Lions Open WCC Play Against SMC, USF

Dec. 28, 2011

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LMU returns to the court after a 10-day break from competition, tipping off West Coast Conference play in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions open the 2011-12 WCC slate on Thursday, Dec. 29 against Saint Mary's at 7 p.m. They then close out 2011 with a New Year's Eve 2 p.m. matinee against San Francisco.

For the fourth consecutive week, the Lions split a pair of games, moving to 4-8 on the season and 4-4 in their last eight appearances. On Dec. 17, undefeated UTEP claimed a 68-48 win over LMU in Gersten Pavilion. Two days later, however, the Lions clinched a thrilling 73-72 win over Cal Poly. Courtney Collishaw hit the game-winning jumper with 10 seconds remaining to cap a season-high 15-point performance. Monica DeAngelis exploded for a career-high 27 points, including seven three pointers, while Alex Cowling chipped in a quiet double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lions and Gaels have met 53 times in program history, with LMU trailing the all-time series 16-37. The Lions snapped a three-game losing streak to Saint Mary's on Jan. 6 of last season, claiming a 65-53 win in Moraga in both team's WCC opener. Renahy Young poured in a game-high 21 points while Candice Nichols and Jessica Vargas chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively. Saint Mary's won the second meeting of last season, however, earning a 58-51 victory over the Lions in Gersten Pavilion.

Saint Mary's went 9-4 in non-conference action and enters Thursday's game against LMU riding a four-game win streak. The streak began with a 75-58 home win over UC Davis on Dec. 10. The Gaels then took their streak on the road with wins at Seattle, Oregon State and Oregon. Jasmine Smith leads Saint Mary's with 17.5 ppg, including a team-high 27 three-pointers. Jackie Nared chips in 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Alex Carbonel and Danielle Mauldin add just under nine points per game apiece for the Gaels who average 68 ppg as a team.

LMU holds a 28-30 all-time record against San Francisco, including a 15-11 record in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions have had the majority of their success against the Dons in recent years, including winning the last five meetings and going 15-2 since 2004. The Lions swept last year's series by an average of 26.5 points.

San Francisco enters WCC play with a 2-11 record and will face Pepperdine on Thursday before making the trip to Gersten Pavilion on Saturday. The Dons were riding a nine-game losing streak before picking up their second win of the season on Dec. 17 against Sacramento State, 86-71. Rheina Ale is the lone player averaging double figures, leading the way at 14.5 ppg. Taj Winston adds 9.3 ppg while the team scores at a 63.6 ppg clip.

The Lions conclude 2011, and a seven-game December homestand, in Gersten Pavilion this weekend. The streak, which began on Dec. 4 versus UCLA, finishes 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 96-56 on their home court.

Perhaps inspired by the four top career three-point shooters in LMU history (Renahy Young, Lisa Helmers, Amanda Patton and Rachael Ziemann) sitting courtside on Dec. 19, Monica DeAngelis sank an LMU record-tying seven three's on her way to a career-high 27 points against Cal Poly. She joins Patton and Ziemann atop the program's single-game three-point field goal list.

Alex Cowling is racking up the double-double performances, tallying her seventh such performances of the season on Dec. 19 against Cal Poly. The 15-point, 10-rebound outing against the Mustangs also served as her fourth consecutive double-double.

Alex Cowling went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line on Dec. 17 versus UTEP. She followed that with a 5-for-5 performance on Dec. 19 versus Cal Poly and has now made 17 consecutive free throws dating back to the Dec. 10 game versus Portland State. In the Lions last four games, Cowling has missed just one shot from the charity stripe, going 22-for-23 during that span.

The Lions' play in the first 20 minutes of each game so far this season has been an indicator in the final outcome. The one common factor in all four of LMU's wins is that they have held the lead at halftime. And in all eight losses they have been trailing at the break.

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.

COWLING climbs career scoring top 10
A 15-point effort against Cal Poly on Dec. 19 brought Alex Cowling's career scoring total to 1,310 - good for fifth place in the LMU all-time record book. She is 352 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 (16.8 ppg), No. 9 in total rebounds (562), No. 5 in rebounding average (7.2 rpg), No. 5 in field goals (405), No. 3 in field-goal percentage (.501), No. 8 in total free throws (247) and No. 3 in free-throw percentage (.799).

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 12 games, Cowing is averaging 20.7 ppg and 9.3 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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