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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Nov. 16, 2009

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NON-CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The 2009-10 women's basketball season got underway last weekend with Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, and San Diego coming away with victories. Gonzaga played a tough game at South Dakota State, losing in overtime to the 2009 NCAA Tournament participants. Individually, however, the league had a couple of stellar performances as the Gaels' Louella Tomlinson registered a triple-double, while the Zags' Courtney Vandersloot was one assist shy of one herself. Tomlinson finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 blocks, while Vandersloot had 20 points, 11 steals, and nine assists.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Gonzaga at Idaho Moscow, ID
7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Long Beach State Long Beach, CA
7:00 PM
Utah State at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Pepperdine at San Jose State San Jose, CA
7:00 PM
Saint Mary's at No. 13 California Berkeley, CA
7:00 PM
San Diego at San Diego State San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
San Francisco at UC Davis Davis, CA
7:00 PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

USC at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
Pepperdine at No. 2 Stanford Palo Alto, CA
7:00 PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Portland at Air Force Colorado Springs, CO
1:00 PM
San Diego vs. Tennessee State (Maggie Dixon Classic) Chicago, IL
3:30 PM
Nevada At Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
6:00 PM
UC Irvine at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Pepperdine at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA
2:00 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Washington at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
2:00 PM
Sacramento State at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Fresno State Fresno, CA
2:00 PM
Utah State at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Player of the Week: Courtney Vandersloot, GON
Vandersloot was one assist shy of a triple-double in the Zags heartbreaking overtime loss at South Dakota State University. Vandersloot finished with a team-high 20 points, a career and game-high 11 steals, and a game-high nine assists. South Dakota State has not lost at home since December 2006.

Also Nominated: Emily Hatch, USD

Gonzaga Picked as the Favorite in WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the WCC title this year, receiving seven out of the eight first place votes, for 49 points, as voted on by the league head coaches. The Zags edged out Loyola Marymount, who received the remaining first place vote and totaled 40 points. Coming in a close third to the Lions was Pepperdine with 34 points. In the middle of the pack were Portland, with 31 points for a fourth place finish, and Saint Mary's, who received 29 points for the fifth spot. San Diego finished just behind the Gaels, with 22 points for sixth place. Rounding out the poll are San Francisco and Santa Clara, who tied for seventh with 10 points each.

2009-10 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga - 49 (7)
2. Loyola Marymount - 39 (1)
3. Pepperdine - 34
4. Portland - 31
5. Saint Mary's - 29
6. San Diego - 22
7. San Francisco - 10
Santa Clara - 10

2009-10 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Miranda Ayim, PEP
Heather Bowman, GON
Dominique Conners, USD
Alex Cowling, LMU
Laiken Dollente, POR
Vivian Frieson, GON
Lena Gipson, SCU
Jontelle Smith, SMC
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

Feb. 18Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga - 8:00 pm (PT) CBS College Sports
Feb. 27San Diego at Pepperdine - 7:00 pm (PT) CBS College Sports
Mar. 8WCC Tournament Championship - 12:00 pm (PT) ESPNU

WCC Extends Reach Overseas
Several WCC players and coaches decided not to take the summer off and instead took their games overseas. Gonzaga's Janelle Bekkering took the last spot on Canada's Senior Women's National Team, beating out 15 other players selected to tryout. This gave her a chance to play in the FIBA Americas Championships. Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson played for Australia in this year's World University Games, where she helped her team win a Bronze Medal against the Czech Republic. Dons' Head Coach Tanya Haave took her team on a journey throughout Scandinavia, where it played a five-game tour, going 3-2 against top teams from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Pepperdine Head Coach Julie Rousseau got her first taste of Team USA as she was an assistant coach for the World University Team, who ended up winning the Gold Medal against Russia at the World University Games. Below is a list of all the international players competing in the WCC.

Multiple WCC Teams In The Postseason For 11th Straight Year
For the 11th straight season, and the 15th time in the past 16 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, while Portland was selected to play in the WNIT against Portland State. It marked the second appearance for both programs in their respective tournaments. Gonzaga pulled off the upset as the 12th seed, taking down fifth seeded Xavier, 74-59 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to give the program its first ever NCAA Tournament victory. In round two, the Zags went back and forth with No. 4 seed Pittsburgh, as the lead changed 16 times, before losing the lead for good with two minutes to go, losing 65-60. The Pilots had control of their game in the second half, leading by as many as nine, but were unable to hold on for the win.

WCC Basketball Championships Remain in Las Vegas Through 2012
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 to the Orleans Arena on March 5-8 of 2010, March 4-7 of 2011, and March 2-5 of 2012.

The 2010 WCC Championships will feature the same format as the 2009 event, with a combined total of 14 men's and women's games over four days. Tickets for the 2010 championship will go on sale to the general public on Friday, November 13.

Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson Re-Breaks WCC Blocks Record
Junior Louella Tomlinson followed up her record-setting freshman campaign, in which she set an NCAA and WCC single-season blocks (152) record, by setting a new WCC record with 161 in her sophomore season. The NCAA record for career blocks is 480, and if Tomlinson keeps up her pace, she will shatter that mark with 626 career blocks. Her single season total for one season was so high, that it also ranks No. 1 on the Gaels' all-time career list.

Gonzaga's Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot Named to Preseason Wooden Award Watch List
Gonzaga University women's basketball teammates Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot were named to the preseason Women's Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy announced by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman. Bowman, a senior, becomes the first Bulldog to be nominated for the award in back-to-back seasons as she also made the list last season. Vandersloot is the second-ever Zag player to make the list.

Gonzaga is one of only four schools with two preseason candidates. The others are the University of Connecticut (Maya Moore, Tina Charles), Ohio State University (Jantel Lavender, Samantha Prahalis) and Stanford University (Jayne Appel, Jeanette Pohlen).

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.

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women's Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament. The presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

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   TotalPoints (S) Heather Bowman, GON  (4)     641Points (C)Heather Bowman, GON  (9)  1,666Assists (S) Courtney Vandersloot, GON (3)     239Rebounds (S) Lena Gipson, SCU  (5)     307Blocks (S)  Louella Tomlinson, SMC  (1)     161FG Pct. (S) Ashlee Smith, SMC  (10)    56.93FG Pct. (S) Morgan Henderson, USD     (9)     44.9Blocks (C)  Louella Tomlinson, SMC  (2)     317FT Pct. (C) Laiken Dollente, POR  (3)     87.0FT Pct. (S)Laiken Dollente, POR  (3)  91.4

S= Season, C= Career

All-WCC Performers Highlight Squads
Seven All-WCC performers return to their respective squads this year, along with five players that earned honorable mention honors last season. Gonzaga returns three all-WCC players in Courtney Vandersloot, who won Player of the Year, Heather Bowman, and Vivian Frieson. Pepperdine returns Miranda Ayim, while Saint Mary's brings back Louella Tomlinson, who won Defensive Player of the Year. LMU's Renahy Young and Portland's Laiken Dollente round out the returning all-conference players.

Player                    YRPPGMiranda Ayim, PEP    SR11.5Heather Bowman, GON    SR19.4Laiken Dollente, POR    SR15.3Vivian Frieson, GON    SR10.0Louella Tomlinson, SMC    JR15.2Courtney Vandersloot, GON   JR16.4Renahy Young, LMU    JR14.7


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 0-1
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga had just one game last week, losing at South Dakota State in overtime, 75-71.

  • JR Courtney Vandersloot nearly had a triple-double in the game, en route to earning WCC Player of the Week honors. She totaled a team-high 20 points, along with game-high of 11 steals and nine assists. The 11 steals were also a career-high.

  • SR Tiffanie Shives was impressive in her debut after missing last year due to injury. She finished with 17 points, including four three-pointers, one of which sent the game into overtime.

  • SR Heather Bowman had 13 points and SO Kayla Standish finished with 11 points to round out the Zags in double-figures.

  • Gonzaga is at Idaho (11/16), before hosting USC (11/19) and Washington (11/22).
  • Overall Record: 0-1
    WCC Record:0-0
  • Loyola Marymount had just one game last week, falling to Southern Methodist 78-58 on the road.

  • JR Renahy Young finished with 14 points to lead the team, 12 of which came in the first half of the game.

  • In her first career start, SO Candice Nichols ended up with 12 points, while SR Jenna Sybesma had eight points and five rebounds in her first game in over a year.

  • FR Camille Buckley had a nice debut to her collegiate career, grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds, with seven coming on the offensive end.

  • The Lions are at Long Beach State (11/16) and host UC Irvine (11/20), before hitting the road again at UC Santa Barbara (11/22).
  • Overall Record: 1-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine had just one game last week, defeating Northern Arizona 96-67 in its home opener.

  • Four Waves finished with double-figure scoring, led by SR Miranda Ayim, who tallied 16 points to tie the game-high, to go along with five boards and two steals.

  • FR Shay Cooney-Williams shot well in her first collegiate game, going 6-of-8, including hitting both her three-point attempts, to end up with 14 points, along with four assists.

  • SO Lauren Bell also hit two three-pointers to finish with 15 points, while SO Jazmine Jackson had 13 points to round out the Waves in double-figures.

  • Pepperdine is on the road this entire week, taking on San Jose State (11/17), Stanford (11/19), and Cal Poly (11/22).
  • Overall Record: 0-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland opened its season with just one game last week, falling to Eastern Washington, 72-64.

  • SO Alexis Gannis led all scorers with a career and game-high 21 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, along with four rebounds in just 25 minutes.

  • SR Laiken Dollente had a solid effort all-around, finishing with 13 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, also adding a couple of steals.

  • JR Tara Cronin was a rebound away from a double-double, ending up with 10 points and a game-high nine boards.

  • Portland hosts Utah St. (11/16), is at Air Force (11/20), and hosts Sacramento St. (11/22).
  • Overall Record: 1-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's opened its season with 76-69 victory over Idaho State in its sole game last week.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson got her season off to a hot start, finishing with a triple-double for the third time in her career. She posted 14 points (6-of-12), 15 rebounds, and 10 blocks in just 28 minutes of playing time.

  • SR Jontelle Smith showed no signs of rust after missing all of last year due to injury. The program's all-time leading three-point shooter hit 3-of-4 from downtown, finishing with 15 points along with four steals. SO Ashlee Smith continued her strong shooting from last season, totaling 15 points, on 4-of-8 shooting, to go with 12 rebounds for a double-double.

  • Saint Mary's travels to play Cal (11/17) and hosts Nevada (11/20), before heading out to face Fresno State (11/22) this week.
  • Overall Record: 1-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego opened its season with a win over UC San Diego, 88-69, in its sole game last week.

  • JR Emily Hatch led four Toreros in double-figure scoring, finishing with a career-high 20 points on an impressive 9-for-9 shooting performance, adding two threes.

  • SR Morgan Henderson just missed out on a double-double, with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

  • SO Dominique Conners chipped in 15 points, while going 9-of-10 from the line, and added a game-high seven steals.

  • San Diego heads on the road to take on San Diego State (11/17), before participating in the Maggie Dixon Surf N' Slam Classic against Tennessee State (11/20).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco was picked tied for seventh in this year's Preseason Coaches Poll and will open the season this week.

  • The Dons will feature a young team that brings back three starters, but just six letterwinners and has just one senior on the roster. The four sophomores all return from last year's team and were responsible for 36 percent of the team's total scoring as freshmen.

  • San Francisco will be led by SO Rheina Ale, who totaled 39 three-pointers last season, good for 10th on the program's all-time single season list.

  • FR Mel Khlok had an impressive debut in the exhibition against Vanguard, totaling a game-high 23 points (8-13) and 11 boards. Ale added 21 points with 11 rebounds and eight assists.

  • USF is at UC Davis (11/17) and hosts CS Fullerton (11/20) and Utah St. (11/22).
  • Overall Record: 1-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara had a pair of setbacks last week, falling to Iowa, 67-51, and UCLA, 77-51, at the Hawkeye Challenge.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji paced the team against host Iowa with 16 points, including three from beyond the arc. FR Ashley Armstrong pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.

  • JR Lena Gipson was named to the All-Tournament team, following her 18 point (7-of-11), 10 rebound performance against UCLA.

  • Shoji continued her impessive three-point shooting against UCLA, with two along with FR Meagan Fulps. Shoji ended with 10 points as the only other Bronco in double figures.

  • Santa Clara will take this week off, having played three games already, and will next face Oregon (11/24) on the road.