. Kennedy, who has scored a WCC-high 529 points this season, enters the week with 1,444 career points and needs just 19 more to move into a tie for sixth place on the Pepperdine career points list.

- Miranda Ayim was tabbed for first team All-WCC honors after leading the conference with a .559 (146-for-261) field goal percentage during the regular season.

- The Waves begin the WCC Tournament against No. 1 seed Gonzaga in San Diego on Thursday.

Portland Pilots (15-14 / 5-9 WCC)
- Portland dropped a pair of road contests at Saint Mary's and Santa Clara over the weekend, and finished the regular season with a 15-14 mark and 5-9 record in WCC play.

- Karlie Burris, Laiken Dollente, and Rachel Warren were tabbed for All-WCC honorable mention honors, marking the most from a single team in the conference.

- Dollente finished conference play with a league-best free throw shooting percentage of .932 (55-for-59), marking the third best single-season clip from the charity stripe in conference history.

- The Pilots enter the WCC Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will play No. 3 seed San Diego in first round action on Thursday.

Saint Mary's Gaels (14-16 / 6-8 WCC)
- Saint Mary's earned a split at home, handing Portland a 64-58 defeat before falling to Gonzaga on Saturday, 79-63.

- Louella Tomlinson was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team after breaking the 15-year old WCC single-season record for blocks with 149. Tomlinson currently ranks fourth in NCAA Division I history for single-season blocks, and needs just four more to break the all-time mark set by Jackson State's Amie Williams in 2002-03.

- Jontelle Smith was tabbed for All-WCC first team honors for the second straight year after leading the Gaels and ranking fourth in the conference with 16.9 points per game. Smith also sunk a league-high 80 three-pointers on the year, the fourth-highest total in WCC history.

- The Gaels earned a No. 5 seed in the WCC Tournament, and will open up play against No. 4 seed Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

San Diego Toreros (16-12 /7-7 WCC)
- San Diego recorded a split on the road, rebounding from a 65-51 loss to Pepperdine to knock off Loyola Marymount on Saturday, 63-55.

- Amanda Rego and Amber Sprague were both named to All-WCC first team for the second straight season. Rego aims to become the first player in conference history to lead the WCC in both assists (8.39 apg) and steals (2.75 spg) for three straight seasons, while Sprague is one of just two league players to rank among the conference's top-five in both scoring (15.8 ppg-5th) and rebounding (9.0 rpg-1st).

- Sam Child was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team, marking the fourth straight season that a Torero has been named to the conference's elite newcomer list.

- San Diego snagged a No. 3 seed in the WCC Tournament and will begin play against No. 6 seed Portland on Thursday.

San Francisco Dons (14-15 / 5-9 WCC)
- San Francisco dropped a pair of road contests at Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine over the weekend.

- Dominique Carter was named first team All-WCC for the fourth straight season, becoming just the second player in conference history to earn four all-league honors. Former Don Brittany Lindhe is the only other player to have accomplished the feat, earning four All-WCC first team selections between 1995-99.

- Necolia Simmons garnered All-WCC honorable mention recognition following her first season on the Hilltop. The junior ranked sixth in the WCC with 7.3 rebounds per game, and ranked third on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per contest.

- The Dons are seeded No. 7 for the third straight year and will look for their third straight upset of the No. 2 seed at the WCC Tournament when they meet Santa Clara on Thursday.

Santa Clara Broncos (19-10 / 8-6 WCC)
- Santa Clara wrapped up the No. 2 seed at the WCC Tournament, rebounding from an 80-71 loss to Gonzaga to knock off Portland at home on Saturday, 76-62.

- Jen Gottschalk and Chandice Cronk were both earned first team All-WCC honors. Gottschalk pulled down 242 rebounds during the regular season, the seventh-highest single-season total in SCU history, while Cronk set the program record for career three-pointers with 244 before suffering a season-ending injury in February.

- Tracey Walker capped an outstanding senior season by ranking third in the conference with 4.48 assists per game, and fifth in the WCC with 1.89 steals per contest.

- The Broncos open up the WCC Tournament against No. 7 seed San Francisco in first round play on Thursday.