Mathews Named WCC Player Of The Year

Feb. 28, 2005

SAN BRUNO, Calif. -

The Gonzaga University Bulldogs placed four players on the All-West Coast Conference team including the Player of the Year in senior guard Shannon Mathews. Gonzaga finished the regular-season at 25-2, 14-0 in the WCC, becoming only the second women's team to ever go undefeated in conference play.

Joining Mathews on the first-team was senior Ashley Burke while senior Raeanna Jewell and junior Anne Bailey were honorable mention selections. Bulldogs head coach Kelly Graves was named the WCC Coach of the Year, his second such honor in the last three seasons. The University of San Francisco picked up the other two individual awards with senior Toni Russell earning her second Defender of the Year award and freshman Dominique Carter earning Newcomer of the Year.

Mathews becomes the first Gonzaga player to earn WCC Player of the Year awards as she capped a memorable senior year. The point guard from Riverside, Calif., averaged 11.7 points and a league leading 6.6 assists per contest. During the season Mathews became the Gonzaga career assists leader and moved into fifth place in the WCC for career assists with 582. Mathews currently ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists as she earned her second straight first-team All-WCC mention. She was an honorable mention honoree as a sophomore.

Burke joins former players Jennifer Mountain and Ivy Safranski as the only Gonzaga players to earn first-team All-WCC honors in three seasons. Burke made the first-team squad for the third straight year after averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. Her 54.7 shooting percentage leads the team and she needs just three more free throws to become the Bulldogs career leader with 361 free throws made. The forward from North Vancouver, B.C., has scored 1,552 career points to rank fourth at Gonzaga and 12th on the all-time WCC scoring charts. Her 670 rebounds rank fourth at GU.

Bailey earned her first All-WCC mention with a selection to the honorable mention team. Bailey has served as a spark for the Bulldogs off the bench this season with 9.6 points and 5 rebounds per game. The forward from Snohomish, Wash., has scored in double-figures in 9 of her last 11 games and ranks second on the GU team with a 53.6 shooting percentage. Earlier this season Bailey moved into the career Top 10 for blocked shots and currently ranks 9th with 58.

Jewell capped her senior season with a selection to the honorable mention team. The guard from Veradale, Wash., became one of five Gonzaga players with more than 1,000 points and 600 rebounds for their careers as she ranks in the Top 10 for both categories. Jewell averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and was the Bulldogs most accurate 3-point shooter at 34.5 percent.

Graves earned his second coach of the year honor after guiding the Bulldogs to a No. 24 national ranking and perfect 14-0 mark in the WCC. Graves was named the coach of the year in 2003 when the Bulldogs made a turnaround from 8th to 2nd winning 18 games and posting the first winning season in nine years. This season Gonzaga owns the nation's longest active win streak at 21 games heading into the WCC Tournament. Graves was an assistant coach at the University of Portland in 1997 when the Pilots became the first WCC team to go 14-0 in league play.

The remainder of the first-team WCC included Carter, Russell and Mary Jane Krueger from San Francisco, Triola Jackson from Saint Mary's College, Jennifer Lacy from Pepperdine University, Jamie Medley from the University of Portland, Quinn Thomas from Santa Clara University and Rachael Ziemann from Loyola Marymount.

Additional honorable mention selections were Mary Turner and Jacquelyn Woods from LMU, Kelsey Ball and Daphanie Kennedy from Pepperdine, Tiara Harris and Amber Sprague from the University of San Diego and Michelle Cozad and Kayla Huss from Santa Clara.

The All-Freshmen team consisted of Carter from USF, Kennedy from Pepperdine, Sprague from USD, Meagan Bermingham of Portland, Valerie Ogoke of LMU and Chandice Cronk of Santa Clara.



First Team: Gonzaga - Ashley Burke, Shannon Mathews; Loyola Marymount - Rachael Ziemann; Pepperdine - Jennifer Lacy; Portland - Jamie Medley; Saint Mary's - Triola Jackson; San Francisco - Dominique Carter, Mary Jane Krueger, Toni Russell; Santa Clara - Quinn Thomas.

Honorable Mention: Gonzaga - Anne Bailey, Raeanna Jewell; Loyola Marymount - Mary Turner, Jacquelyn Woods; Pepperdine - Kelsey Ball, Daphanie Kennedy; San Diego - Tiara Harris, Amber Sprague; Santa Clara - Michelle Cozad, Kayla Huss.

All-Freshmen Team: Loyola Marymount - Valerie Ogoke; Pepperdine - Daphanie Kennedy; Portland - Meagan Bermingham; San Diego - Amber Sprague; San Francisco - Dominique Carter; Santa Clara - Chandice Cronk.

Player of the Year - Shannon Mathews (Gonzaga)
Coach of the Year - Kelly Graves (Gonzaga)
Defender of the Year
- Toni Russell (San Francisco)
Newcomer of the Year - Dominique Carter (San Francisco)

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Shannon Mathews was named the WCC Player of the Year as four Zags earned All-WCC honors.
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