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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

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Dec. 1, 2009

NON-CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The West Coast Conference concluded another week of non-conference play with Pepperdine and Portland coming away with winning weeks. The Waves defeated Providence and Purdue, while the Pilots avenged a WNIT loss from last year to Portland State. Individually several WCC players rank amongst the nation's elite as Gonzaga's Courtney Vanderlsoot leads the country in assists (10.2) and is eighth in steals (4.0). Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson is the nation's leading shot blocker (6.8) and is ranked seventh in field goal percentage (65.7). Additionally, San Francisco's Rheina Ale is one of only five players in the country to have not missed a single free throw this year.

This week, Pepperdine and San Francisco will participate in tournaments as the Waves will play in the Arizona State Classic, while the Dons will take part in the Hukilau Tournament in Hawai'i.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Eastern Washington at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
UC Davis at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
7:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Portland at Oregon Eugene, OR
6:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at San Jose State San Jose, CA
7:00 PM
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Saint Mary's at Washington State Pullman, WA
7:00 PM
UNLV at San Diego San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
UC Davis at Santa Clara/td> Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
San Francisco at Hawaii Honolulu, HI
9:00 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

San Francisco vs. BYU
Hukilau Tournament
Laie, HI
3:00 PM
Gonzaga at Montana State Bozeman, MT
5:00 PM
Pacific at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM
Pepperdine vs. Utah State
Arizona State Classic
Tempe, AZ
7:30 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Fresno State at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
2:00 PM
San Diego at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA
2:00 PM
San Francisco at BYU-Hawaii
Hukilau Tournament
Laie, HI
6:00 PM
Pepperdine vs. Idaho St./Arizona St.
Arizona State Classic
Tempe, AZ
7:30 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Saint Mary's at Idaho Moscow, ID
12:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
2:00 PM
Boise St. at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
South Dakota at Santa Clara Tempe, AZ
2:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Player of the Week: Alex Cowling, LMU and Miranda Ayim, PEP
Cowling averaged 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds on 58% shooting to earn All-Tournament honors at LMU's Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Westside Thanksgiving Classic. Had second double-double of season on Friday with 23 points and 11 rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting (3-of-4 from 3-point range) in semifinal win over Saint Louis. Followed with 19 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-12 (2-of-5 3-pt.) in overtime loss to South Florida in championship game. 42 points in tourney were tied for 4th-most in tourney history.

Ayim averaged 17.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 steals as the Waves won two of three this week, with both wins coming over major conference opponents (Providence and Purdue). She had 15 points against UC Riverside, a season-high 22 against Providence and her first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Purdue.

Also Nominated: Katelon Redmon, GON; Ashlee Smith, SMC; Dominique Conners, USD; Alyssa Shoji, SCU

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: 4-2
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga split its games last week, defeating North Dakota 85-46, before falling to No. 2 Stanford, 105-74, on the road.

  • SO Kayla Standish had a career-game against North Dakota, finishing with a game-high 25 points on an impressive 11-of-13 shooting, hitting both of her three-point attempts. JR Courtney Vandersloot also had a career-game with 16 assists, one off the school's single-game record, on the night to go along with six steals.

  • SO Katelon Redmon averaged 16.0 points in both contests, while shooting 57.7 percent and has scored in double figures in all but one game this year.

  • Against the Cardinal, Vandersloot dished out a game-high 12 assists and now has had double digit assists in three straight games, while averaging 10.2 assists per game so far.

  • The Zags host E. Washington (12/1), play at Montana St. (12/4), and host CS Northridge (12/6).
  • Overall Record: 3-3
    WCC Record:0-0
  • LMU split its games last week, defeating St. Louis 87-61, before falling to South Florida, 77-71(OT), in the Courtyard by Marriott LA Thanksgiving Classic.

  • SO Alex Cowling earned all-tournament honors en route to being named the WCC Co-Player of the Week. She nearly averaged a double-double with 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting 58 percent. She also went 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.

  • JR Renahy Young joined Cowling on the all-tournament team after averaging 14.5 points a game.

  • Cowling has been on a tear lately as she has averaged 19.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in her last three games, while shooting 60.0 percent.

  • The Lions are at San Jose State (12/2) before returning home to play Fresno St. (12/5).
  • Overall Record: 4-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine went 2-1 last week, falling to UC Riverside 80-73, before defeating Providence, 64-51, and Purdue, 64-59.

  • SR Miranda Ayim was named a WCC Co-Player of the Week after averaging 17.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.7 steals in the three games. She also collected her first double-double of the season with 22 points and 10 rebounds against the Boilermakers.

  • SO Katie Menton hit five three-pointers over the week and leads the team with 11 on the season. She has had at least two from beyond the arc in three of her last four games.

  • SO Jazmine Jackson had a solid week as well as she averaged 14.7 points, while pulling down 7.7 rebounds.

  • Pepperdine is at the Arizona St. Classic to face Utah St. (12/4) and Idaho St./Arizona St. (12/5).
  • Overall Record: 3-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland had just one game last week, defeating Portland State 75-71 in a rematch of their first round matchup in the WNIT last year.

  • JR Lauren Angel and SO Alexis Gannis led the offense in the win. Angel finished with 18 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while Gannis registered her second career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

  • JR Tara Cronin dished out a career-high nine assists and has now averaged six assists in her last three games.

  • Gannis is currently second in the league in rebounding (9.6), while the backcourt of SR Laiken Dollente and Cronin are second (4.6) and third (4.2) in the league in assists.

  • Portland is at Oregon (12/2) before hosting Pacific (12/4) and Boise State (12/6).
  • Overall Record: 3-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's split its games last week, defeating Drake 76-73, before falling to Nebraska 84-73 in its Hilton Tournament.

  • SO Ashlee Smith was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 14.5 points and seven rebounds, while shooting an impressive 78.6 percent. She is currently leading the league in field goal percentage, shooting 67.5 percent on the season.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson joined Smith on the all-tournament team after averaging 19.0 points and 9.5 rebounds. For the season, she is averaging a double-double with 17.2 ppg and 10.0 rpg, which both lead the league along with her 6.8 bps, all while shooting 65.0 percent.

  • JR Jontelle Smith has hit at least one three-pointer in every game this year and leads the team with 10.

  • The Gaels host UC Davis (12/1) before playing at Washington St. (12/3) and Idaho (12/6).
  • Overall Record: 3-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego went 1-2 last week, defeating Cal St. Northridge 90-54, before falling to Arizona, 65-55, and UC Santa Barbara, 75-65.

  • SO Dominique Conners averaged 17.0 points and 3.3 steals in the three games, while going 14-of-15 from the line. Her best game came when she had a career-high 30 points against UCSB.

  • In the win over Northridge, SO Morgan Woodrow had a career-high 20 points, while going 4-of-5 from downtown. SR Morgan Henderson chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds, while going 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.

  • Henderson has hit nine three-pointers in her last three games and has a league-leading 13 on the season. Conners totaled 10 steals in that same span and is tied for the league lead (24).

  • The Toreros host UNLV (12/3), before playing at Cal Poly (12/5).
  • Overall Record: 3-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco went 2-1 last week, falling at UC Davis, 69-47, before defeating Cal San Francisco went 1-3 last week, falling to San Jose St. 63-51, before beating Prarie View A&M 68-64, and losing to Texas Tech, 69-38, and Texas-Arlington, 70-67, at the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off Classic.

  • SO Rheina Ale scored in double figures in three of the four games, averaging 14.3 points, while hitting all 14 free throws. She is yet to miss a free throw this season, going 22-of-22 so far.

  • FR Mel Khlok had a season-high 16 points against Prarie View A&M, while hitting 3-of-6 three-pointers.

  • Ale has hit a three in every game so far and is tied for second in the league with 12 on the year.

  • USF plays at Hawai'i (12/3), before participating in the Hukilau Tournament, where it will face BYU (12/4) and BYU-Hawai'i (12/5).
  • Overall Record: 1-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara went winless last week falling to Oregon 88-71, and Utah, 59-54.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji had a career-high four three-pointers against Utah and has had at least two in all but one game this year. She is currently tied for second in the league with 12 on the season.

  • JR Lena Gipson had her second double-double of the season against Utah with 17 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four steals. She is currently third in the league in rebounding (8.2), while shooting 54.3 percent on the season.

  • FR Meagan Fulps led the team with a season-high 16 points against the Ducks to lead four players in double figures and also hit all seven of her free throw attempts in both contests.

  • Santa Clara stays home this week and will face UC Davis (12/3) and South Dakota (12/6).