Women's Basketball

Opening Weekend Concludes at New Mexico State

Melinda Gomez had a career-high 11 points Saturday at UTEP.

Melinda Gomez had a career-high 11 points Saturday at UTEP.

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LOS ANGELES - The Lions continue their season-opening road trip on Monday, Nov. 12, traveling to face New Mexico State in the Pan American Center. Tip off is 5:30 p.m. (PT).

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Monday, Nov. 12 - LMU at New Mexico State, 5:30 p.m. (PT)
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LIONS' LAST LINE
Opening the season on the road for the ninth consecutive season, the Lions fell 79-51 to a very solid UTEP team in El Paso, Texas. Alex Cowling led LMU with 14 points and seven rebounds, Melinda Gomez had a career-high 11 points and Mackenzie Kerins came off the bench to ship in 10 points. The Lions shot just 28 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers while the Miners came out of the gates on fire, taking a 13-0 lead and never looked back, shooting 50 percent in the first half and 42 percent for the game.

INSIDE THE LIONS
The 2012-13 women's basketball squad features 10 returning letterwinners, including three starters, to go along with the addition of four true freshmen. Returning starters include senior guard/forward Alex Cowling (22.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg), junior point guard Hazel Ramirez (10.2 ppg, 2.9 apg) and sophomore guard Danielle Pruitt (3.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg). While the faces on the court will be mostly familiar, the faces on the sideline have changed as the Lions feature a new coaching staff this season led by head coach Charity Elliott.

SEASON OPENERS
The Lions' season-opening losing streak was stretched to four straight following their 79-51 loss at UTEP on Friday. In 2011-12, LMU dropped a 71-55 decision at Denver, in 2010-11 LMU fell 63-55 at Idaho State and in 2009-10 it was a 78-58 loss at SMU. The Lions' last season-opening victory came in 2008-09 when they beat Hawaii, 63-47, in the opening game of the Bank of Hawaii Invitational in Hilo, Hawaii. All-time, LMU is 13-19 in season openers. 2012-13 marked the ninth consecutive season that LMU opened away from Gersten Pavilion and the Lions are 5-14 all-time when opening the season on the road.

The Last Meeting
Loyola Marymount67
New Mexico State68
December 2, 1997
Las Cruces, N.M.

ABOUT THE NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES
New Mexico State opened the 2012-13 season with an 80-73 exhibition win over Fort Lewis on Friday. Senior transfer Stefanie Gilbreath led the Aggies with 26 points. The Aggies return seven players from their 2011-12 squad that went 6-24 overall and 3-11 in the Western Athletic Conference under first-year head coach Mark Trakh. Gilbreath, who joins the Aggies from USC, is NMSU's lone preseason All-WAC selection, earning second team honors. New Mexico State was picked ninth (of 10 teams) in the WAC Prseason Media Poll.

DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING STREAK
Alex Cowling's 14-point effort on Nov. 10 at UTEP marked her 52nd straight game of scoring in double figures. The last time Cowling did not reach double-digit scoring was a seven-point effort against Seattle on Dec. 30, 2009. In Cowling's 97 career games played, she has only been held to single-digits 13 times.

COWLING NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC
This marks the fourth consecutive Preseason All-WCC selection for redshirt senior guard/forward Alex Cowling, who led the league in scoring (22.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.7 rpg) last season. A two-time first team All-WCC selection, Cowling broke the LMU career scoring record last winter, and now enters this season with 1,728 career points. This year, she will make a run at the WCC career scoring record of 2,165 points set by Gonzaga's Heather Bowman (2006-10).

LMU SELECTED SEVENTH IN PRESEASON WCC COACHES POLL
The Lions were selected seventh in the 2012-13 West Coast Conference Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league's nine coaches. BYU was selected to win the WCC, receiving five out of a possible eight first-place votes (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team), just one more first-place vote than second-place Gonzaga. This marked the first time in five years that a team other than Gonzaga was selected by the coaches to win the WCC (San Diego, 2007-08). Gonzaga (60 pts), the 2011-12 regular season champion, finished one point behind BYU (61 pts) in the coaches' poll. Saint Mary's (48 pts) was picked third, followed by San Diego (36 pts) in fourth, Pepperdine (33 pts) in fifth, Santa Clara (27 pts) in sixth, LMU (25 pts) in seventh, Portland (24 pts) in eighth and San Francisco (10 pts) in ninth.

COWLING'S CAREER RECORDS
Alex Cowling enters her final season in an LMU uniform sitting atop three career statistical categories and is poised to move up the ranks, or take over, numerous others. She has set a new benchmark in career scoring at LMU, entering this year with 1,728 career points, which broke the previous record of 1,662. She also holds school records in career scoring average (18 ppg) and field goals (646). She also enters the year ranked No. 4 in rebounds (711), No. 4 in rebounding average (7.40), No. 6 in field goal percentage (.479), No. 9 in three-point field goals (88), No. 2 in free throws (248) and No. 2 in free-throw percentage (.819).

HEAD COACH Charity Elliott
Charity Elliott was hired as the fifth head coach in LMU women's basketball history on April 3, 2012. Elliott came to LMU from UC San Diego where she had a highly successful five-year run with the Division II Tritons, compiling a 127-34 (.789) overall record and 90-16 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association from 2007-08 through 2011-12. During her tenure, Elliott UCSD to three regular-season conference championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances and one Sweet 16 appearance. She also earned three CCAA Coach of the Year honors, was named the 2012 West Region Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the National Coach of the Year honor.

Prior to UCSD, Elliott spent three seasons as the head coach at Portland State where she led the Vikings to a remarkable turnaround during her tenure. After PSU finished with an overall record of 3-23 during her first year in 2004-05, she led the Vikings to a 12-16 overall mark and 6-8 in the Big Sky Conference during her second season. The nine-win improvement ranked amongst the nation's top 20 and Portland State qualified for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time in three years.

Before taking the Portland State job, Elliott served as an assistant coach at Arkansas for one season and was the head coach at Cal Baptist for two seasons. She has also served in an assistant capacity with Southwest Baptist, Southwest Missouri State and San Diego State.

PCH CHALLENGE
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 fourth 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 Waves have won each of the first three competitions. To learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit LMULions.com/trads/PCH-Cup.html.

2013 ZAPPOS.COM WCC CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO VEGAS
The 2013 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships return to the bright lights of Las Vegas and Orleans Arena on March 6 through March 11 as 18 teams battle for two tickets to the NCAA Tournament. Visit WCCSports.com today for complete championship and ticket information.

TEAMLMU
TeamLMU brings Lion fans and alums, LMU partners and student-athletes together as one, creating an atmosphere that helps build the Lions into champions. Each week that LMU hosts an event throughout the 2012-13 year, there will be at least one highlighted TeamLMU Event of the Week which will include special promotions, giveaways and opportunities to be part of the team. For more information on TEAM LMU, go online at LMULions.com/school-bio/teamlmu/html.

SEASON TICKET SCARF
This season, LMU is offering the Season Ticket Scarf Pack for season access to all home preseason and regular season events for men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, women's basketball, baseball and softball - a total of more than 100 home games for just $30! And, as the name suggests, the Season Ticket is the limited edition LMU Scarf. Call the LMU Ticket Office at 310-338-LION or visit LMULions.com today!

 

 

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