Jan. 4, 2006
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The Lions, picked to finish first in the West Coast Conference, open conference action this weekend on a three game winning streak. Last year LMU started WCC play with a sweep against San Francisco and San Diego on the road, and looks to do it again this year. All games will be broadcast live on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.
The Lions earned the tournament title at the Blue Sky Restaurant Group Classic, hosted by Dartmouth, last week. LMU used strong defense to pick up wins against Lafayette and host Dartmouth en route to the tournament victory.
Amanda Patton scored 14 points to lead LMU to a 68-58 win over Lafayette in the first round. The Lions held a 36-27 lead at halftime, and held strong when the Leopards mounted a second half charge. LMU's last seven points came on free throws in the final three minutes of the game, but the Lion defense did not allow Lafayette to get any closer than four points. Ashlee Dunlap added 12 points in the victory.
LMU held Dartmouth to its season-low shooting percentage of 34.0% in the 55-46 win over the Big Green in the championship game. The inside combination of Valerie Ogoke and Jevay Grooms helped LMU control the paint, and LMU's guards limited Dartmouth's Jennie Cullen to just nine points. Cullen was leading the nation in three-pointers made per game heading into the tournament. Patton was named to the All-Tournament team after adding another eight points in the title game, and Amanda DeCoud was named the MVP of the Tournament. DeCoud was LMU's most consistent player, contributing 8 assists, 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals in the two games.
LMU's combination of Amanda Patton, Amanda DeCoud and Ashlee Dunlap has been unstoppable over the last six games. All three players are averaging over nine points per game (13.0, 10.2, 9.8, respectively) and have been dominating in their specialties. Patton has made 43.6% of three-pointers attempted, and has averaged almost three per game in the six game span. DeCoud is averaging 3.7 assists and 3.0 steals over the last six games and is shooting over 51% from the field. Dunlap controls the boards, and averaged almost nine rebounds per game over that span. The trio has helped LMU to a 5-1 record over those six games.
Dunlap Earns WCC Honor Again
Ashlee Dunlap used a pair of double doubles to double her WCC Player of the Week total, earning the weekly honor for the second time after leading LMU to a split against Rice and Cal Poly. She started the week with a 13 point, 10 rebound performance against Rice, and finished the week with a career-high 17 points against Cal Poly. She had 11 rebounds against the Mustangs for her WCC-leading fifth double double of the season. Dunlap has led LMU in rebounding in all but one game this season.
Big West Champs?
Four of LMU's six wins this season came against teams from the Big West. Interestingly, LMU's biggest win of the season was over the 2005 Big West Champion, UC Santa Barbara. The Lions defeated the Gauchos by 27 points. Amanda Patton averaged 16.3 points against Big West opponents, hitting 57.7% of her three-point attempts. LMU averaged 79 points against the Big West, and allowed just 63.5 points per game.
The Numbers Game
Sometimes, numbers don't tell the entire story.
LMU's 6-7 record that does not reflect how the team has been performing. LMU's non-conference schedule was one of the toughest in school history, and the Lions have kept the score close in almost every game.
Did you know:
Every one of LMU's seven losses was to a team that won at least 20 games last year?
Four of the teams that LMU has faced this year advanced to at least the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament?
Eight of the teams that LMU has played participated in a national post-season tournament?
Every team that has beaten LMU finished in the top half of its conference last year?
LMU has played five games against teams in the top 10 toughest conferences?
LMU has faced three teams ranked in the top 25?
LMU has defeated two 2005 conference champions?
Amanda Patton for Three!!
Junior guard Amanda Patton put on a show for the fans in Long Beach on December 17th, making virtually every basket she attempted. What was even more impressive was that all eight of her field goal attempts were from three-point range. She made seven of those attempts, tying Rachael Ziemann's LMU single game record for three-pointers made. In addition, her field goal percentage (.875) ranks 9th in school single game history. She finished with a career-high 29 points. Just as important, she made six free throws in the final 26 seconds of the game to secure the 81-72 win.
Wilhoit Named To Hall of Fame
LMU Head Coach Julie Wilhoit has been selected as a member of the 2006 class of the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame. The Osgood, Indiana, native will be honored during the Ripley County basketball tournament in Indiana (represented by her parents) on January 7th, and then will be honored again on April 8th at a Hall of Fame baquet. Wilhoit is a 1981 graduate of Jac-Cen-Del High School.
Dunlap's Double Doubles
Ashlee Dunlap leads the conference in double doubles, and has been an outstanding addition to the Lion lineup. She recorded a double double in her first LMU game (14 points, 12 rebounds), and added another double double at Weber State (11 points, 12 rebounds). She added her third against USC, leading all players in scoring and rebounding with 15 points and 11 rebounds. She had a pair of double doubles against Rice (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Cal Poly (17 points, 11 rebounds) en route to earning WCC Player of the Week honors for the second time. The junior transfer from San Diego State leads the Lions and is second in the conference in rebounds, averaging 9.6 boards per game.
Patton Earns Monthly Honor
Amanda Patton was named the LMU/Enterprise Student-Athlete of the Month for November, as chosen by the LMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was one of LMU's top offensive threats in the first four games of the season, averaging 11.5 points per game. Patton scored in double digits in the first three games, breaking her career-high for points in the first (15 points) and second (18 points) games of the year. She scored a then-career-high 18 points to help LMU to a 93-73 win over UC Irvine. She was 5-for-7 from the field and all of her field goals were three-pointers. Her five three-pointers against UC Irvine puts her in the top 10 single game performance list. Has also contributed in other areas, leading the team in assists with 8, and adding three steals.
After mixing up the starting lineup in the first few games, the Lions have settled on the same starting five for the last six games. That lineup seems to be working, as LMU is 5-1 over that stretch. Bianca Ziemann, Amanda Patton and Jenni Smith have started at the guard spots, and Bronwyn Evans and Ashlee Dunlap have started in the post.
Dunlap Earns WCC Honor
Ashlee Dunlap was been named the WCC Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 5-11. Dunlap averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds on the week, and recorded her WCC-leading third double double of the season. Her play was instrumental against #24 USC, and she helped LMU cruise to a victory over UC Santa Barbara. Dunlap started off the week well, leading all players in scoring and rebounding against #24 USC. She finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 50% from the field. Dunlap played just 19 minutes of LMU's 79-52 blowout over UC Santa Barbara, and contributed eight points and again led all players with seven rebounds.
Climbing the Charts
Senior Rachael Ziemann had the most three pointers in LMU single season history last year, making 63 long range shots in 2004-05. She has 112 career three pointers, and is now alone in second place for the most three-pointers in school history. The LMU career record for three pointers of 118 was set by Bryn Britton in 1998-2002. Ziemann is nowseven away from breaking that record.
One for the Record Books
LMU's 93-73 win over UC Irvine was one of for the Lion record books. The 93 points was the seventh highest point total in school history, and the most points scored since LMU scored 94 points against Gonzaga on February 5, 2000. In addition, Amanda Patton added her name to the single-game record list, making five three-pointers for 18 points. The five treys ties for fifth place on the single game list.
One for the Record Books- Part 2
Several more marks were made to the LMU single game records in the 81-72 win at Long Beach State. Amanda Patton tied the single game record for three-pointers made when she was 7-for-8 from long range. She tied the mark that Rachael Ziemann set last year. In addition, her .875 field goal percentage ranks 9th in single game history. Finally, the team made 11 three-pointers (Patton 7, R. Ziemann 3, DeCoud 1) which is the second most in program history. The 11 threes were just one off the mark of 12 set in 2003. Interestingly, 8 of the 12 three pointers made in that game were made by players on this year's team (Patton, Smith and R. Ziemann).
The season opening games have really shown how deep and balanced LMU's team is this season. In the 93-73 win over UC Irvine, five players scored in double digits, and no player had more than five field goals. Every healthy player saw playing time, with just one person playing more than 24 minutes, and only four playing more than 20 minutes. At least 10 players have appeared in the last seven games.
Rachael Ziemann was named to the All-Tournament team at the LMU/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. It is the second career All-Tournament honor for Rachael (2004 WCC All-Tournament Team), but the Ziemanns have been a fixture in All-Tournament teams. Last year, Bianca Ziemann was named to the All-Tournament team at the LMU Thanksgiving Tournament, and in 2003-04, Bianca was named to two All-Tournament teams. Tournament time means Ziemann time.
About San Diego
The Toreros finished 5-8 in non-conference action, and have won two of their last three games. USD's last win was a 78-48 win over UC Irvine on Monday night. Tiara Harris led the team with 23 points against the Anteaters, and averages a team-leading 11.2 points per game. Michelle Augustavo averages 9.7 points per game, and broke the USD scoring record when she scored 42 points against Clemson. Guard Ashley Voisinet leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game. Head Coach Cindy Fisher is in her first year with the Toreros.
About San Francisco
The Dons are 4-9 on the year and have lost their last three games heading into conference action. USF is averaging just 51 points in its last three games. 2005 WCC Newcomer of the Year Dominique Carter leads the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game, and Nickie Warren is averaging 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Lions Top Preseason Poll
LMU was chosen as the favorite to claim the WCC women's basketball title in the 2005-06 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Lions, who posted a 16-13 overall record last season and a 9-5 mark in conference play to finish in second place, will be seeking their second WCC championship in the last three years. The Lions received 59 points in the poll, including four first place votes, to edge defending champion Gonzaga. Santa Clara, the 2005 WCC Tournament champion, was picked third and received the remaining first place vote. Pepperdine, which returns six letterwinners, and Saint Mary's, which returns eight letterwinners, tied for the No. 4 spot with 36 points. San Francisco was selected sixth with 25 points, followed by San Diego with 21 points and Portland with 12 points. Additionally, LMU guard Rachael Ziemann was named one of the top returning players in the WCC.
The Lions open home conference action on Thursday, January 12th, hosting Portland at 7:00pm. LMU will then host Gonzaga on Saturday at 2:00pm.
Lions On TV
Two LMU games are scheduled to be on TV this season. LMU at Pepperdine on January 28th will be broadcast on Fox Sports West 2 as part of the WCC package. When LMU hosts Pepperdine, CSTV will broadcast the game. To accomodate this broadcast, the game time has been moved to 5:00pm. Please note the change.
Lions Down Under
LMU started its season a few months early and few miles away from Los Angeles when the Lions took a 10 day tour of Australia in May. The team toured the country, playing five games, and visiting Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Transfers Ashlee Dunlap and Sara Brown wore the LMU jersey for the first time, and the team was able to practice for 10 days in the spring before the trip.
For the third straight year, every LMU women's basketball game will be broadcast live on LMU's website at www.LMULions.com. This year, LMU has teamed up with CSTV to provide Lions' All-Access. In addition to audio for all games, streaming video will be available for all LMU home games. Angie Kiel and Patrick Duggan return for the second year as the voices of the Lions to provide play by play, along with insight and analysis for every Lion broadcast. Check www.LMULions.com for more information on Lions' All-Access.