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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Dec. 29, 2009

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NON-CONFERENCE PLAY CONCLUDES THIS WEEK
Only a handful of games were played last week due to the holidays as the West Coast Conference heads into the final week of non-conference play. This week, the Toreros and Dons will play in the final tournaments of the non-conference season with San Diego hosting the Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic and San Francisco heading over to play in the Wildcat Holiday Classic. Also highlighting this week's slate of games are Pepperdine plays at No. 21 (AP) Kansas and Santa Clara goes to No. 21 (ESPN) West Virginia.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Robert Morris at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
4:00 PM
San Francisco at Villanova Villanova, PA
4:30 PM
Wildcat Holiday Classic
Nevada at San Diego San Diego, CA
6:00 PM
Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic
Loyola Marymount at UCLA Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Utah Valley Orem, UT
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Pacific Stockton, CA
7:00 PM
San Francisco vs. Drexel/Loyola (MD) Villanova, PA
TBA
Wildcat Holiday Classic
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at No. 21 Kansas Lawrence, KS
11:00 AM
Santa Clara at No. 21 West Virginia Morgantown, WV
4:00 PM
Seattle at LMU Los Angeles, CA
5:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
Cal/Boston College at San Diego San Diego, CA
8:00 PM
Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at BYU Provo, UT
1:00 PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 2
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
San Jose State at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 3
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Seattle Seattle, WA
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: Laiken Dollente, POR
Dollente was 10-for-17 from the field, 5-for-8 on three-pointers and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line en route to a season high in points to help the Pilots defeat Montana State 78-75. She also handed out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds during the win. It was the third time during her career to score at least 30 points as she mved up to No. 4 all-time on UP's career scoring chart with 1,566 career points.

Also nominated: Vivian Frieson, GON; Jontelle Smith, SMC

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: 10-4
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga had just one game last week, defeating UC Irvine, 96-57 at home.

  • SR Vivian Frieson scored 25 points (10-14), one shy of tying her career high, and brought down 11 boards, for her second double-double of the season.

  • SO Kayla Standish had her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

  • JR Courtney Vandersloot just missed out on a double-double with 10 points and eight assists and added four steals. Five Zags scored in double figures as the team shot 55.3 percent, the second best shooting percentage of the season.

  • The Zags have just one game this week, hosting UC Santa Barbara (12/30).
  • Overall Record: 6-7
    WCC Record:0-0
  • LMU had just one game last week, falling to San Diego State, 74-54, at home.

  • SO Alex Cwoling had her second best offensive outing of the season with 21 points (9-of-15), while adding five rebounds. In her last three games, she is averaging 18 points on 58.9 percent shooting.

  • JR Renahy Young snapped her streak of 11 straight games in double figures as she scored five points, while adding six assists.

  • To date, Young has scored 948 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 opened the week with a 73-52 loss at UCLA and will host Seattle (12/30).
  • Overall Record: 9-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine had just one game last week, defeating UC Irvine, 91-74, at home.

  • After averaging 4.8 points coming into the game, FR Shay Cooney-Williams went for a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

  • SO Jazmine Jackson scored a season-high 19 points, going 10-of-12 from the line, and added three steals.

  • SO Skye Barnett had her season-high of 14 points to go along with a game-high four steals. The Waves forced the Anteaters into 26 turnovers, which led to 30 points. Pepperdine is ranked 11th in the country in tunrover margin at +11.

  • Pepperdine is on the road this week and will play at No. 21 Kansas (12/30).
  • Overall Record: 9-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland had just one game last week, defeating Montana State, 78-75, at home. It is now the sixth straight win for the Pilots and the ninth in their last 10 games.

  • SR Laiken Dollente was instrumental in the close win earning herself her second WCC Player of the Week award. She went for 31 points (10-of-17), including 5-of-8 from downtown. She also added seven assists and five rebounds.

  • It's the third time Dollente has reached 30 points during her career and the first time since scoring 30 at San Francisco on Jan. 27, 2007. Dollente also moves up to No. 4 all-time on UP's career scoring chart with 1,566 career points and she's just 36 points shy of moving up to No. 3.

  • Portland is on the road to play Utah Valley (11/29), BYU (12/31), and Seattle (1/3).
  • Overall Record: 9-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's had its six game winning streak snapped, losing at UCLA, 83-58 in its sole game last week.

  • JR Louella Tomlinson finished in double-figures for the 12th straight game and was one rebound shy of a double-double ending up with 10 points and nine rebounds.

  • SR Jontelle Smith was the only other Gael in double figures with 14 points, and also hit three from downtown. She is hitting at a clip of .434 from beyond the arc and has a league-leading 36 three-pointers on the season.

  • Tomlinson is among the league leaders in several categories. She is first in field goal percentage (.622), first in blocks (6.7), second in scoring (16.5), and second in rebounding (9.8).

  • The Gaels have just one game this week, playing at Pacific (12/29).
  • Overall Record: 7-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego had the last couple weeks off, and began the week with a 72-60 win over Nevada in its own Maggie Dixon Surf N Slam Classic.

  • JR Sam Child had a career game in the win. She finished with career-highs of 28 points (9-of-18) and six steals.

  • SO Dominique Conners and SR Morgan Henderson were the other two Toreros in double figures finishing with 19 and 10 points respectively. Both also hit a couple of three-pointers each.

  • JR Nya Mason tied a career-high eight points and had a career-high three blocks in just 17 minutes off the bench.

  • The Toreros advance to the championship game of the tournament (12/30) against the winner of the Cal and Boston College game.
  • Overall Record: 4-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco had just one game last week, falling to No. 3 Tennessee, 89-34 at home.

  • The game was played in front of 3,255 fans at War Memorial Gym. The game marked the third time the Dons have hosted a top-5, nationally-ranked team on the Hilltop. The Dons are now 2-5 at home against ranked teams since 1995.

  • SO Rheina Ale was the only Don in double figures with 11 points, three assists and a rebound. She also hit three from beyond the arc.

  • The 3,255 in attendance were the most under a Tanya Haave coached team.

  • USF opened the week with a 67-35 loss to Villanova at the Wildcat Holiday Classic. It will now face the winner of Drexel/Loyola (MD) (12/29).
  • Overall Record: 2-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara had just one game last week, falling to Cal Poly, 63-55, at home.

  • JR Lena Gipson tied the league-lead with her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. She is now the only player in the league averaging a double-double with averages of 13.5 points and 10.3 rebounds. Her rebounding average ranks 29th in the country.

  • FR Meagan Fulps has been on a tear lately. After only averaging 6.5 points in her first six games, she is now averaging 11.1 points and has had double-figures in each of her last six contests. She has also led the team in scoring in three of the last five games.

  • Santa Clara opened the week with a 57-56 heartbreaking loss to Robert Morris and will play at No. 21 West Virginia (12/30), before hosting San Jose State (1/2).