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WCC Women's Basketball Opens 2010-11 Season this Weekend

Nov. 10, 2010

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2010-11 SEASON TIPS OFF THIS WEEKEND
The 2010-11 women's basketball season will get underway this weekend as seven of the eight schools will open their season. San Diego will tip off its season on Monday at Pacific at 7:00 p.m. This weekend features road matchups against Pac 10 opponents, including Gonzaga at USC on Friday at 1:00 p.m. and Saint Mary's at California on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Gonzaga at USC Los Angeles, CA
1:00 p.m.
Portland at Boise State Boise, ID
3:00 p.m.
UC Davis at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
5:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
6:00 p.m.
Washington State at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
6:00 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at Idaho State Pocatello, ID
6:00 p.m.
Fresno State at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
8:15 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Pepperdine at Nevada Reno, NV
2:00 p.m.
Portland at Eastern Washington Cheney, WA
2:00 p.m.
Saint Mary's at California Berkeley, CA
2:00 PM
Whitman at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
5:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

Gonzaga Picked as the Favorite in WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
Gonzaga was chosen as the favorite to claim the West Coast Conference women's basketball title for the third straight year in the 2010-11 preseason coaches poll. The Bulldogs, who received the maximum seven first place votes for a total of 49 points, edged out Saint Mary's, who received the remaining first place vote and totaled 43 points to finish second. Pepperdine, which finished third in this year's poll with 36 points, returns four starters from last year's team that finished second in the 2010 WCC Zappos.com Championships and made an NIT appearance. Loyola Marymount, Portland and San Diego were separated by a total of three points for picks four, five, and six, respectively. LMU received a total of 27 points, while Portland received 26 and San Diego tallied 24 points. Santa Clara was selected to finish seventh this season, with 12 points. San Francisco rounds out this year's poll with eight points.

2010-11 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga 49 (7)
2. Saint Mary's 43 (1)
3. Pepperdine 36
4. LMU 27
5. Portland 25
6. San Diego 24
7. Santa Clara 12
8. San Francisco 8

2010-11 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Rheina Ale, USF
Janelle Bekkering, GON
Dominique Conners, USD
Alex Cowling, LMU
Laiken Dollente, POR
Lena Gipson, SCU
Jazmine Jackson, PEP
Katelan Redmon, GON
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

Jan. 13Gonzaga at Pepperdine - 6:00 pm (PT) CBS College Sports
Jan. 27Gonzaga at Saint Mary's - 6:00 pm (PT) CBS College Sports
Mar. 7WCC Tournament Championship - 12:00 pm (PT) ESPNU

WCC Women's Basketball Launches 2010-11 "Be A Part of It" Campaign
After successfully increasing women's basketball attendance by 24% and season ticket sales by 11% across the league with the help of the NCAA Women's Basketball Grant last year, the West Coast Conference looks to improve on exposure and attendance during the 2010-11 season with the WCC "Be A Part of It" campaign.

Be A Part of It, a conference-wide community service initiative, encourages WCC fans to come to basketball games and support their favorite WCC basketball teams both on and off the court. Over a series of four games determined by each school, fans will be invited to take part in various community service initiatives, such as WBCA's Pink Zone and Soles4Souls.

The WCC was one of two conferences selected to receive a women's basketball grant by the NCAA as part of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grant Program. This is the second consecutive year the WCC was granted funding by the NCAA to "increase awareness, exposure and attendance of women's basketball."

Each WCC women's basketball program will launch unique websites during thenon-conference and conference season to promote its "Be A Part of It" series. In addition, fans who visit their team's website and invite 10 or more Facebook friends to "Be A Part of It" online will be entered to win a three-night hotel stay at the Orleans Hotel and two all-session passes to the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships. Also as part of the campaign, the WCC launched its official Facebook game "Shoot2Hoop", which invites all WCC fans to play for two all-session passes to the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships.

Multiple WCC Teams In The Postseason For 12th Straight Year
For the 12th straight season, and the 16th time in the past 17 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. Pepperdine and Saint Mary's both earned a Women's NIT berth. Portland was selected to play in the inaugural 16-team Women's Basketball Invitiational. In advancing to the Sweet 16, Gonzaga upended No. 10 seeded North Carolina in the first round, 82-76, upset No. 2 Texas A&M, 72-71, in the second round, and nearly accomplished the same feat against No. 3 seeded Xavier, losing 74-56.

WCC Basketball Championships Remain in Las Vegas Through 2012
Last year, 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 back to the Orleans Arena on March 4-7 of 2011 and March 2-5 of 2012.

The 2011 WCC Championships will feature the same format as the 2009 and 2010 event, with a combined total of 14 men's and women's games over four days. Tickets for the 2011 championship will go on sale to the general public on Friday, November 12.

Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson Re-Breaks WCC Blocks Record
Senior Louella Tomlinson followed up her record-setting junior campaign, in which she set a WCC single-season blocks (161) record, by setting a new WCC record with 195 in her junior season. Her 6.3 blocks per game average was good for second in the NCAA. Her single season total for one season also ranks number one on the Gaels' all-time list.

Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot Named to Preseason Wooden Award Watch List
Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot was named to the preseason Women's John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30. The list is comprised of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are early frontrunners for the college basketball's most prestigious honor.

Vandersloot becomes the second Bulldog in school history to be nominated for the award in back-to-back seasons as she also made the list in 2009. Former Zag Heather Bowman is the only other player to make the prestigious list twice, earning the nod in 2008 and 2009.

This list is composed of 31 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 8-10, 2011.

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   TotalAssists (S) Courtney Vandersloot, GON  1      321Rebounds (S)Louella Tomlinson, SMC   2   343Rebounds (S)    Lena Gipson, SCU           6      319Blocks (S)  Louella Tomlinson, SMC   1      195Steals (S) Courtney Vandersloot   3      121FG Pct. (S) Ashlee Smith              22      60.9Blocks (C)  Louella Tomlinson, SMC   2      318

S= Season, C= Career

All-WCC Performers Highlight Squads
Five All-WCC performers return to their respective squads this year, along with six players that earned honorable mention honors last season. Gonzaga returns 2-time WCC Player of the Year Courtney Vandersloot, who is also a two-time WCC Tournament MVP. LMU returns Alex Cowling, while Saint Mary's brings back Louella Tomlinson, who won Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row. Santa Clara's Lena Gipson rounds out the returning all-conference players.

Player            YR  PPGDominique Conners, USD    JR  16.3Alex Cowling, LMU    JR  17.5Lena Gipson, SCU    RS-SR 12.6Louella Tomlinson, SMC    SR  16.9Courtney Vandersloot, GON   SR  14.1


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 0-0
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga was chosen as the favorite to claim the Conference title in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • For the first time in school history, the Bulldogs begin the season ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, registering at #22.

  • Headlining the Gonzaga returners from their Sweet 16 squad are two-time WCC Player of the Year and Naismith Trophy preseason watch list selection senior Courtney Vandersloot and 2010-11 WCC Preseason All-Conference selections senior Janelle Bekkering and junior Katelan Redmon.

  • Katelan Redmon and freshman Jazmine Redmon scored 16 points each and led the way in a 115-51 exhibition victory over Western Oregon Saturday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

  • The Bulldogs open regular season play at the University of Southern California Friday at 1 p.m.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record:0-0
  • Loyola Marymount was selected to finish fourth in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • The Lions return four starters as well as 11 letterwinners.

  • Senior Renahy Young and junior Alex Cowling will lead the Lions' returners. Cowling led the WCC in scoring last season with 17.5 ppg and is a Preseason All-Conference Selection along with Young.

  • Junior Candice Nichols scored a game-high 24 points and Cowling contributed 21 in a 101-75 victory over the Master's College in an exhibition game Friday night at Gersten Pavilion.

  • LMU opens the regular season at Idaho State on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Fresh off of a WNIT appearance last season, Pepperdine was selected to finish third in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • Pepperdine will feature an experienced squad with four starters and eleven letterwinners returning.

  • Among the top letterwinners returning for the Waves are 2010 Preseason All-WCC selection junior Jazmine Jackson, who is the Waves' top-scoring returner with 11.5 ppg last season.

  • 2009-10 WCC All-Freshmen team member Shay Cooney-Williams led the way with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in a 98-56 exhibition win over Westmont College Monday, November 1st.

  • Pepperdine opens the regular season on Friday when they welcome UC Santa Barbara for a 6:00 p.m. matchup.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland was picked to finish fifth in the WCC Preseason Coaches poll.

  • The Pilots return four starters and 76.2% of their scoring from lastseason's squad that was selected to play in the inaugural 16-team Women'sBasketball Invitational.

  • The Pilots will be led this season by senior center Lauren Angel, junior forward Alexis Gannis and junior guard ReZina TecleMariam.

  • Senior guard Tara Cronin scored a game-high 14 points as the Pilots outscored Seattle Pacific by 13 in the second half en route to a 67-61 win last Thursday.

  • Portland opens the regular season at Boise State on Friday at 3:00 p.m.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's was picked to finish second this season in the WCCPreseason Poll.

  • Saint Mary's will return one of the most experienced squads in the league with four returning starters as well as 12 letterwinners from their WNIT team from a year ago.

  • The Gaels bring back their all-time leader in blocks, senior forward Louella Tomlinson, who also finished second in the NCAA with 6.3 blocks per game last season. They also return junior forward Ashlee Smith, who led the WCC with a .609 field goal percentage last season.

  • Tomlinson led the way with 22 points, 12 rebounds, seven blocks and five assists in a 104-58 exhibition win over Chico State.

  • Saint Mary's opens its regular season on Friday when it hosts Washington State at 6:00 p.m.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego was picked to finish sixth in this year's Preseason Poll.

  • The Toreros are returning four starters and nine letterwinners from the team that finished fourth last season.

  • Headlining the returners are 2010-11 All-WCC Preseason selection junior guard Dominique Conners. She averaged 16.3 points per game last season, which was fourth in the Conference.

  • Four Toreros scored in double figures paced by senior guard Sam Child's 18 points to help San Diego cruise past San Diego Christian, 94-49, Tuesday evening in an exhibition game at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

  • The Toreros open the regular season on Monday, November 15th at Pacific. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco was picked to finish eighth in this year's Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • The Dons return 3 starters and 10 letterwinners from their squad that finished tied for seventh last season.

  • San Francisco will be led by 2010-11 Preseason All-WCC selection junior guard Rheina Ale. The Dons also welcome first-year head coach Jennifer Azzi to the Hilltop. Azzi was the fifth overall pick in the inaugural WNBA Draft in 1999 by the Detroit Shock.

  • Sophomore guard/forward Ashley Boggs paced the Dons with 18 points in a 61-34 exhibition win over Sonoma State last Friday.

  • The Dons open their regular season Friday at 5:30 p.m. when they host UC Davis.
  • Overall Record: 1-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara was picked to finish seventh in this year's Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • The Broncos return three starters and nine letterwinners from a squad that made it to the third round of the Zappos.com WCC Championships in Las Vegas last season.

  • Headlining the list of returnees is 2010-11 Preseason All-Conference selection redshirt senior forward Lena Gipson. Gipson was second in the WCC with 10 rebounds per game and sixth with a .524 field goal percentage.

  • Santa Clara opened up its 2010-11 schedule with a 62-49 exhibition win over Sonoma State on Tuesday night. The Broncos were led by sophomore Meagan Fulps' 18 points.

  • Santa Clara opens its regular season on Friday when they welcome Fresno State to the Leavey Center. Tipoff is set for 8:15 p.m.