Lions Host Santa Clara in Centennial Celebration Game

Jan. 20, 2012

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Its a Centennial Celebration for LMU on Saturday, Jan. 21 when the Lions host WCC rival Santa Clara. The 5 p.m. tip-off in Gersten Pavilion will feature LMU decals handed out to the first 100 LMU students, as well as gold LMUat100 t-shirts being tossed into the stands throughout the game.

A second-half rally that saw the Lions climb to within four of visiting BYU, fell short as a cold shooting spell down the stretch allowed the Cougars to pull away in a 72-48 final Thursday. Alex Cowling led the Lions with 14 points and eight rebounds. Hazel Ramirez added 11 points while Courtney Collishaw chipped in seven. An old-fashion three-point play by Cowling gave the Lions a 9-7 lead five minutes into the game. But in near déjà vu fashion to the match-up exactly two weeks ago in Provo, BYU proceeded to reel off 17 consecutive points, opening up a 24-9 advantage with 8:35 remaining. Unlike their last meeting, however, LMU did not let things get out of control and a Melinda Gomez lay-up with 43 seconds on the clock sent LMU into the locker room down just 11, 31-20. LMU came quickly out the gates in the second half, cutting the spread to seven less than four minutes in. A pair of crafty assists by freshman Taylor Anderson midway through the period brought the Lions to within four, 41-37. But the Cougars pulled away late, outscoring LMU 31-9 in the final 9:25.

Santa Clara holds a sizeable edge over LMU in the all-time series, 41-18, but the Lions have had the upper hand in recent years, winning nine of the last 13 meetings. LMU was riding a five-game win streak over the Broncos from 2009-10, until Santa Clara claimed a pair of tight victories last year. The Broncos clinched a come-from-behind 77-73 win at the Leavey Center, followed by a 56-49 win in Gersten Pavilion.

Santa Clara holds an 8-10 overall record and 1-4 mark in WCC play following am 81-68 loss to No. 25 Gonzaga on Thursday night at the Leavey Center. Alyssa Shoji led the Broncos with 17 points, including five treys, while Lindsay Leo had 14 and Ashley Armstrong chipped in 12. Santa Clara continues to reign as one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation, ranking No. 7 in three-point field goal percentage (38.6) and No. 9 in three-point field goals per game (8.0). Shoji ranks No. 2 nationally with 3.7 three-point field goals per game and No. 3 for hitting at a 48.9 percent clip. She leads her squad with 16.3 ppg while Ruta Zurauskte (12.8) and Meagan Fulps (11.1) also average double figures. The Broncos have fared much better at home than on the road this season, going just 2-5 away from the Leavey Center.

Game in and game out, Alex Cowling continues her assault on nearly every category in the LMU record book and her numbers this season put her among the nation's best in a handful of categories. In games through Jan. 19, Cowling ranks No. 12 in points per game (20.8), No. 21 in double-doubles (8), No. 56 in free throw percentage (84.2) and No. 81 in rebounds per game (8.7).

Alex Cowling was named the WCC Women's Basketball Player of the Month for December after averaging 22.5 points and 8.8 rebounds during LMU's eight games that month. She began the month with her first of three 30-plus point efforts, pouring in 31 in a 57-54 win at New Mexico. She recorded five consecutive double-doubles that began with a 30-point, 11-rebound effort in a win over Sacramento State and ended with a 32-point, 12-rebound finish against Saint Mary's. Her 32 points against the Gaels was also a career-high. She shot 46 percent from the field and 56.6 percent from three and also closed out the month of December riding a streak of 26 consecutive made free throws.

A 14-point effort against BYU on Jan. 19 brought Alex Cowling's career scoring total to 1,436 - moving her into a tie for fourth place in the LMU all-time record book. She sits equal to current Associate Head Coach Lynn Flanagan (1988-91)who finished her career with 1,436 points. Cowling is 226 points off the all-time career record of 1,662 held by Bryn Britton (1998-02). Cowling's next hurdle is former teammate Renahy Young (2007-10) who sits in third place with 1,562 points.

Alex Cowling is also moving up the ranks in a number of additional career statistical categories. She currently ranks No. 1 in scoring average (17.1 ppg), No. 7 in total rebounds (607), No. 5 in rebounding average (7.2 rpg), No. 3 in field goals (550), No. 4 in field-goal percentage (.491), No. 7 in total free throws (273) and No. 3 in free-throw percentage (.810).

Beginning with her final attempt on Dec. 10 versus Portland State, Alex Cowling hit 38 consecutive free throws before finally missing her first attempt on Jan. 12 at San Diego. Looking to begin a new streak, she went on to hit her next three free throws in the game.

The West Coast Conference will feature its women's basketball coaches with weekly 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 submitting 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 will visit Gonzaga 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Wave currently lead the Lions, 5.5-3.5, 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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