March 18, 2008
SAN DIEGO AND GONZAGA ADVANCE TO THE POSTSEASON
San Diego and Gonzaga will represent the West Coast Conference in the postseason, marking the 10th straight year and the 13th time in the last 14 seasons that multiple WCC teams have earned postseason bids. The Toreros received a No. 14 seed in the Big Dance and will meet No. 3 seed California in Stanford, CA on Saturday. The NCAA Tournament bid is the third in program history. Gonzaga, the WCC regular season champion, received a bid to the WNIT and will host UC Davis in first round action on Thursday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
NCAA Tournament First Round - March 22 at Stanford, CA (Maples Pavilion)
No. 14 San Diego vs. No. 3 Cal - 1:30 PM (PT)
San Diego captured the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 70-66 win over Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament championship game. The Toreros (19-12) will be making their third trip to the NCAA Tournament after posting the second best record in program history and claiming the West Coast Conference Tournament championship. USD's other two trips to the NCAA Tournament were in 1993 and again in 2000.
WNIT First Round - March 20 at Spokane, WA (McCarthey Athletic Center)
Gonzaga vs. UC Davis - 7:00 PM (PT)
Gonzaga, who is playing in its third WNIT in five seasons, enters into its contest with UC Davis with a 24-8 mark. The Bulldogs were crowned the WCC regular-season champions for the fourth-straight season after going 13-1, but lost to San Diego in the WCC Tournament finals. The Bulldogs and Aggies are meeting for the second time this season and the third time in the past two years. Gonzaga won the previous two contests, including a 71-58 victory at the Pavilion on the campus of UC Davis on Dec. 6, 2007.
AROUND THE WCC
WCC Teams Excel In Non-Conference Play
WCC women's basketball got off to one of its best starts in recent years, as conference teams have combined to post a 69-49 (.585) overall record against teams from other leagues this season. The WCC has fared especially well against teams from other west region circuits, posting an outstanding 54-25 (.684) mark against squads from the Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-10, and Western Athletic conferences.
Six WCC Players Named Academic All-District
Six WCC women's basketball players earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-Academic District VIII honors, marking the most from a single conference in District VIII. Gonzaga's Jami Bjorklund and Santa Clara's Elizabeth Doran were named to the first team, while Portland's Rachel Warren, Saint Mary's Lauren Shaughnessy, and San Francisco's Lisa Olden were tabbed for second team honors. San Francisco's Dominique Carter rounded out the selections from the WCC on the third team.
WCC Ranked No. 8 In Conference RPI
The West Coast Conference owns the No. 8 conference Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) according to the most recent Collegiate Basketball News rankings. WCC teams have played the ninth-toughest schedule in the nation according to the ratings, and have posted a 69-49 (.585) record against non-conference opponents so far this season.
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-8 / 13-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga, which is playing in its third WNIT in five seasons, owns a 24-8 overall record and captured the WCC regular season title with a 13-1 conference record.
- 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.
- Gonzaga owns a No. 41 RPI and has a No. 57 non-conference strength of schedule rating.
- The Zags host UC Davis in the first round of the WNIT on Thursday. The Bulldogs and Aggies are meeting for the second time this season and the third time in the past two years. Gonzaga won the previous two contests, including a 71-58 victory at UC Davis on Dec. 6, 2007.
Loyola Marymount Lions (15-15 / 7-7 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount fell to Saint Mary's in the first round of the WCC Tournament, 71-67. The Lions finished the year with a 15-15 overall record, and a 7-7 mark in conference play.
- 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-four in both steals (2.23 spg-2nd) and assists (3.97 apg-4th), while Young ranked second among the conference's freshmen in scoring with 10.9 points per game.
- Valerie Ogoke pulled down a career-high 255 rebounds this season, and ranked fourth in the WCC with 8.5 boards per contest. The senior's rebound mark ranks as the fourth-highest single-season total in LMU program history, and Ogoke finished her career ranked third on the program's all-time list for boards with 718.
Pepperdine Waves (10-18 / 5-9 WCC)
- Pepperdine reeled off four straight victories to close out the regular season, but fell to top-seeded Gonzaga in the first round of the WCC Tournament, 77-67.
- 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 scored 20 points against the Zags at the WCC Tournament, putting her one point ahead of former Wave Desi Marcelin (1976-80) into sixth place on the Pepperdine all-time points list with 1,464. Her 549 points this season ranks as the seventh-highest single-season total in program history.
- Miranda Ayim was tabbed for first team All-WCC honors after leading the conference with a .557 (152-for-273) field goal percentage during the regular season. The sophomore also ranked second in the WCC with 8.7 rebounds per game, and notched nine double-doubles during the campaign.
Portland Pilots (15-15 / 5-9 WCC)
- Portland fell to host San Diego in the first round of the WCC Tournament, dropping a 61-57 decision at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
- 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 sophomore also shot a conference-best .914 (139-for-152) from the free throw line during the regular season to set the Portland single-season record, and moved into third place on the WCC's all-time list.
- Burris finished the season ranked third in the WCC with a 1.66 assist/turnover ratio.
Saint Mary's Gaels (15-17 / 6-8 WCC)
- Saint Mary's posted its first conference tournament win since 2002, notching a 71-67 victory over Loyola Marymount before falling to Gonzaga in the semifinals, 81-64.
- Louella Tomlinson was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team after breaking the 15-year old WCC single-season record for blocks with 156. Tomlinson's blocks total also broke the NCAA Division I record of 152 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 16.8 points per game. Smith also sunk a league-high 84 three-pointers on the year, the fourth-highest total in WCC history.
- Lauren Shaughnessy finished her career as Saint Mary's all-time leader in steals with 226, and ranked second on the SMC career assist chart with 377.
San Diego Toreros (19-12 /7-7 WCC)
- San Diego defeated Gonzaga, 70-66, in the WCC Tournament final to earn its third trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history.
- 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 (8.52 apg) and steals (2.65 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).
- Rego, Sprague and Kiva Herman were all named to the WCC All-Tournament team with Rego taking home tournament MVP honors.
- San Diego will open play in the NCAA Tournament this Saturday as the No. 14 seed and will take on the No. 3 seeded California Bears at Stanford, CA.
San Francisco Dons (14-16 / 5-9 WCC)
- San Francisco entered the WCC Tournament as the No. 7 seed, and nearly pulled off its third straight upset of the No. 2 seed, but fell to Santa Clara in first round action, 89-84.
- 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.
- Shay Rollins sunk 75 three-pointers during the regular season to shatter the previous USF single-season record of 59 set by Andrea Kagie in 1996-97.
Santa Clara Broncos (20-11 / 8-6 WCC)
- Santa Clara dropped a 72-66 decision to San Diego in the WCC Tournament semifinals to close out its season.
- Despite the loss to San Diego, senior Tracey Walker scored her 1,000th career point early on in the contest. She became the 18th Bronco to reach that feat and the second this season as teammate Chandice Cronk joined the club on Nov. 13 against Washington State. Walker led all players with 25 points and finished her career with 1,016 points.
- Jen Gottschalk and Chandice Cronk both earned first team All-WCC honors this season. Gottschalk pulled down 260 rebounds, tying for the fourth-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.
- Gottschalk was named to the WCC All-Tournament team.