Lions Travel to New WCC Member BYU, Host Gonzaga

Jan. 3, 2012



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LMU opens the New Year with its first ever trip to Provo, Utah, to take on the WCC's newest member - BYU. The teams face off in the Marriot Center on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. MT/ 4 p.m. PT. The Lions make a quick return to Los Angeles to host Gonzaga on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.

The Lions came up just short in a pair of close games in their West Coast Conference opening weekend, falling 82-72 to Saint Mary's and 61-59 to San Francisco. Against the Gaels, Alex Cowling tallied a career-high 32 points to go along with 12 rebounds for her fifth consecutive double-double. But, despite winning the second half and shooting 50 percent from the field in that 20-minute span, the Lions could not overcome an 11-point first-half deficit. Against the Dons, a nine-point run by the visitor turned a five-point LMU lead into a four-point USF lead with under a minute to play and the Lions could not complete the rally back as the potential game-tying shot was blocked away as time expired. Freshman Danielle Pruitt had a breakout game with a career-high 14 points. Cowling added 13 points, Monica DeAngelis had 10 and Mackenzie Kerins pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds.

The Lions and Cougars have met just twice all-time, the last meeting coming on Dec. 4, 1999, in Lawrence, Kan., as part of the Jayhawk Commerce Bank Classic. BYU won that meeting, 59-49, and also won the first meeting between the two squads, 76-54, in 1996. Thursday's game marks the first time the teams will face off as conference opponents as the Cougars joined the WCC in the fall of 2011.

BYU was riding a 10-game win streak before dropping its WCC opener, 54-48, at Saint Mary's. The Cougars bounced back to claim a 79-53 win at Portland and enter Thursday's game against LMU with a 12-3 overall record and 1-1 conference mark. The Cougars feature a very balanced attack, led by Kim Parker's 12.1 ppg. Kristen Riley and Lexi Eaton chip in 9.5 and 9.4 ppg, respectively. Riley also leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 per game. BYU averages just over 72 ppg while holding opponents to 57.1 ppg. They have nearly doubled up their opponents on made three-pointers with 100 in 15 games (opponents have a collective 58 treys).

The Lions are 22-30 all-time against Gonzaga. LMU has fared much better in the friendly confines of Gersten Pavilion, holding a 15-11 mark on its home court. The Bulldogs have reigned over the WCC in recent years and have won the last seven meetings with the Lions, dating back to the 2008-09 season. LMU's last win over Gonzaga was a 75-60 final on Feb. 7, 2008.

Gonzaga will be LMU's first game against a ranked opponent this season as it enters the week ranked No. 24 in the Jan. 2 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs enter the week 12-2 overall and 1-0 in WCC with an 80-65 win over Portland. The Zags, who play at Pepperdine on Thursday, currently carry a seven-game win streak. A trio of players average double-figures, including Kayla Standish (15.2 ppg), Haiden Palmer (12.9 ppg) and Katelan Redmon (12.6 ppg), while Kelly Bowen nearly makes a fourth at 9.6 ppg. Gonzaga shoots a stellar 45.4 percent from the field and outrebounds opponents by six boards per game.

Alex Cowling went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line on Dec. 17 versus UTEP and has not missed since. She has now made 26 consecutive free throws dating back to the Dec. 10 game versus Portland State. In the Lions last six games, Cowling has missed just one shot from the charity stripe, going 31-for-32 during that span

Perhaps inspired by the four top career three-point shooters in LMU history (Renahy Young, Lisa Helmers, Amanda Patton and Rachael Ziemann) sitting courtside on Dec. 19, Monica DeAngelis sank an LMU record-tying seven three's on her way to a career-high 27 points against Cal Poly. She joins Patton and Ziemann atop the program's single-game three-point field goal list.

Alex Cowling is racking up the double-double performances, tallying her eighth such performances of the season on Dec. 29 against Saint Mary's. The 32-point, 12-rebound outing against the Gaels also served as her fifth consecutive double-double. That streak was snapped two days later when Cowling finished with 13 points and six rebounds against San Francisco..

LMU's 57-54 win over New Mexico on Dec. 1 was the first ever against the Lobos on their home court, breaking a four-game losing streak at The Pit. In addition, a handful of Lions tied or broke career-records in a variety of statistical categories. None was more impressive than Alex Cowling tying her career-high of 31 points, of 12-of-21 shooting. The redshirt junior also tied her career-high with four three-pointers and set a new high in steals with five. Guards Hazel Ramirez and Courtney Collishaw both set career marks with six assists apiece while Collishaw added a career-high eight rebounds.

A 14-point effort against San Francisco on Dec. 31 brought Alex Cowling's career scoring total to 1,355 - good for fifth place in the LMU all-time record book. She is 307 points off the all-time career record of 1,662 held by Bryn Britton (1998-02). But before Cowling reaches that mark, her first hurdle is to jump into the No. 4 position, held by current Associate Head Coach Lynn Flanagan (1,436 points, 1988-91).

Alex Cowling is also moving up the ranks in a number of additional career statistical categories. She currently ranks No. 1 in scoring average (16.9 ppg), No. 8 in total rebounds (580), No. 5 in rebounding average (7.3 rpg), No. 4 in field goals (521), No. 3 in field-goal percentage (.499), No. 7 in total free throws (256) and No. 3 in free-throw percentage (.805).

Alex Cowling was named to the five-member DoubleTree Los Angeles Westside Thanksgiving Classic all-tournament team, marking the fourth consecutive time she has received the honor. Cowling led the Lions by averaging 17.5 points and 14 rebounds over the two games and was instrumental down the stretch of the Consolation Game against Wyoming, leading LMU to its first win of the season. Her 17 rebounds against Youngstown State were one shy of the all-time tournament record and a personal career-high for the redshirt junior.

The West Coast Conference will feature its women's basketball coaches with weeky live-chats on Each week throughout the conference season, head to our website for an exclusive live-chat with a different WCC women's basketball head coach. Fans are encouraged to take part by subitting questions at The first chat will take place on Tuesday, January 3 at 12 p.m. PT and each live-chat thereafter will be every Monday at 12 p.m. PT. LMU Head Coach Julie Wilhoit will be featured on Monday, February 6.

The West Coast Conference and CBS Sports Network announced that two WCC women's basketball games will air nationally this season. The University of Portland at the University of San Diego will be televised on January 19, 2012 with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT. Loyola Marymount University will visit Gonzaga University the following week on January 26, 2012 with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT. CBS Sports Network can be found on cable and satellite providers nationwide, including DIRECTV channel 613 and DISH Network channel 152.

Cowling, a redshirt junior for the Lions, was the only non-senior named to the 10-member Preseason All-WCC team. The WCC Newcomer of the Year in 2008-09 and a first team All-WCC selection in 2009-10, the Benicia, Calif., native was leading LMU in scoring at 22.5 ppg in 2010-11 before suffering an injury just six games in. Despite that setback, she currently ranks No. 1 in LMU's record book for career scoring average (16.1 ppg) and No. 10 in career points (1,062). Back to full strength, Cowling will be the prime catalyst to the Lions' success this season.

For the second consecutive season the LMU women's basketball team has been selected fourth in the West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. The Lions received 36 points in a vote by the nine WCC head coaches. Reigning WCC champion Gonzaga was selected as the favorite to win the WCC title in 2011-12, earning 64 points and eight of the nine possible first-place votes. Conference newcomer BYU was selected to finish second, earning 52 points and one first-place vote, while Pepperdine was selected to finish third (50 points). Saint Mary's (fifth, 34 points), Portland (sixth, 32 points), San Diego (seventh, 26 points), Santa Clara (eighth, 22 points) and San Francisco (ninth, 8 points) rounded out the preseason poll.

LMU is celebrating its Centennial in 2011-12 and athletics will honor the anniversary all season long. LMUat100 will feature a Centennial Game for each of the varsity programs, which includes women's basketball on Dec. 4 against UCLA and Jan. 21 against Santa Clara. For more information, visit

Separated by 19.1 miles of scenic coastline, longtime cross-town adversaries Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine have come together in an effort to boost their decades-long rivalry with the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Challenge. The series, which is in its third year, serves as an annual scorecard for the NCAA-sponsored athletic contests between the Lions and Waves, and challenges each institution to rise above the other within the West Coast Conference. LMU and Pepperdine will be represented by over 12 of their intercollegiate athletic teams through both regular and post-season competitions over the course of the academic calendar. Any head-to-head competition, including matches in the post-season and tournaments throughout the year, will be counted toward the scoring and added to the scorecard as they occur. For the sports in which the two teams do not meet head-to-head, the teams will battle for points that will be awarded on the basis of overall finish at their respective post-season championships. The Waves have won each of the first two competitions, and currently lead the Lions, 4.5-0, in 2011-12. To learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit:

The 2012 West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships return to the bright lights of Las Vegas and Orleans Arena on February twenty-ninth through March fifth as 18 teams battle for two tickets to the NCAA Tournament. Visit today for complete championship and ticket information.

Fans can watch all LMU home games live on the internet through Lions All-Access on In conjunction with CBS Online, All-Access is the official home to video broadcasts of LMU Athletics. Lions' All-Access will bring all non-televisied home games for men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball. To subscribe to All-Access, click on the "Multimedia" tab on

Once again, in conjunction with Stretch Internet, all LMU home and road games will be broadcast live online at Just click on the "Listen Live" link on the women's basketball home page, then click on "Listen" or "Archive" next to the game of your choice. All broadcasts will be archived within 72 hours of their original airing and will include both the 15-minute pre-game show and post-game interviews.

Log on to for all the latest info on the Lions, including updated schedules, rosters, player bios, and more. Don't forget to also sign up to follow the Lions on Facebook ( and Twitter ( Additionally, LMU women's basketball now has its own Facebook page, which can be found at Coach Julie Wilhoit also will be on Twitter this year - find her at


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