Lions Face Dons in WCC Championship Opener

Feb. 28, 2012

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The Lions look to make a run in the 2012 West Coast Conference Championship this week, opening tournament play on Wednesday, Feb. 29 against San Francisco. LMU drew the #9 seed while the Dons are the #8 seed. Tip off at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas is set for 3:00 p.m.

2012 marks the 31st year of the WCC Women's Basketball Tournament and the fourth straight year that the championships are being held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas... the #9 seed Lions face #8 seed San Francisco in the tournament's opening game... this marks the sixth all-time WCC Championship meeting between the two schools... the teams last met in the first round in 2010, with LMU advancing with a 61-54 win... the teams split this season's home-and-home series, each winning on the other's home court... LMU is 11-16 all-time at the WCC Championship... the Lions' last tournament win was the 2010 first-round victory over San Francisco... the Lions have advanced to the championship game three times, winning the WCC title in 2004 with a 61-58 final against Gonzaga.

Alex Cowling has earned her second career first team All-West Coast Conference honor. The redshirt junior leads the league in scoring (22.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg). Cowling, a preseason All-WCC selection for the past three seasons, also earned first team honors in 2009-10. At the conclusion of her rookie season, Cowling was named to the All-WCC honorable mention team, the WCC All-Freshman Team and honored as the WCC Newcomer of the Year.

Mackenzie Kerins broke out for a career-performance in the Lions' regular-season finale at Pepperdine on Feb. 23. Entering the game, the sophomore forward held career highs of eight points and 10 rebounds - achieved on separate occasions this season. Against the Waves, Kerins proceeded to blow both of those numbers out of the water, finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. She went 9-of-12 from the field while pulling down five offensive and eight defensive boards.

While they allow an average of 69.4 ppg to opponents on the season, the 60-point mark has been a key number in the Lions' wins. In five of their seven victories this season, LMU held its opponent to 60 points or fewer. Only twice (vs. Sac State, 86-73 and vs. Cal Poly, 73-72) have the Lions been victorious when their opponent scored more than 60 points.

Redshirt junior Alex Cowling went into the Feb. 18 game at Saint Mary's needing 18 points to tie and 19 points to break the LMU career-scoring record of 1,662, held by Bryn Britton (1998-02). She managed just seven points in the first half on 1-of-5 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. But as the Lions mounted their second-half comeback, Cowling came alive as well, hitting five field goals, including a trio of three-pointers. Her two free-throws with 5:49 remaining were good for her 18th and 19th points of the game, sending her past Britton's nearly decade-old record. Now, with 1,691 career points, Cowling has the opportunity to become the first LMU women's basketball player to eclipse the 2,000-point mark.

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 629 with at least one WCC Tournament game 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.

Alex Cowling is also moving up the ranks in a number of additional career statistical categories. She currently ranks No. 1 in scoring average (17.9 ppg), No. 4 in total rebounds (688), No. 4 in rebounding average (7.4 rpg), No. 1 in field goals (624), No. 5 in field-goal percentage (.481), No. 10 in thee pointers (82), No. 3 in total free throws (335) and No. 2 in free-throw percentage (.819).

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. 26, Cowling ranks No. 8 in points per game (22.5), No. 35 in free-throw percentage (84.7) and No. 71 in rebounds per game (8.8).

Alex Cowling is racking up the double-double performances, tallying her 10th such performance of the season on Feb. 18 at Saint Mary's. Earlier in the season she recorded five consecutive double-doubles. She has also come just one rebound shy of a double-double on six additional occasions this season.

Courtney Collishaw and Monica DeAngelis earned academic distinction by the West Coast Conference. Collishaw was named to the 2012 WCC Women's Basketball All-Academic Team while DeAngelis earned honorable mention selection. Collishaw, a senior sociology major, carries a cumulative 3.26 grade point average. This is the first appearance on the WCC All-Academic team for the Visalia, Calif., native, though she did earn distinction on the WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll in 2010-11. Collishaw was a key contributor in the Lions' lineup this season, averaging 3.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and nearly two assists per game before suffering a season ending knee injury on Feb. 6 against Pepperdine. DeAngelis, a redshirt junior with a 3.29 cumulative GPA, will graduate this spring with a degree in business. This season has been her best yet on the court as she nailed the game-winning three pointer at New Mexico and poured in a career-high 27 points, including an LMU record-tying seven three pointers, in the Lions' win over Cal Poly. For the year, DeAngelis averages 6.0 ppg and 1.2 rpg.




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