Lions Seek to Avenge Loss in Rematch With San Francisco

Feb. 1, 2012

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The Lions conclude their three-game West Coast Conference road swing on Thursday, Feb. 2, traveling to face San Francisco at War Memorial Gym. LMU will seek to avenge a 61-59 home loss to the Dons from earlier this season when the teams tip off at 7 p.m. in San Francisco.

LMU claimed its second win in its last three outings, holding on for a 68-60 win at Portland on Jan. 28. Alex Cowling led the Lions with 30 points and Hazel Ramirez chipped in 11 as the team overcame a slow start offensively. After opening the game 1-for-18 from the field, LMU went 7-for-9 over a four-minute span to take a 22-10 lead over the Pilots. The Lions were able to stretch that to as many as 14 before taking a 35-22 lead into the break. The Lions held what seemed like a comfortable 12-point lead with 5:40 to play, but the Pilots were not finished, cutting the spread to four with just under three minutes remaining. But Ramirez, Taylor Anderson and Cowling each sank a pair of free throws in the final 60 seconds as the Lions held on for the win.

LMU holds a 28-31 all-time record against San Francisco, including a 15-12 record in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions have had the majority of their success against the Dons in recent years, including winning five of the last six meetings and going 15-3 since 2004. The Lions swept last year's series by an average of 26.5 points. The teams last met on Dec. 31 of this season, with San Francisco escaping with a 61-59 win at Gersten Pavilion. Danielle Pruitt led LMU with a career-high 14 points, including a layup with 2.3 seconds remaining that brought the Lions to within two. But after LMU forced a five second call on the Dons' ensuing inbound, Ashley Lovett's game-winning attempt was blocked. The game marks the only time this season that the Lions have lost after holding the lead at halftime.

San Francisco is 4-18 on the season and tied with LMU for sixth in the WCC at 2-7. Since the Lions and Dons met on Dec. 31, USF has gone 1-6, pulling out an upset win over Saint Mary's on a buzzer-beating layup. Rheina Ale leads USF with 14 ppg on the season and 13.3 ppg in conference play. The Dons average 62.5 ppg and shoot 36.5 percent from the field while their opponents average 72.5 ppg and shoot at a nearly 42 percent clip. The Dons also struggle on the boards, pulling down 8.9 fewer rebounds per game than their opponents. That number has increased to 13.2 per game in WCC play.

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. 29, Cowling ranks No. 12 in points per game (21.3), No. 24 in double-doubles (9), No. 51 in free throw percentage (84.4) and No. 81 in rebounds per game (8.7).

A 30-point effort against Portland on Jan. 28 brought Alex Cowling's career scoring total to 1,510 - good for fourth place in the LMU all-time record book. She recently surpassed current Associate Head Coach Lynn Flanagan (1988-91) who finished her career with 1,436 points. Cowling is 152 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 (17.4 ppg), No. 7 in total rebounds (633), No. 5 in rebounding average (7.3 rpg), No. 3 in field goals (574), No. 4 in field-goal percentage (.485), No. 6 in total free throws (291) and No. 2 in free-throw percentage (.813).

While redshirt junior Alex Cowling continues her run at the LMU career-scoring mark, she is also edging closer to her own single-season scoring mark. As a sophomore in 2009-10, Cowling poured in 526 points, claiming the LMU single-season scoring mark from Kate Murray (492 points, 2003-04). Through 21 games this season, Cowling has 448 points and sits just 78 points from her own record. With seven games remaining on the regular season schedule, plus the guarantee of at least one WCC Tournament game, Cowling needs to average less than 10 ppg over that eight-game span to meet her mark.

LMU's Jan. 21 win over Santa Clara was No. 350 all-time for head coach Julie Wilhoit. Wilhoit is in her 17th season with the Lions and 24th season overall as a head coach. The majority (229) of those 350 victories have come at LMU where she has recorded two 20-plus win seasons, 13 double-digit win seasons and nine seasons of .500 or above.

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.

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.

Alex Cowling is racking up the double-double performances, tallying her ninth such performances of the season on Jan. 26 at then No. 20 Gonzaga. Earlier in the season she recorded five consecutive double-doubles and currently ranks No. 20 in the nation in the category.

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.

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.

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 included 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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