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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Dec. 8, 2009

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NON-CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The West Coast Conference concluded another week of non-conference play with Gonzaga, Portland, and Saint Mary's coming away with winning records. Gonzaga went 3-0 with wins over Eastern Washington, Montana State, and Cal State Northridge. Portland got wins over Pacific and Boise State, who was receiving votes in both major polls, while Saint Mary's got a big win over Washington State on the road. Individually several WCC players rank amongst the nation's elite as Gonzaga's Courtney Vanderlsoot leads the country in assists (10.7) and is third in steals (4.6). Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson is the nation's leading shot blocker (6.9) and is ranked sixth in field goal percentage (64.2). Tomlinson also registered her third triple-double of the season, which leads the country, in the win at Washington State.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

MONDAY, DECEMBER 7
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

San Diego at Cal State Fullerton Fullerton, CA
7:00 PM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Pepperdine at San Diego State San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Loyola Marymount at Cal State Fullerton Fullerton, CA
7:00 PM
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

San Diego at Northern Arizona Flagstaff, AZ
7:00 PM
San Francisco at Pacific Stockton, CA
7:00 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Montana at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
Cal State Bakersfield at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
6:00 PM
Portland at Idaho Moscow, ID
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Loyola Marymount at New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
12:00 PM
Boise State at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME

Portland at Washington State Pullman, WA
1:00 PM
Gonzaga at Portland State Portland, OR
2:00 PM
Long Beach State at San Diego San Diego, CA
2:00 PM
Cal Poly at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2:00 PM
Santa Clara at Pacific Stockton, CA
2:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC November Player of the Month: Louella Tomlinson, SMC
In the month of November, Tomlinson led the West Coast Conference in scoring (17.2 avg/g), rebounding, (10.0 avg/g), and blocked shots (6.8 avg/g). She has recorded two triple-double's in six games, the first was on opening night in the victory over Idaho State (14 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 blocks), and the other in the win over Nevada on November 20 (18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 blocks).

Also nominated: Courtney Vandersloot, GON; Alex Cowling, LMU; Miranda Ayim, PEP; Dominique Conners, USD

WCC Player of the Week: Heather Bowman, GON and Jontelle Smith, SMC
Bowman paced Gonzaga to a 3-0 by averaging 19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks per contest, while shooting a blistering 67.9 percent from the field and 87.5 percent at the charity stripe. Bowman started the week off scoring a game-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half, by hitting 8-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 at the free throw line and added eight rebounds and two steals in the Zags win over visiting Eastern Washington University. Bowman then poured in a game-high 24 points, 15 in the first half, in GU's victory at Montana State University. She hit 7-of-10 from the floor, and 10-of-11 at the free throw line. The Gonzaga's final game of the week, she scored a team-high 13 points, on 4-of-6 accuracy from the floor, and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. She also had eight rebounds, two blocks, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes of action.

Smith led the Gaels in scoring in the wins over Washington State (80-70) and Idaho (74-67) over the weekend. In the game against Washington State, Smith was a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point land and 2-for-2 from the charity strip, finishing with a game-high 24 points. Against Idaho, Smith had a team-high 16 points, knocking down 4-of-6 3-pointers. On the weekend, SMC went 2-0 while on the road, marking the first time the Gaels have won consecutive non-conference road games under Paul Thomas' reign. She scored 10 points with two threes against UC Davis with four steals. Averages were 16.7ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 spg, and 4.0 three-pointers

Also Nominated: Miranda Ayim, PEP; Laiken Dollente, POR; 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: 7-2
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga went undefeated last week, beating Eastern Washington 87-61, Montana State 87-72, and Cal State Northridge, 80-47.

  • SR Heather Bowman earned WCC Co-Player of the Week honors as she averaged 19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks over the three games, while shooting an impressive 67.9 percent from the field. She currently ranks second in the conference in scoring at 16.4 ppg and is only 140 points from being the WCC's all-time leading scorer.

  • JR Courtney Vandersloot dished out 35 assists over the week, including 14 against E. Washington and 13 versus Cal State Northridge. She now has five double figure assist games and leads the country with 10.7 apg, while also ranking third in steals (4.6).

  • As a team, the Zags rank 14th in the country in scoring with 79.4 ppg.

  • The Zags host Montana (12/11), before playing at Portland State (12/13).
  • Overall Record: 4-4
    WCC Record:0-0
  • LMU split its games last week, beating San Jose State 66-47 and falling to Fresno State, 82-68.

  • JR Renahy Young posted 17 points (7-of-12) against San Jose State and 20 versus Fresno State, while connecting on five three-pointers. She has now had at least two three-pointers in each of her last three games and is shooting 46.7 percent form downtown this season.

  • SO Alex Cowling combined for 30 points in the two contests, while grabbing 13 rebounds. She currently leads the team in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (6.5).

  • To date, Young has scored 894 points in her career and she is well on her way to joining the 1,000 point club and would be just the 11th player in school history to achieve the feat.

  • The Lions are on the road this week, at Cal State Fullerton (12/9) and New Mexico (12/12).
  • Overall Record: 5-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine split its games last week at the Arizona State Classic, defeating Utah State, 67-46, before falling to No. 13 Arizona State, 65-52

  • SO Katie Menton hit six three-pointers in the win over Utah State, finishing with 18 points. SR Miranda Ayim finished with 18 points (8-of-11) and eight rebounds, while adding three steals and two blocks. SO Lauren Bell dished out a game-high 12 assists.

  • Ayim had a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds against Arizona State. Over her last three games, she is averaging a double-double with 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.

  • Bell totaled 17 assists and six steals in the tournament to earn all-tournament team honors along with Ayim.

  • Pepperdine has just one game this week at San Diego State (12/8).
  • Overall Record: 5-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland went 2-1 last week, falling to Oregon, 95-68, before defeating Pacific, 80-66, and Boise State, 76-65.

  • SR Laiken Dollente had a strong week, averaging 19.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in the three games. She also went 18-of-20 from the line and has missed only a total of five free throws all year, shooting 90.0 percent.

  • Against Boise State, who was receiving votes in both polls, SO Natalie Day and SO Rezina Teclemariam each posted 15 points to join Dollente in double-figures. 13 of Day's points came in the second half.

  • Dollente now has 1,488 points in her career, ranking fifth on the school's all-time career list.

  • Portland is on the road this week at Idaho (12/11) and Washington State (12/13).
  • Overall Record: 5-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's went 2-1 last week, falling to UC Davis, 71-59, before defeating Washington State, 80-70, and Idaho, 74-67.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson was named the WCC October Player of the Month after leading the conference in scoring (17.2), rebounding (10.0), and blocks (6.8), while shooting 65.7 percent from the field. She also collected two triple-doubles and leads the country with three on the year to go along with her national leading 6.9 blocks per game.

  • SR Jontelle Smith was named a WCC Co-Player of the Week after averaging 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.0 three-pointers, and 2.0 steals in the three games. Against Washington State, she was a perfect 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. She has now hit 12 threes in her last three games and leads the league with 22 on the season.

  • The Gaels have just one game this week, hosting Boise State (12/12).
  • Overall Record: 4-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego split its games last week, falling to UNLV, 71-66, before defeating Cal Poly, 73-65.

  • JR Emily Hatch posted back-to-back double-doubles over the week. She finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds against UNLV, before going for 15 points and 13 rebounds versus Cal Poly.

  • SR Morgan Henderson has been on a tear from downtown lately, finishing with five threes in the two games. She has now hit at least two from downtown in each of her last five games and is tied for third in the conference with 18, while shooting at a 41.9 percent clip.

  • Hatch is ranked third in the conference in field goal percentage (60.9), while SO Dominique Conners ranks second is steals (29).

  • The Toreros are at CS Fullerton (12/7) and N. Arizona (12/10), before hosting LBSU (12/13).
  • Overall Record: 3-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco went winless last week, falling to Hawaii, 58-48, before losing to BYU, 72-60, and BYU-Hawaii, 69-61 at the Hukilau Tournament.

  • SO Rheina Ale totaled 43 points in the three games and hit eight three-pointers. Over her last five games, she is averaging 2.6 three-pointers a game and ranks second in the league with 20 made this season.

  • JR Donnisha Taylor had her third double figure rebounding game against BYU-Hawaii with 10 boards, finishing with 20 over the three games. She has grabbed 75 rebounds this season, ranking second in the league.

  • SO Katy Keating finished with seven threes over the week and has scored in double figures in three of her last four games and has at least three from downtown in that span.

  • USF plays at Pacific (12/10) before hosting Cal Poly (12/13).
  • Overall Record: 1-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara went winless last week falling to UC Davis, 71-59, and South Dakota, 69-66.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji had back-to-back games with double figure scoring with 14 points against UC Davis and 17 versus South Dakota. She also hit six threes and has had at least three in each of her past three games.

  • JR Lena Gipson had her third double-double of the season against South Dakota with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Over the week, she also shot an impressive 70.0 percent (14-of-20).

  • Gipson ranks third in the league in rebounding (8.3) and is averaging 14.3 ppg, while shooting at a 59.1 percent clip. Shoji leads the league with 2.6 three-pointers a game.

  • Santa Clara hosts Cal State Bakersfield (12/11), before playing at Pacific (12/13).