Lions Host Sac State and Portland State

Dec. 7, 2011

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The Lions continue their seven-game homestand this week, hosting Sacramento State on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., followed by Portland State on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m.

It was a true tale of two halves for the Lions on Sunday against UCLA. A strong first half that included a 6-for-11 performance from three helped LMU to train the Bruins just 34-28 at the break. But LMU went ice cold in the second half (3-for-27) while UCLA heated up, shooting nearly 66 percent, and the Bruins ran away with an 84-43 win. Alex Cowling led LMU for the eighth straight game, scoring 19 points to go along with five rebounds. Hazel Ramirez joined Cowling in double figures with 10 points.

The Lions and Hornets have met just twice all-time, each claiming a victory on their home court. LMU won the first ever meeting, 79-62, back in 1997. Sacramento State was the victor in the most recent meeting, 70-69, on Nov. 22, 2010. Natasha Torgerson came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points, including the eventual game-winning jumper with 40 seconds remaining. The Lions had three chances to reclaim the lead in the final seconds, but could not come up with the game-winner. Alex Cowling had 28 points and 14 rebounds in the game while Ramirez added 15 and Candice Nichols had 10.

Sacramento State is 4-4 on the year after most recently having a four-game winning streak snapped by UC Davis. During their four-game streak, the Hornets averaged 85 ppg, nearly hitting the century mark in a 98-87 win over Fresno Pacific on Dec. 1. Emily Christensen leads Sac State with 13.5 ppg, followed closely by Kylie Kuhns at 13.4 ppg. Kuhns also leads the Hornets with 11.5 rpg. The Hornets shoot 37 percent from the field and nearly 30 percent from long range, where they have made 62 shots to their opponents' 48. They have been outrebounded by an average of 8.6 per game and average more than 24 turnovers per game.

The Lions will be looking for their first win in the series as Portland State has been the victor in two all-time meetings with LMU, including a 65-39 decision on Dec. 11, 2010. Courtney VanBrocklin (20) and Kelli Valentine (18) combined for 38 points in the Viking win. LMU got 12 points from Candice Nichols, but no other Lion reached double figures as they shot a collective 24 percent from the field.

Portland State opened the 2011-12 season with back-to-back wins over UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara before dropping three straight games, including back-to-back losses to WCC members Portland and Gonzaga. The Vikings got back on track in their last outing, earning an 80-73 win over Nevada on Dec. 3. A trio of players average double figures including Kate Lanz (18.3 ppg), Courtney VanBrocklin (16 ppg) and Eryn Jones (14.7 ppg). Opponents have shot 46 percent from the field against PSU, but just 21 percent from three as the Vikings have given up only 18 three-pointers.

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 94-54 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.

A 19-point effort against UCLA on Dec. 4 brought Alex Cowling's career scoring total to 1,225 - moving her into fifth place in the LMU all-time record book. She is 437 points off the all-time career record of 1,662 held by Bryn Britton (1998-02). But before Cowling reaches that mark, her first hurdle is to jump into the No. 4 position, held by current Associate Head Coach Lynn Flanagan (1,436 points, 1988-91).

Alex Cowling is also moving up the ranks in a number of additional career statistical categories. She currently ranks No. 1 in scoring average (16.6 ppg), No. 10 in total rebounds (518), No. 6 in rebounding average (7.0 rpg), No. 7 in field goals (475), No. 3 in field-goal percentage (.504), No. 10 in total free throws (225) and No. 3 in free-throw percentage (.787).

Freshman forward Emily Ben-Jumbo has proven highly efficient on the offensive end, shooting 73 percent from the field through the Lions' first eight 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.

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 eight games, Cowing is averaging 20.4 ppg and 8.5 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

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:

The 2012 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 today for complete championship and ticket information.

Fans can watch all LMU home games live on the internet through Lions All-Access on 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

Once again, in conjunction with Stretch Internet, all LMU home and road games will be broadcast live online at 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 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 ( and Twitter ( Additionally, LMU women's basketball now has its own Facebook page, which can be found at Coach Julie Wilhoit also will be on Twitter this year - find her at




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