Home Sweet Home

Dec. 15, 2004

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The Lions return home to Gersten Pavilion after a two game road swing looking for a win against Utah. The Lions are 2-1 at Gersten Pavilion this season.

About LMU
LMU lost its second straight game on Saturday, falling to Cal Poly 66-59 in San Luis Obispo. The Lions jumped out to an 11-0 lead, but turnovers allowed the Mustangs to get back in the game. The Lions had 15 first half turnovers, leading to a 34-30 halftime deficit. Bianca Ziemann's second half shooting helped the Lions tie the game at 49 in the second half, but the Lions had costly turnovers in the final minutes of the game as they attempted a comeback. Valerie Ogoke had a career day, registering her first double-double. She set career highs for points (14), rebounds (12), blocks (3) and minutes played (32) in her first career start.

2003-04 WCC Champions To Be Honored
The 2003-04 LMU women's basketball team will be honored at halftime of the LMU vs. San Diego State men's game on Saturday at 7:05pm. Each member of the team will be presented with their WCC Championship ring.

Holiday Ticket Deal
Any fan with a ticket to either LMU basketball game on Saturday will be admitted to both games with the ticket. The women tip off against Utah at 2:00pm, while the men host San Diego State at 7:05pm. You don't want to miss this as both teams head out on long road swings. The women don't return home until Jan. 2 and the men won't be back until conference play starts on Jan. 7.

YMCA Day at Gersten Pavilion
This Saturday is YMCA day at LMU. All YMCA members with a membership card will be able to purchase tickets for just $2. Also, the YMCA's Shooting Sparks will be playing a game at halftime of the LMU women's game.

Scouting Utah
The Utes are 7-2 on the season, and have won six straight games. They set the Utah school record with 15 three-pointers in the 85-72 win over TCU on Saturday. The only losses on the season for Utah came to #2 Stanford and #11 Michigan State. The Utes are the two-time defending Mountain West Conference champions, and Kim Smith is the two-time defending conference player of the year. She is averaging 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds this season. Shona Thorburn averages 12.4 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, while Lana Sitterud is scoring 10.7 points per game. The Lions have played the Utes twice, winning both contests. The last meeting was in 2001, with LMU pulling out the 64-58 win at Gersten Pavilion.

Breakout Freshman
Freshman Valerie Ogoke has steadily been improving this season, but she had a breakout game against Cal Poly. In her first career start, she recorded her first double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Six of the rebounds were offensive, and she played a career-high 32 minutes. She also added three blocks and a steal.

Emerging Senior
Jacquelyn Woods has been on fire recently, scoring in double digits in four of her last five games. Her recent run was highlighted by her career high 29 points at Cal State Fullerton on November 30th. After starting the game 2-for-8 from the field, Woods hit eight straight shots before her next miss. The shooting streak lasted nearly 18 minutes on the clock, and she finished the game shooting 11-for-18. She was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line, and added six rebounds and three steals. She followed up that game with a 16 point, 9 rebound, 5 steal game against Cal State Northridge, and capped the week with an 11 point game at USC.

No Nail Bitters Here
The average margin of victory in all of LMU's games this season has been 13.6 points. In fact, just two LMU game has been decided by less than 10 points- LMU's 67-58 win against Cal State Fullerton at the Nugget Classic, and LMU's 66-59 loss to Cal Poly.

Record Setting Game
In LMU's opening game against Colorado, junior center Jevay Grooms was 10-for-11 from the field, a .909 field goal percentage. It was the fourth highest single game field goal percentage in LMU history. Grooms shattered her career highs in minutes played (31), field goals made (10) and attempted (11), rebounds (12), blocks (2) and points (21).

A Look Ahead
The Lions will head to Ohio for a matchup with the Cincinnati Bearcats for the second straight year. LMU will play at Cincinnati's Fifth Third Arena on Tuesday, December 21st for their final game before Christmas. After the holiday, the team travels to Florida to play in the Miami Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28-29

Tournament Play
LMU has gone 1-1 in both of the tournaments that it has played this season. At John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic, the Lions fell in the opening game before rebounding with a win in the consolation game. At the LMU Marina del Rey Marriott Thanksgiving Tournament, the Lions defeated IUPUI in the opening game, before falling to Weber State in the championship game. The Lions will play in one more tournament this season- the Miami Holiday Classic on December 28th and 29th..

All-Tournament Selections
Three different players have been named to All-Tournament teams this season. Jevay Grooms was honored at John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic, averaging 14.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in the tournament. Bianca Ziemann and Mary Turner were selected at the LMU Marina del Rey Marriott Thanksgiving Tournament. Ziemann averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. She went 8-for-10 from the field on the weekend. Turner averaged 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two games.

Exhibition Games
LMU played each exhibition opponent close in the first half, but both teams pulled away in the second half to hand LMU two defeats. With several newcomers, the Lions got a chance to give several of their freshman playing time. Amanda DeCoud started both games at point guard, averaging 30 minutes of action per game and scoring 7 points per game. Valerie Ogoke was LMU's fourth leading scorer in the games, averaging 5.5 points per game. Bronwyn Evans averaged 19 minutes per game, and Nicole Thompson saw action in both games.

Home Sweet Home
Gersten Pavilion has been a very unfriendly place to Lion opponents over the last five years. LMU has gone 52-15 over the last five seasons, including a 12-1 record last season. LMU's only loss last season was to then-#4 Duke in the Marina del Rey Marriott Beach Classic. LMU is 2-1 at Gersten Pavilion this season.

Wilhoit Named Region 8 Coach of the Year
LMU Head Coach Julie Wilhoit has been named Russell Athletic/WBCA Regional Coach of the Year for Region 8, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced. Wilhoit earned the coaching honor after posting one of the top turnaround seasons in the nation and leading LMU women's basketball to its first NCAA tournament appearance. Wilhoit, the Region 8 Coach of the Year, represents head coaches from the Pac-10, Big West, and West Coast Conferences. She, along with the other seven regional winners, advanced as a national finalist for the NCAA Division I Russell Athletic/WBCA Coach of the Year.

Top Turnaround
LMU was listed as the seventh-best turnaround team in the nation after rebounding to a 24-6 record last season following 2002-03's 14-15 record.

Mission Accomplished
LMU made history on March 7, 2004. The Lions won the program's first WCC Tournament Championship with a 61-58 win over Gonzaga in the title game at the Leavey Center. With the conference title, the Lions capped an incredible run in the West Coast Conference, winning their 15th straight game. The Lions, who had not lost in over two months, earned the WCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Lions (24-5) were led by tournament MVP Adrianne Slaughter. The senior had 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Regular season MVP Kate Murray had a game-high 19 points while adding eight rebounds. Rachael Ziemann was the third Lion in double figures with 10. As was the case the entire WCC Tournament, the game went down to the wire. With the game tied at the half, 30-30, the Lions started the half on a 7-0 run as they led the entire second frame. The Lions took a five-point lead on a lay-up by Mary Turner with 33 seconds remaining, 60-55. However, Gonzaga, who was the last team to beat the Lions, would not go away as they cut the lead to a pair on a three-pointer by Ashley Burke. Murray would hit the second of two free throws to push the lead back to three, 61-58, with 17 seconds left. Burke led Gonzaga (18-11) with 18 points. Gonzaga would get the ball down the court and missed a five-footer with four seconds on the clock. The Zags, who outrebounded the Lions 38-32, would have more chance after a deadball rebound. The Lions' defense proved big once again as Gonzaga could not get off a shot as the ball rolled across the floor as the buzzer sounded. It was a defensive battle from the beginning, with both teams combining for just nine attempted shots through almost the first five minutes of play. LMU scored four of its first ten points on a solid free-throw effort, as seniors Adrianne Slaughter and Jasmin Matthews each sank two of two early in the first. But the Lions knew it would take more than just free throws to build a sizeable lead, as they went on a 14-4 run through the middle of the first half. Sophomore Rachael Ziemann, who entered the game with a combined 43 points in her three career WCC Tournament games, led the run hitting back-to-back three points shots. Rachael Ziemann continued to stay hot throughout the first, hitting four-of-four from the field and two-for-two from behind the three-point arc to lead the Lions' first half fifty percent field goal shooting. But the Zags chipped away at the Lions's lead by capitalizing on free throws, as Gonzaga sank seven of eight in the final six minutes. At the half, Ziemann led all scorers with ten, as the Lions and Zags were tied at 30. LMU's bench out-scored Gonzaga's 14-4 in the first. LMU came roaring out of the locker room, scoring the second half's first seven points. Slaughter started the run with a fade-away jumper. Senior Raelen Self found Bianca Ziemann on a fastbreak, and Ziemann laid the ball in over the front of the rim. Murray sealed the 7-0 run with her first three-pointer of the game. Junior Jacquelyn Woods completed a three-point play, when she was fouled on a hard drive to the hoop and made the basket and free throw. The Lions maintained a five-point lead at 42-36 through the first five minutes of the second half when Mary Turner hit one of two free throws. Gonzaga pulled within three with just under twelve minutes left to play when Shannon Mathews was fouled shooting a three-pointer and connected on all three free throws. She would score eight straight points for the Zags, but Turner, Bianca Ziemann, and Murray each scored to keep the Lions up 51-47. With just under five minutes to play, Self drove the open lane and dished to Slaughter, who put her fifth field goal of the game and the 56-51 lead to set-up the finish.

Lions' Audio Network
Thanks to an agreement with Yahoo! Sports, more than 150 LMU games will be aired live via the Internet throughout this season. Every women's basketball game is broadcast over the internet on LMULions.com thanks to the Yahoo! Sports agreement. Patrick Duggan and Angela Kiel will be calling the action on the games. Adding to the quality of the broadcast, Yahoo! Sports will bring its state-of-the-art technology to the Lions' Audio Network. To ensure the best product for our listeners, the Yahoo! Sports partnership is a subscription-based program. Live programming is a hallmark of every major athletics program in the country and LMU's commitment is an example to student-athletes and fans of our efforts to Build Champions!

The Wilhoit File
Julie Wilhoit, now a three-time WCC Coach of the Year recipient and last year's Region 8 Coach of the Year, is in her 10th season at the helm of the women's basketball program at LMU. She led the Lions to back-to-back winning seasons in 2000 and 2001 while entering the 2004-05 season with an impressive 42-10 record in Gersten Pavilion since 2000. Under her direction, LMU set new school records for single-season overall wins (21) and single-season conference wins (10) in 2000-01. Last year's squad broke each of those records again, finishing regular season play with 22 wins and WCC play with 13. She led the Lions to a 24-6 overall record, a 13-1 mark in conference play, to their first appearance in the WCC regular season and tournament championships and to their first ever NCAA Tournament game that year. She was the first LMU women's basketball coach to earn the WCC's top coaching nod in 1999-00, the first to have earned it in consecutive seasons at LMU and only the second coach in WCC history to garner the award in two straight years. She was named the fourth head coach in the program's history on June 30, 1995. Wilhoit came to LMU after a two-year stint at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford. In February, Wilhoit was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame of her alma mater, Marian College (Indianapolis, Ind.). She enters the 2004-05 season with a 236-210 (.530) overall record.


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Amanda DeCoud and the Lions host Utah this Saturday.
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