Lions Open WCC Tourney Play Thursday
The #5 seed Lions begin WCC Championship action Thursday versus the winner of #8 San Francisco and #9 Pepperdine.
March 6, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The Lions (12-17, 6-10 WCC) look to make a run in the 2013 West Coast Conference Championship this week after clinching the #5 seed. They open tournament play on Thursday, March 7 against the winner of #8 San Francisco (11-18, 4-12 WCC) vs. #9 Pepperdine (5-22, 2-14 WCC). Tip off at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas is set for 12:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv (DirectTV Channel 374 and Dish Channel 9403) and webstreamed at BYUtv.org and via the WCC Digital Network.
FOLLOW THE LIONS
Thursday, March 7 - #5 LMU vs. #8 USF/ #9 PEP, 12:00 p.m., Las Vegas, NV (Orleans Arena)
TV: BYUtv.org | Webstream: WCC Digital | GameTracker | Mobile Stats | Listen Live (KXLU 88.9 FM)
TOURNAMENT QUICK HITS
2013 marks the 32nd year of the WCC Women's Basketball Tournament and the fifth straight year that the championships are being held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas... the #5 seed Lions face the winner of the tournament opening 8/9 game between the #8 San Francisco Dons and the #9 Pepperdine Waves... LMU has faced the Dons six times in WCC tournament play, including last year when the Lions earned a 66-60 win in the opening-round game... LMU also last faced the Waves in the second round of the 2012 tournament, falling 56-45... Pepperdine holds a 3-1 all-time WCC championship advantage over LMU... during the regular-season, LMU swept the home-and-home series against both San Francisco and Pepperdine... LMU is 12-17 all-time at the WCC Championship... the Lions' last tournament win was the 2012 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.
The Lions closed out the regular season with a huge 58-55 win at San Francisco on March 2. Trailing by as many as 16 points early in the second half, senior Alex Cowling led the LMU comeback, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Deanna Johnson chipped in 12 points as LMU clinched it's second road victory of the season and third win in their final four regular-season games.
WCC SCORING CHAMP
Alex Cowling made the most of senior night, Feb. 28 versus BYU, as her final point of the game, a free throw with 59 seconds remaining, gave her 21 points for the game and 2,166 points for her career, eclipsing the WCC all-time scoring record of 2,165 held by Heather Bowman of Gonzaga (2006-10). Cowling added another 21 points to the mark in her final regular-season game on March 2, bringing her career total to 2,187.
REGULAR-SEASON WIN TOTAL
The Lions victory at San Francisco on March 2 gave them six WCC wins on the year, doubling their conference win total from 2011-12. The six WCC victories is also the most for the LMU program since going 7-7 in 2008-09.
LMU swept WCC rivals Pepperdine and San Francisco, marking the first time the Lions swept two conference opponents since 2008-09 (Santa Clara and San Diego). The sweep of Pepperdine marked the first such occasion since the 2006-07 season. LMU has now swept the home-and-home series against San Francisco in back-to-back years.
FRESHMAN ON FIRE
Freshman Deanna Johnson was spectacular for a second consecutive outing, pouring in a game-high 24 points on Feb. 28 in LMU's win over BYU. She bested her previous career high of 23 points, which she set on Feb. 23 at Saint Mary's. The rookie now has eight double-digit scoring game of the season and has led the Lions in scoring three times.
INSIDE THE LIONS
Alex Cowling earned the final regular season WCC Player of the Week after averaging 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists and 3.5 steals last week en route to be becoming the all-time leading scorer in West Coast Conference history.
LMU's 68-55 win over BYU on Feb. 28 was its first ever victory against the Cougars in six all-time tries.
The win over BYU also gave the Lions nine wins this season in Gersten Pavilion, the most home victories since the 2008-09 season.
The Lions are ranked fourth in the WCC in scoring at 65.2 ppg. They also rank fourth in FT percentage (68.5), third in 3-pt FG percentage defense (.311), second in steals per game (11.2), second in turnover margin (+4.4) and third in offensive rebounds (14.7 per game).
Individually, Alex Cowling is second in the WCC in scoring (15.8 ppg) while Hazel Ramirez comes in at No. 6 (12.8 ppg). Ramirez is also second in assists (4.8 per game) while Cowling and Mackenzie Kerins are fourth and fifth, respectively in rebounds (each with 7.3 per game).
Either Alex Cowling or Hazel Ramirez have led the Lions in scoring all but four times so far this season. Cowling holds the mark on 16 occasions, including six +20-point games, while Ramirez has led the team 10 times. Freshmen Deanna Johnson (three times) and Chelsea Barnes (once) are the only other Lions to lead the scoring column in a game.
The Lions earned their first road win of the season on Feb. 21 at Pepperdine, clinching a 58-56 victory. LMU finished the regular season 2-11 on the road.
LMU won three straight games (Nov. 15 vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 17 vs. Utah State and Nov. 20 vs. Cal State Fullerton) for the first time since Jan. 6-13, 2011.
Hazel Ramirez earned her first career WCC Player of the Week honor on Nov. 19 after averaging 14.3 points, 8.7 assists, 4.7 steals and 2.7 rebounds in a three-game stretch.
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