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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Dec. 15, 2009

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NON-CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The West Coast Conference concluded a strong week of non-conference play last week, going a combined 11-4 against its competition. Among the notable victories were Pepperdine over San Diego State, Portland over Washington State, and Saint Mary's over Boise State. Overall the WCC is 48-38 over non-conference opponents. Individually, the WCC boasts national leaders in assists and blocks as Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot paces the country with 9.7 apg and Saint Mary's Louella Tomlinson is the national leader in blocks with 7.7 bpg. Vandersloot is also second in the country in steals (4.5), while Tomlinson is fourth in field goal percentage (64.2).

Gonzaga highlight's this week's slate of games as it heads down to the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic to take on No. 6 Baylor and No. 13 Texas A&M.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

MONDAY, DECEMBER 14
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's at Seattle Seattle, WA
7:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Santa Clara at Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
4:00 PM
Cal State Bakersfield at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
7:00 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Nevada at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
5:00 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Santa Clara at Boise State Boise, ID
12:00 PM
Cal Poly at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
1:00 PM
San Francisco vs. Washington State Tri Cities, WA
1:30 PM
Montana at Portland Portland, OR
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
2:00 PM
Gonzaga vs. No. 6 Baylor
Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic
Las Vegas, NV
8:45 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at UCSB Santa Barbara, CA
2:00 PM
Gonzaga vs. No. 13 Texas A&M
Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic
Las Vegas, NV
8:45 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: Laiken Dollente, POR and Louella Tomlinson, SMC
Dollente Averaged 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game as the Pilots went 2-0 on the road with wins at Idaho (12/11) and at Washington State (12/13); she was also 6-for-9 (.667) on three-pointers and went 12-for-13 (.923) from the free throw line On Friday night at Idaho, she hit four of seven from the field, four of six from the three-point line and went 8-for-8 at the charity stripe to help coach Jim Sollars record his 500th career win, a 67-56 victory against the Vandals; she also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and handed out four assists during the win, while scoring at least 20 points for the third time in four games. On Sunday, she played all 40 minutes, grabbed eight more rebounds, dished six assists and hit two of three three-pointers en route to 14 points as the Pilots defeated the Cougars 79-53 for their fourth straight win and seventh out of their last eight games; it's her fifth straight game scoring in double figures She currently ranks third in the WCC in scoring (15.6 ppg) and is second in assists (4.9 apg).

Tomlinson was one rebound shy of her fourth triple-double this season, settling for her third double-double after recording 17 points, 15 blocks, and nine rebounds in the 83-72 win over Boise State on Saturday. She was 7-for-11 from the field to boost her overall field goal percentage to .642 (68-for-106), second in the WCC behind teammate Ashlee Smith. The junior's 15 blocks ties a West Coast Conference record of blocks in a game, previously held by Amy Lundquist from LMU (vs. W. Illinois, 12/20/92). Tomlinson was one shy of breaking the NCAA record of blocks in a game, still held by Sandora Irvin of TCU (16 vs. UAB, 1/16/05). Boise State lost only its third game of the season (8-3) and the Gaels improved to 6-4.

Also Nominated: Sam Child, 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: 9-2
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga went undefeated last week, beating Montana, 75-48, and Portland State, 64-57.

  • SR Heather Bowman led the team against Montana, missing just one shot and one free throw, finishing with a game-high 24 points (9-of-10) and nine rebounds. JR Courtney Vandersloot chipped in with 13 points and seven assists, to go along with four steals.

  • Against Portland State, the Zags rallied back for the win, holding the Vikings to just three points in the last nine and a half minutes. SR Vivian Frieson had a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Vandersloot became the 14th player in school history to score 1,000 points.

  • Vandersloot ranks first in the nation in assists (9.7) and second in steals (4.5).

  • The Zags will face a tough set of opponents at the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, taking on No. 6 Baylor (12/19) and No. 13 Texas A&M (12/20).
  • Overall Record: 5-5
    WCC Record:0-0
  • LMU split its games last week, beating Cal State Fullerton, 66-64, before falling to New Mexico, 74-55.

  • SO Alex Cowling led four players in double-figures against the Titans, finishing with 18 points (9-of-13) and seven rebounds. JR Renahy Young added 10 points and a career-high seven assists, while JR Melanie Ysaguirre had a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards.

  • So far this season, the Lions are a perfect 4-0 when they shoot 45 percent or better from the field.

  • To date, Young has scored 921 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 have just one game this week, hosting Cal Poly (12/19).
  • Overall Record: 6-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine had just one game last week, defeating San Diego State, 62-61, in overtime.

  • SO Katie Menton hit a jump shot with two seconds left to force the overtime. She finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and two threes.

  • SO Jazmine Jackson would score the winning basket with two seconds left in the overtime and nearly ended up with a double-double with 15 points and eight rebounds.

  • SR Miranda Ayim collected her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and also added a season-high eight blocks. It was her third double-double in her last four games.

  • Pepperdine hosts Nevada (12/18) before playing at UC Santa Barbara (12/20).
  • Overall Record: 7-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland went undefeated last week, taking down Idaho, 67-56, and Washington State, 79-53.

  • SR Laiken Dollente had a strong week en route to earning WCC Co-Player of the Week honors. In both road games, she averaged 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists, while also going 6-of-9 from downtown.

  • The victory against Idaho gave Head Coach Jim Sollars win No. 500 for his career. Overall, he has a career record of 501-432.

  • Dollente now has 1,522 points in her career, ranking fifth on the school's all-time career list and is 20 points away from the fourth spot.

  • Portland has just one game this week, hosting Montana (12/19).
  • Overall Record: 7-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's had just one game last week, defeating Boise State, 83-72.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson was named WCC Co-Player of the Week after just missing out on her fourth triple-double of the year. She had 17 points (7-of-11), a career-high 15 blocks, and nine rebounds. The 15 blocks tied the WCC single game record set back in 1992.

  • SO Alex Carbonel set new career-highs pulling down 10 rebounds and handing out seven assists. SR Jontelle Smith scored a game-high 20 points, while sister, SO Jasmine Smith, added 18 points, on 9-of-14 shooting.

  • The Gaels have shot over 50 percent in the last three games and rank seventh in the country, having shot 48.7 percent on the season.

  • After opening the week with a 63-56 win at Seattle, the Gaels host Cal State Bakersfield (12/16), before playing at Northern Colorado (12/19).
  • Overall Record: 6-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego went 2-1 last week, defeating Cal State Fullerton, 64-58, and Long Beach State, 67-60, and falling to Northern Arizona, 62-58.

  • JR Sam Child led the team in scoring all three games, averaging 16.0 points per contest. She has only failed to reach double-figures in three games this season and is second on the team in scoring at 12.5ppg.

  • SO Dominique Conners nabbed two steals in each game and now has at least two steals in all but one game this season. She ranks second in the league with 35 on the season.

  • JR Emily Hatch averaged 10.0 rebounds over the week and ranks fifth in the league with 7.5 rpg and third in field goal percentage (.571).

  • The Toreros are off for the next two weeks and will return to host the annual Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Tournament against Nevada (12/28) and Cal/Boston College (12/30).
  • Overall Record: 4-8
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco split its games last week, defeating Pacific, 71-67, before falling to Cal Poly, 73-52.

  • SO Rheina Ale exploded for a career-high 25 points (24 in the second half) in the win over Pacific going a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5 from beyond the arc. She also went 8-of-10 from the line. She leads the league with 27 threes.

  • FR Mel Khlok had her first career double-double against the Tigers, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

  • JR Donnisha Taylor pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds in the loss to Cal Poly, for her second double figure rebounding game in her last three contests. She is now second in the league with 97 total boards on the season.

  • USF has just one game this week against Washington State (12/19).
  • Overall Record: 2-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara split its games last week, falling to Cal State Bakersfield, 78-76, before defeating Pacific, 74-69.

  • JR Lena Gipson had back-to-back double-doubles finishing with 14 points and 20 rebounds against Bakersfield and 11 points and 10 rebounds versus Pacific. It was the second time Gipson has pulled down 20 boards as a Bronco.

  • SO Alyssa Shoji totaled 31 points for the week, hitting three three-pointers in each game. She has now made at least three from beyond the arc in each of her last five games and is second in the league with 24 on the year.

  • After only reaching double figures once this season, FR Meagan Fulps has now done it in three straight games as she went for 20 against Bakersfield and 24 versus Pacific.

  • Santa Clara is on the road this week at Minnesota (12/16) and Boise State (12/19).