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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes - 11/7

Nov. 7, 2007

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Upcoming Games

Nov. 9
1 Saint Mary's vs. Prairie View A&M - 3:30 PM
Portland at Washington State - 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Boise State - 5:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM
San Diego at Cal State Bakersfield - 7:00 PM
Santa Clara at Nevada - 7:00 PM

Nov. 10
1 Saint Mary's at Baylor - 5:30 PM

Nov. 11
1 Saint Mary's vs. Howard - 10:00 AM
Pepperdine at Iowa State - 11:00 AM
Portland at Idaho - 1:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at San Diego - 2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at UNLV - 3:00 PM
San Francisco at Northern Colorado - 3:00 PM

Nov. 12
Washington at Gonzaga - 7:00 PM

1 Basketball Traveler's Classic (Waco, TX)

San Diego Tops WCC Preseason Poll

San Diego was chosen as the favorite to claim the West Coast Conference women's basketball title, edging out defending conference champion Gonzaga in the 2007-08 WCC preseason coaches poll. The Toreros, who set a program record with 21 wins and hosted a WNIT contest for the first time last season, received four first place votes and totaled 58 overall points, while the Bulldogs garnered three first place votes, and received 55 total points to finish second in the annual coaches poll.

Pepperdine was picked third with 45 points, while Loyola Marymount garnered the final first place vote and 44 overall points in the poll to take the No. 4 spot. Saint Mary's was selected for a fifth place finish with 29 overall points, and San Francisco was picked sixth with 22 points. Santa Clara was voted seventh with 19 points, while Portland rounds out the poll at No. 8 with 16 points.

Women's Basketball 2007-08 Preseason Poll
1. San Diego - 58 (4)
2. Gonzaga - 55 (3)
3. Pepperdine - 45
4. Loyola Marymount - 44 (1)
5. Saint Mary's - 29
6. San Francisco - 22
7. Santa Clara - 19
8. Portland - 16
(First place votes in parentheses)

Around The WCC

2007-08 Season Tips Off This Weekend
The 2007-08 women's basketball season tips off this season, as all eight conference squads will hit the court. Gonzaga hosts Washington on Monday to begin the year, while LMU will travel to Boise State and UNLV this weekend. Pepperdine hosts Cal State Northridge before traveling to Iowa State, and Portland hits the road for games at Washington State and Idaho. Saint Mary's heads to the Basketball Traveler's Classic for three games, while San Diego will meet Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Northridge this weekend. USF travels to Colorado for a pair of games, and Santa Clara opens the season at Nevada.

Two Conference Games Slated For ESPNU Broadcasts
A pair of WCC women's basketball games will be televised on ESPNU during conference play, completing the league's package of 21 broadcasts with ESPN's family of networks for the 2007-08 season. The first contest will be on January 10, when Pepperdine heads to the Northwest to visit Gonzaga at the McCarthey Athletic Center, while the second match up features Loyola Marymount against San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD on January 31.

Santa Clara Sharpshooter Breaks WCC Three-Point Record
Santa Clara guard Chandice Cronk shattered the WCC single-season three-point record last year, draining 94 shots from beyond the arc to snap the previous standard of 90 set by Gonzaga's Jessica Malone in 2001-02. Cronk helped the Broncos lead the nation for the second straight year with 8.4 three-pointers per game as a team.

WCC Tournament Returns To San Diego In 2008
The West Coast Conference men's and women's basketball championships will return to San Diego this year, with USD hosting the event for the first time since 2003. The 17th annual women's championship will take place March 6-9, while the 22nd annual men's event will be played March 7-10.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga is coming off of its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. The Zags posted a 24-10 overall mark en route to the program's third straight WCC regular season title, and its first-ever WCC tournament crown.

- Heather Bowman returns to the Gonzaga frontcourt after receiving WCC Newcomer of the Year honors a year ago. Bowman averaged 13.0 points per contest as a freshman, and led the conference in scoring in WCC contests with 16.3 points per game.

- The Zags return four experienced guards in the backcourt, as Michelle Elliott (9.5 ppg), Jami Bjorklund (9.0 ppg), Rachel Kane (4.7 ppg), and Sasha Polishchuk (3.4 ppg) all return.

- Gonzaga opens the season with three straight games at home, including Monday's tilt with Washington (11/12) at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Loyola Marymount Lions (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount finished third in the WCC with a 9-5 record in conference play, and posted a 19-12 overall mark to notch the program's highest regular season win total since 2003-04.

- Amanda DeCoud will lead the Lion backcourt after garnering WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors last season. The senior ranked third in the conference with 78 steals a year ago, the fifth-highest single-season total in LMU program history.

- Valerie Ogoke set a career-high with 40 blocked shots last year, the fifth-highest block total in the conference. Ogoke enters the season ranked fourth on the LMU career blocks list with 94 during her time as a Lion.

- The Lions tip off the new season on the road, traveling to face Boise State (11/9) and UNLV (11/11) this weekend.

Pepperdine Waves (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Waves were hit hard by injuries last season, but still managed to post a fifth place finish in the conference and advance to the semifinals of the WCC Tournament.

- Teena Wickett enjoyed a standout freshman campaign last season, garnering All-WCC first team and WCC All-Freshman team honors in 2006-07. Wickett averaged 10.3 points per game on the season, and shot a league-best .633 (50-for-79) from the field in WCC play.

- Teiosha George will join Wickett in the Pepperdine frontcourt after leading the Waves in both scoring (10.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg) last season. The senior was named to the WCC All-Tournament team after leading the Waves to a semifinal appearance in March.

- Pepperdine opens the 2007-08 campaign at home against Cal State Northridge (11/9) before traveling to meet Iowa State (11/11) this weekend.

Portland Pilots (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Portland looks to improve on last season's 10-20 overall mark, and 2-12 record in conference play.

- Laiken Dollente made an immediate impact as a freshman last season, leading the Pilots and ranking second in the conference with 15.2 points per game. Dollente also shot an astounding .886 (163-for-184) from the free throw line, the sixth best clip in WCC history.

- Four Australian natives are on the Portland roster for the upcoming season, including senior Rachel Warren and sophomore Laura Thomas, who helped lead Australia to the gold medal at the World University games in Bangkok, Thailand in August.

- Portland begins the season on the road, traveling for contests at Washington State (11/9) and Idaho (11/11) this weekend.

Saint Mary's Gaels (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Gaels posted a 14-14 overall record, and an 8-6 mark in conference play last season. It marked the highest league win total for an SMC squad since 2001-02.

- Jontelle Smith garnered All-WCC first team honors last year after leading the Gaels with 11.7 points per game. The junior hit a team-high 49 three-pointers a year ago, and enters the season ranked eighth on the Saint Mary's career list with 106 treys.

- Lauren Shaughnessy returned to the court after sitting out the 2005-06 season, and dished out 136 assists last season to rank second in the conference. The senior also ranked 29th in the nation with 5.2 assists per contest.

- Saint Mary's opens the season at the Basketball Traveler's Classic in Waco, TX where they will meet Prairie View A&M (11/9), host Baylor (11/10), and Howard (11/11) this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Diego is coming off of one of the most successful seasons in program history, as the Toreros finished the 2006-07 campaign with a 21-9 overall record and made the program's first-ever appearance in the WNIT.

- Amanda Rego produced a record-setting junior season, dishing out 230 assists to set the San Diego single-season record, and leading the nation with 7.7 assists per contest. The WCC Co-Player of the Year also set a Torero program mark with 83 steals on the year en route to becoming the first USD player to receive the league's top honor.

- Amber Sprague was the only player in the WCC to rank among the league's top-three in both scoring (14.8 ppg-3rd) and rebounding (7.9 rpg-2nd) last season.

- The Toreros begin the 2007-08 season at Cal State Bakersfield (11/9) before returning home to face Cal State Northridge (11/11) this weekend.

San Francisco Dons (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Under first-year Head Coach Tanya Haave, San Francisco posted a 10-21 overall record and a 3-11 mark in conference play last season.

- Dominique Carter returns for her senior campaign on the Hilltop after garnering All-WCC first team honors for the third straight season a year ago. Carter, who led the Dons and ranked fourth in the WCC with 14.4 points per game, aims to become just the second player in conference history to be named All-WCC first team four times.

- Shay Rollins was named All-WCC honorable mention after scoring 10.7 points per game, and pacing the team with 30 three-pointers last season. The guard also dished out 73 assists and collected 35 steals as a sophomore.

- The Dons open the season in Colorado, traveling to face Northern Colorado (11/11) before meeting Colorado State (11/13).

Santa Clara Broncos (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara looks to improve upon last season's 13-17 overall mark and 5-9 record in WCC play.

- Chandice Cronk drained 94 three-pointers last season to snap the WCC single-season record of 90 set by Gonzaga's Jessica Malone in 2001-02. Cronk enters the season with 188 career treys, the seventh-highest total in WCC history.

- Jen Gottschalk returned to the Broncos after two years away from basketball, and finished the season ranked third on the team with 10.9 points per game. The senior also paced the circuit with a .512 (125-for-244) field goal percentage.

- The Broncos led the nation for the second straight year with 8.4 three-pointers per game.

- Santa Clara opens the year on the road, traveling to face Nevada (11/9) this weekend.