The Lions will suit up in their home whites for the final time in the 2011-12 season, hosting WCC opponent San Diego on Thursday, Feb. 16. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.
LMU will bid farewell to a trio of seniors prior to Thursday's final home game in Gersten Pavilion. Fifth-year seniors Courtney Collishaw and Candice Nichols, along with redshirt junior Monica DeAngelis, who will graduate this spring, will be honored in a brief ceremony prior to the Lions' 7 p.m. tip off.
LIONS' LAST LINE Alex Cowling scored a game-high 31 points and freshman Ashley Lovett added a career-high 11 off the bench, but the Portland Pilots hit 67 percent from the field in the second half and LMU fell 80-63. Struggling to find her mark in the first half, Cowling heated up in the second, going 7-for-13 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. It was the sixth time this season Cowling reached the 30-point mark and third in the past five games. Both teams were cold in the opening minutes of play, but the Pilots found the answer first, jumping out to a 15-2 lead at the 12:06 mark. The Lions found difficulty working the ball inside against the Pilots 2-3 zone and settled for long-range shots instead. But they hit just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc in the half and managed just six field goals total to trail Portland 33-22 at the half. Things didn't get much better for LMU in the second half as Portland opened up a 21-point lead, 51-30, seven minutes in and pushed that to as many as 23 before settling for the final 17-point spread.
HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS SAN DIEGO
LMU holds a 27-35 all-time record against San Diego following an 80-58 loss to the Toreros on Jan. 12. Hazel Ramirez had a game-high 20 points and Alex Cowling added 17, but the Lions could not slow their hot-shooting opponent, which opened the game by hitting its first eight field goals and eight free throws on their way to a 45-27 halftime lead. San Diego currently holds a three-game winning streak against LMU after taking two of three meetings last season.
ABOUT THE SAN DIEGO TOREROS
San Diego sits at 18-6 overall and 9-3 in WCC, good for third place. The Toreros earned a pair of wins last week, 74-63 over San Francisco and 56-46 at Pepperdine. A trio of players average double figures for USD, including Dominique Conners (16 ppg), Morgan Woodrow (14 ppg) and Amy Kame (11.4 ppg). The Toreros lead the league in scoring defense, allowing just 55.1 ppg and holding opponents to 34 percent from the field.
COWLING CLOSING IN ON CAREER SCORING RECORD
A 31-point effort versus Portland on Feb. 11 brought Alex Cowling's career scoring total to 1,620, moving her just 42 points off the all-time career record of 1,662 held by Bryn Britton (1998-02). With three regular-season games remaining, plus one guaranteed WCC Tournament game, Cowling needs to average 10.5 ppg to match Britton's record.
COWLING ECLIPSES HER OWN SINGLE-SEASON SCORING RECORD
With her final basket in a 22-point effort at Santa Clara on Feb. 9, redshirt junior Alex Cowling eclipsed her own LMU single-season scoring record of 526 points. Her 2011-12 season total now sits at 558 with three regular-season games remaining. Cowling set the previous school record during her sophomore season in 2009-10. She then saw action in just six games last year due to a foot injury, but returned to full force this winter.
RECORD BOOK WATCH Alex Cowling is also moving up the ranks in a number of additional career statistical categories. She currently ranks No. 1 in scoring average (17.8 ppg), No. 5 in total rebounds (667), No. 5 in rebounding average (7.3 rpg), No. 2 in field goals (612), No. 4 in field-goal percentage (.484), No. 10 in thee pointers (78), No. 3 in total free throws (318) and No. 2 in free-throw percentage (.815).
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 Feb. 12, Cowling ranks No. 8 in points per game (22.3), No. 46 in free throw percentage (84.4) and No. 76 in rebounds per game (8.7).
COLLISHAW SUFFERS SEASON-ENDING KNEE INJURY Courtney Collishaw suffered a season-ending knee injury in LMU's game against Pepperdine on Monday, Feb. 6. The senior guard was sidelined just five minutes into the game after going down with what was later determined to be a torn ACL. Collishaw was averaging 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game this season and had become a key role player and court leader during her final collegiate season.
LEADING AT THE HALF
The Lions' play in the first half has proven to be key to the final outcome of each game this season. LMU has held the lead at halftime in nine games this season, seven of which resulted in victory. With seven wins on the season, it has been the near deciding factor of the Lions' success. Only twice have they relinquished a halftime lead and suffered a loss - their Dec. 31, 61-59 loss to San Francisco and their Feb. 9, 61-57 loss at Santa Clara.
350 FOR WILHOIT
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 came at LMU where she has recorded two 20-plus win seasons, 13 double-digit win seasons and nine seasons of .500 or above.
FREE THROW STREAK SNAPPED
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.
WCC DECEMBER PLAYER OF THE MONTH 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.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE 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.
RECORD-SETTING GAME IN ALBUQUERQUE
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.
WCC HOSTS WEEKLY ON-LINE LIVE CHATS
The West Coast Conference will feature its women's basketball coaches with weekly live-chats on WCCsports.com. 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 WCCsports.com. 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 was featured on Monday, February 6. The archived transcript is available at WCCsports.com.
COWLING EARNS ALL-TOURNEY HONORS 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 NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC
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 enters the season 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.
LMU SELECTED FOURTH IN PRESEASON WCC COACHES POLL
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 LMULions.com/LMUat100.
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, 8.5-5.5, in 2011-12. To learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit: http://www.lmulions.com/trads/PCH-Cup.html.
2012 ZAPPOS.COM WCC CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO VEGAS
The 2012 Zappos.com 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 WCCSports.com today for complete championship and ticket information.
Fans can watch all LMU home games live on the internet through Lions All-Access on www.LMULions.com. 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 www.LMULions.com.
LIONS AUDIO NETWORK
Once again, in conjunction with Stretch Internet, all LMU home and road games will be broadcast live online at www.LMULions.com. 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.
FOLLOW THE LIONS ONLINE
Log on to www.LMULions.com 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 (Facebook.com/LMULions) and Twitter (Twitter.com/LMULions). Additionally, LMU women's basketball now has its own Facebook page, which can be found at www.Facebook.com/LMUWomensHoops. Coach Julie Wilhoit also will be on Twitter this year - find her at www.twitter.com/CoachJules.