LMU Looks to Extend Win Streak Against Bruins

Dec. 3, 2011

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Riding a two-game win streak, including their first road victory of the season, LMU opens a seven-game homestand on Sunday, Dec. 4, hosting UCLA at 5 p.m. at Gersten Pavilion. The match-up is the first of two during the 2011-12 season tagged as an LMU Centennial Celebration Game.

Monica DeAngelis sank the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer and Alex Cowling tied her career-high with 31 points as the Lions earned their first road win of the season, a 57-54 final at New Mexico on Thursday. The win snapped a three-game Lobo win streak in the all-time series and also marked the first win in The Pit for LMU. DeAngelis finished with nine points on a trio of three-pointers while Hazel Ramirez chipped in seven points and six assists. Courtney Collishaw added a team-high eight rebounds to go along with four points and six assists. The Lions shot a season-best 50 percent from three and a healthy 42 percent from the field.

The Lions and Bruins have met seven times over the years, including each of the past two seasons. UCLA has claimed victory in all seven meetings, most recently a 67-43 final in Gersten Pavilion on Dec. 3, 2010. Then #12-ranked UCLA shot nearly 54 percent from the field while the Lions struggled in the second half, connecting on just 6-of-23 field goals.

UCLA is 4-2 on the season, coming off a recent 78-71 win over San Diego State (Nov. 30). The Bruins' two losses came against #1 Baylor and West Virginia. Three players average double-figures for UCLA, led by Rebekah Gardner (17.5 ppg). Atonye Nyingifa chips in 14.7 ppg and Thea Lemberger adds 10.2 ppg. Due to injury, the Bruins have had a short bench thus far this season with just eight players seeing significant playing time. Rebekah Gardner, Nyingifa and Lemberger all average more than 31 minutes per game while Rhema Gardner (Rebekah's sister) and Mariah Williams average 27 apiece. UCLA has averaged 65.2 ppg through six games, shooting at a 40 percent clip.

Sunday's game against UCLA is the first of a seven-game homestand for the Lions. The streak will run through the entire month of December, finishing on New Year's Eve with a matinee match-up against WCC rival San Francisco. The Lions have found success at home over the years, posting a winning record in Gersten Pavilion in all but two seasons since the 1999-2000 campaign. In the 2000's, LMU has gone 93-51 in their home court.

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.

Mackenzie Kerins made her season debut on Dec. 1 against New Mexico after missing the first six games of the season due to a shoulder injury. The sophomore forward played 20 minutes in her return, finishing with two points (making good on her first shot attempt) and providing a much-needed defensive presence in the paint.

LMU entered the Dec. 1 game at New Mexico shooting 19 percent from beyond the arc. But the Lions caught fire against the Lobos, going 8-for-16 (50 percent). They were led by a 4-for-5 performance from Alex Cowling and a 3-for-7 performance from Monica DeAngelis that included the buzzer-beating, game-winner. The eight treys nearly doubled LMU's total for the season as they now sit at 26 percent (20-for-77).

In just two-plus seasons in an LMU uniform, redshirt junior Alex Cowling has moved into the No. 6 spot in the Lions' all-time record book with 1,206 career points. Cowling was averaging 22.5 ppg (135 points) in just six games last season before being sidelined for the duration with a foot injury. Back to full strength in 2011-12, and is currently just 456 points off the all-time career record of 1,662 held by Bryn Britton (1998-02).

Cowling is also moving up the ranks in a number of career statistical categories. She currently ranks No. 1 in scoring average (16.5 ppg), No. 6 in rebounding average (7.0 rpg), No. 7 in field goals (469), No. 3 in field-goal percentage (.506) and No. 3 in free-throw percentage (.791). She is also knocking on the door of the all-time top 10 in rebounds (513, No. 10 is 515) and free throws (220, No. 10 is 224).

Freshman forward Emily Ben-Jumbo has proven highly efficient on the offensive end, shooting 73 percent from the field through the Lions' first seven games. She is 19-for-26 from the field and is averaging 7.0 ppg, making her the team's second leading scorer. She has been perfect from the field in three of the seven games, going 2-for-2 at Denver (Nov. 11), 3-for-3 at Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 21) and 2-for-2 versus Wyoming (Nov. 26). She also went 6-for-7 against Cal State Northridge (Nov. 14) on her way to a career-high 14 points.

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.

Despite the loss at Cal State Fullerton, the game did mark the first this season where the Lions had three players score in double figures. Alex Cowling led the way with 11 points while Hazel Ramirez scored a season-high 10 points and freshman forward Ashley Lovett added a career-high 10 points in just 10 minutes of action. The rookie was 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.

Junior guard Monica DeAngelis had a breakout game in the Lions' season opener at Denver, recording career-high marks in points (15), minutes played (29) and field goals (5). She also tied her career-high with three three-pointers. DeAngelis battled injuries last season, only appearing in 15 games and averaging 4.1 ppg.

Redshirt junior Alex Cowling didn't miss a beat in her first official game in nearly a year, leading the Lions in scoring with 23 points on 11-for-15 shooting. She also added a team-high nine rebounds, coming up just one shy of a double-double. Through seven games, Cowing is averaging 20.6 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Cowling was averaging 22.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season when she was sidelined six games in with a foot injury.

The West Coast Conference and CBS Sports Network announced that two WCC women's basketball games will air nationally this season. The University of Portland at the University of San Diego will be televised on January 19, 2012 with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT. Loyola Marymount University will visit Gonzaga University the following week on January 26, 2012 with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT. CBS Sports Network can be found on cable and satellite providers nationwide, including DIRECTV channel 613 and DISH Network channel 152.

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 includes 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 Waves have won each of the first two competitions, and currently lead the Lions, 4.5-0, 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.

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.

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.

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.




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