{{ article.title }}

Pepperdine, Oklahoma Take First Dance in Denver

March 16, 2006

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Waves In Fourth NCAA TournamentPepperdine and Oklahoma will meet in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. Tipoff is slated for 10 a.m. (PT). The meeting is the fourth between the Waves and the Sooners and first away from Malibu.

About the WavesPepperdine is under the direction of head coach Julie Rousseau. The Waves are 14-16 on the year and 8-2 in their last 10 games heading into the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Daphanie Kennedy is leading Pepperdine this season with 12.0 points per game, while junior Jasmane Clarendon ranks second at 11.5 and leads the squad with 6.9 rebounds per game.

Pepperdine head coach Julie Rousseau Julie Rousseau is in her second season as the head coach of the Pepperdine Waves. She came to Malibu after a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal. Previously, she served as head coach for the WNBA's L.A. Sparks.

About the Pepperdine ProgramIn its 31st installment, the Pepperdine women's basketball team has posted an overall record of 504-397, including a 166-124 WCC record. Since the 1985-86 season, the Waves have posted six 20 win seasons, with an all-time high of 23 coming during the 2001-02 season. Pepperdine has advanced to the NCAA tournament four times since the 1999-00 season and the WNIT post-season tournament three times since the 1998-99 season.

Pepperdine in the PollsPepperdine is not ranked in either the ESPN/USA Today Coaches or the Associated Press Polls.

About OklahomaThe Sooners are coming off a perfect 16-0 Big 12 record and are 29-4 on the year. Oklahoma is paced by the play of freshman Courtney Paris. Paris is averaging 21.4 points and 15.1 rebounds per game this season. Leah Rush is second on the team in scoring at 10.0, while the team is outscoring its opponents by a 12.1 margin.

Waves Earn Fourth NCAA Tournament BerthWith Pepperdine's 71-67 victory over Santa Clara in the championship game of the WCC Tournament, the Waves laid claim to their third WCC automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Only once in school history has the Pepperdine team earned an at-large bid to The Dance, that came in 2000 after falling to San Diego in the WCC championship game.

Sub .500, Pepperdine one of FourWith Pepperdine's 14-16 record, the Waves are just the fourth team to make it to the NCAA Tournament with a sub-.500 record. The 1992 Notre Dame team was the first team to make it with a 14-16 record. Missouri pulled the feat in 1994 with a 12-17 record, while Illinois State entered last year's tournament with a 13-17 mark.

Pepperdine Captures Third WCC Tournament TitleBehind tournament MVP Daphanie Kennedy's 15.7 points per game the Pepperdine Waves captured their fourth conference tournament title after defeating top-seeded Santa Clara, 71-67, in the championship game. All-tournament team selection Jasmane Clarendon averaged 13.3 points in the three games, while sophomore Teiosha George chipped in 11.0 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds per contest. In the opening round, Pepperdine defeated Saint Mary's, 70-58, setting up a semi-final meeting against Loyola Marymount. In a game which went to the wire, the Waves held off the Lions, 59-58 to advance to the championship game.

Kennedy Named WCC Tournament MVPSophomore Daphanie Kennedy scored 12 points, including the final four against Santa Clara in the WCC championship game and for her efforts was tabbed Tournament MVP. The Oakland, Calif., native led the Waves with 18 against LMU and 17 against Saint Mary's and averaged 15.7 points per game for the weekend. In addition, Kennedy pulled down 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 31.8 percent from the floor and 93.8 percent from the free throw line. She is the second Pepperdine athlete to earn Tournament MVP honors, joining Damaris Hinojosa who earned the honor in 2002.

Clarendon Selected to All-Tournament TeamJunior Jasmane Clarendon tossed in a team-high 15 points in the WCC championship game and for the weekend averaged 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. For her efforts, Clarendon became the 13th Pepperdine player to be tabbed All-tournament.

Ball Named WCC Defensive Player of the YearPepperdine's Kelsey Ball was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the league's head coaches. The lone senior on this year's squad pulled down 5.9 rebounds per game with seven blocked shots and 11 steals. The only other Pepperdine player to earn this award was NeSha Thomas during the 2000-01 season.

Clarendon, Kennedy Two of WCC's BestJunior Jasmane Clarendon and sophomore Daphanie Kennedy were named to the All-WCC first team by the league's head coaches. Clarendon averaged team highs in points (11.9) and rebounds (7.3) during conference play, while Kennedy was second on the team in points (11.2) and third in rebounds (4.4). Pepperdine has had at least one student-athlete named to the conference first team every since the 1985-86 season. This season marks the ninth time Pepperdine has landed two on the first team and first since 2003-04.

Ross Lands on All-Freshman TeamTrue freshman Jessica Ross started all 14 conference games this season for Pepperdine, averaging 5.6 points on 37 percent shooting including 78.6 from the charity stripe and pulled down 2.8 rebounds. For her efforts, the Gilroy, Calif., native was named to the WCC's All-freshman team. It marks the fourth consecutive year Pepperdine has landed a player on the team and seventh overall.

Waves Against the West Coast ConferencePepperdine holds a series lead over four West Coast Conference teams, including Portland, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount and San Diego. Saint Mary's and Santa Clara are the only programs with winning records over the Waves. Since the 1999-00 season, Pepperdine is 68-28 against conference foes.

Kennedy, Clarendon Provide 1-2 PunchJunior Jasmane Clarendon and sophomore Daphanie Kennedy have provided Pepperdine with a 1-2 punch this season. The two rank second and first, respectively, in scoring and have combined to lead or co-lead the Waves in points scored 23 times in 30 games (76.7%).

Pepperdine Vs. Teams in the NCAA TournamentPepperdine has posted a 2-2 mark this season against teams in the NCAA Tournament. The two victories came against teams which are seeded 16th in Southern and UC Davis. The Waves topped Riverside, 51-44, for its first victory of the season on Nov. 22 and downed Southern, 64-53, for their third victory. Pepperdine's two losses were a 95-56 loss at UCLA and an 82-64 defeat by Michigan State.

Bench Provides a SparkPepperdine doesn't suffer much of an offensive let down when it goes to its bench. The Wave non-starters account for 27.5 points of the team's 63.3 average or 43.4 percent. Leading the reserves are forward Teiosha George and Sherriel Boyd who both are averaging 8.4 points per contest this season.

Waves Youngest in WCCThe 2005-06 Pepperdine Waves are the youngest team in the West Coast Conference. With just one senior, Kelsey Ball, and two juniors, Lauren Wenski and Jasmane Clarendon, this year's team is 75 percent underclassmen. The Waves have four sophomores on the roster, including junior college transfer Nakeya Isabell, and five freshmen.

Pepperdine In the NCAA TournamentPepperdine is 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament all-time. In the Waves first appearance, Pepperdine held a 32-28 lead at the half over Virgina before falling, 74-62 in 2000. Pepperdine's second trip came in 2003 against Villanova. The game, contested in Norman, Okla., saw the Waves score just 16 points in the first half before falling 67-46 at the Lloyd Noble Center. In the most recent NCAA showing, the Waves were dealt a 94-60 setback by Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.

Waves Ink #19 Class for 2006According to Blue Star Rankings, Pepperdine will have the No. 19-rated class coming in for the 2006 season. La'Teena Wickett (Castlemont HS) headlines the class as the 32nd-ranked player on the list, while Jennifer Kioa (Sequoia HS) also signed with the Waves as the 34th-ranked player and Nachelle Catron (JW North HS) ranks 75th. No other school from the West Coast Conference landed on the list of the top 40 ranked classes and Pepperdine's class ranks better than traditional powerhouse programs like Vanderbilt (25), Texas Tech (28) and UCLA (37).

Pepperdine Signee Tabbed High School All-American Honorable MentionPepperdine signee La'Teena Wickett was tabbed as a 2006 High School All-American honorable mention announced by the WBCA Wed., Feb. 15. The Waves were the lone school from the WCC to sign a player who earned All-American recognition.

70 points Equals SuccessLast season, Pepperdine scored 70 or more points five times, with a season-high of 85 coming on January 13, 2005 against Portland. The Waves' record when breaking the 70-point barrier was 4-1, continuing a long-standing tradition of having success when scoring more than 70 points in a game. Since the 1990-91 season the Waves are 189-39 when scoring over 70 points including a phenomenal 37-5 over the past four seasons. In contrast, when Pepperdine fails to reach 70 points they are just 83-158 over the same 14-year span.

More on 70+The Waves had won 16 consecutive games when breaking 70 points until dropping an 84-81 double-overtime decision to the University of San Francisco on February 3, 2005. After scoring 73 in a loss against Indiana State, Pepperdine had dropped consecutive games when breaking 70 points until an 84-61 thumping of San Diego. The previous streak dated back to November 29, 2003 when Pepperdine dropped a 95-77 decision to #19 Oklahoma at the Yellowbook Turkey Shootout in Malibu, Calif.

Pepperdine Best D1-AAA SchoolThe Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association presented Pepperdine the 2004-05 All-Sports Trophy as the top-rated NCAA Division I institution not competing in football. Part of the prestigious Sports Academy Directors' Cup program for all NCAA Division I schools, Pepperdine competed in 14 sports. In addition to a National Championship in men's volleyball, the Waves women's golf team finished 4th in the nation, men's tennis ended the year ranked 5th nationally, Waves baseball finished 17th in the national polls, women's soccer was rated 33rd in Division I and men's golf concluding the year 31st in the NCAA as golfer Michael Putnam won the Byron Nelson Award taking home the silver trophy at the NCAA Championships (July 7).