First Place On The Line When Waves Battle Bulldogs

January 19, 2009

UPCOMING - The Pepperdine women's basketball team (12-5, 3-0 WCC) looks to stay atop the West Coast Conference standings this weekend when it plays host to rivals Gonzaga and Portland. The Waves tip off against the Bulldogs for first place in the WCC Thursday at 7 p.m. and welcome the Pilots to Firestone Fieldhouse for a 2 p.m. Saturday matinée. Pepperdine is 3-0 in conference play for the first time since its NCAA Tournament season of 2002-03.  

GAME #19 - Pepperdine vs. Gonzaga (Thursday, Jan. 21): Pepperdine is 29-21 all-time vs. Gonzaga, a record that includes a 15-7 mark against the Bulldogs at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves won 19-consecutive meetings in this series from 1995-96 through 2002-03, but are 4-11 since that time. Pepperdine's 72-62 home victory over Gonzaga last year snapped a four-game winning streak for the Bulldogs in this series.

GAME #20 - Pepperdine vs. Portland (Saturday, Jan. 23): Pepperdine's 31 wins over Portland are its most against any WCC opponent other than Loyola Marymount, which it's defeated 43 times. Recently, the Waves have lost three of their last four meetings with the Pilots, but had won 21 of 22 contests in the series just prior to that mini slump. Pepperdine and Portland split last year's set as each school won on its home court. 

ON THE WEB - Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can catch all Pepperdine women's basketball home games and selected road games on the internet at Go to the Pepperdine Athletics website and look for the WaveCasts link. An annual pass costs $69.95 and monthly subscriptions are also available. Live statistics will be available for all home matches free of charge, and links are provided to the home team's website when the Waves are on the road.

WEEKEND PROMOTIONS: Pepperdine wants to break its single-game attendance record Thursday night as part of the NCAA's "Pack The House Challenge." Fans are encouraged to wear orange and the first 100 Pepperdine students will receive "Beat The Zags" t-shirts. At halftime, there will be a performance from the Pepperdine dance team and one lucky Pepperdine student will have the opportunity to win $10,000 by participating in a shot-sequence contest. Hot chocolate from the new Chocolate Box Cafe in Malibu and free Dominos Pizza will be provided post game.

Sunday is "Take A Kid to the Game Day."  All kids in the 8th grade and younger may enter this game for free if accompanied by an adult chaperone. Click here to view a flyer with more information. The first 100 kids will receive a Pepperdine t-shirt and a growth chart and the Pepperdine women's basketball team will be signing autographs after the game (Team posters will be provided).

Click here for more information regarding Pepperdine Athletics promotions.

AYIM A REAL AMERICAN - Following a pair of solid performances on both sides of the court last weekend at Santa Clara and San Francisco, it's time to include senior Miranda Ayim in the conversation for All-America. Ayim is nationally ranked individually this season in three categories: points (15.5 avg.), blocked shots (2.2 avg.) and field-goal percentage (47.5), and is among the top-ten WCC leaders in seven categories: blocked shots, (2nd); scoring, (4th); rebounding, (6th - 6.8); defensive rebounds, (6th - 4.4); steals, (6th - 1.8); offensive rebounds, (10th - 2.4) and field-goal percentage (10th).

Ayim has registered four double-doubles this year against the likes of Purdue, Arizona State, San Diego State and Santa Clara. She finished two blocks shy of a triple-double against the Aztecs, but her individual game total ranks as the 15th highest in the nation this season. Ayim later blocked six shots at Kansas and again vs. San Francisco. Her game-by-game performance sheet is attached at the top of this release.

Ayim's season performances have netted her a pair of WCC Co-Player of the Week citations, and her career accomplishments on and off the court have her in the running for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

Ayim's career totals include 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. At the conclusion of her sophomore year of 2007-08, she was ranked 19th nationally with a 55.7 field-goal percentage. 

AYIM NAMED WCC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Miranda Ayim earned her second WCC Co-Player of the Week honor after posting averages of 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in wins against the Broncos and Dons. Ayim also shared the award following Pepperdine's late-November wins over Providence and Purdue.

SANTA CLARA RECAP - Miranda Ayim scored a career-high 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Pepperdine to an 83-67 victory at Santa Clara.  

Ayim had her fourth double-double of the season. She made 14 of 24 shots and connected on her only three-point attempt. The Waves also got 14 points from Jazmine Jackson and 10 points from both Lauren Bell and Kelsey Patrick.

The Waves forced 24 turnovers while committing only 12, and led by as many as 24 points in the second half.

SAN FRANCISCO RECAP - Pepperdine improved to 3-0 in the WCC and won for the seventh time in its last eight games with a 67-43 victory at San Francisco on Saturday.

Ayim just missed a double-double with a game-high 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds. She also had six blocked shots and two steals. Shay Cooney-Williams scored 10 points, while Jackson provided nine points, eight assists and five rebounds.

The Waves had an excellent defensive showing, holding USF (4-17, 0-4) to 26.8% shooting while forcing 18 turnovers. The 43 points were a season low by a Pepperdine opponent.

Along with Ayim, Taylor Snider and T'Keyah Shealy helped Pepperdine collect a season-high 50 rebounds. Snider had eight boards and Shealy had seven.

ASU CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Miranda Ayim and Lauren Bell were named to the ASU Classic All-Tournament Team for their outstanding efforts. Ayim scored 32 points and had 20 rebounds in the tournament, while Bell notched 17 points, 17 assists and 8 rebounds.

NCAA DIV. I LEADERS (2009-10) TOP 30 - Pepperdine women's basketball is ranked No. 10 for turnover margin with a 6.8 margin.

WCC TEAM LEADERS - Pepperdine is ranked No. 1 in the WCC for turnover margin with a 6.8 margin; is second in offensive rebounds with a 15.9 game avg.; No. 2 for steals with a 10.1 game avg.; No. 3 in scoring defense at 58.3 avg.; and is tied for first with Gonzaga in assist/turnover ratio at 1.3.

WCC INDIVIDUAL LEADERS - Skye Barnett is ranked No. 9 for offensive rebounds with a 2.5 game avg. Lauren Bell is ranked No. 4 for assist/turnover ratio with a 1.5 game ratio; tied for fourth in assists with a 3.1 game avg. and No. 7 for steals with a 1.7 game avg. Jazmine Jackson is tied for fourth in steals with a 1.9 game avg., tied for eighth in assists with a 2.6 game avg., No. 7 for free-throw percentage at .802. Katie Menton holds the No. 5 ranking for 3-pt. field goals made with a 1.7 game avg.

HONORS FOR AYIM - Miranda Ayim has been selected as a candidate for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior Class Award. Ayim is one of sixty NCAA men's and women's basketball players who excel both on and off the court.

The criteria for the award is the student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence -- classroom, character, community and competition.

WCC PRESEASON POLL- Pepperdine was picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference in a preseason vote by the league's coaches. The predicted order is as follows: Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary's, San Diego,   San Francisco and Santa Clara.

WCC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM - Junior forward Miranda Ayim (London, Ont., Canada) was selected to the 2009-10 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team.

JULIE ROUSSEAU - The fifth head coach in Pepperdine women's basketball history, Julie Rousseau is now in her sixth season with the Waves. She is a former head coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and was an assistant coach at Stanford before joining the Waves. In just her second season, she led Pepperdine to a WCC Tournament title and a spot in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

Coach Rousseau was the assistant coach for the United States World University Games Women's Basketball Team in 2009. Team USA took home a gold medal.

THE WAVES COACHING STAFF - Maylana Martin Douglas (UCLA 2000), Darryl Brown (Temple 1995) and Maurice Hilliard (LaVerne 1991) round out the 2009-10 coaching staff. This is the second season for the staff. Rousseau describes "great chemistry among the staff and athletes." She went on to describe the trio as "evenly balanced, hard workers who have great character and a desire to mentor each of the young women in our program and help them grow."

WAVES RETURNERS - Starting returners from 2008-09 are  Miranda Ayim and Jazmine Jackson (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep).

Ayim has been named to the All-WCC first team for the second straight year. She led the team in scoring (11.5) and rebounding (5.4). The 6-3 center was selected as Pepperdine's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and made the COSiDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District third team.

Jackson was selected to the WCC All-Freshman team and was named to the All-WCC honorable mention team. Jackson was the second highest scorer as a freshman.

FABULOUS FRESHMEN - Five freshmen join the Waves this year. Shay Cooney-Williams (Frisco, Texas/Frisco HS)  is an all-state first team point guard...Jade McNorton (Boise, Idaho/Centennial HS) is a 6-3 post player with prep All-American honors...Kelsey Patrick (Mukileto, Wash./Kamiak HS) is a 6-0 forward, All American nominee...Doris Park-Sherman (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park HS) is a 6-1 forward who was tabbed Ventura County's 2009 Female Player of the Year and T'Keyah Shealy (Englewood, Colo./Regis Jesuit HS) is a 5-11 guard/forward who led her high school to a state title and was tabbed all-state first team.

MENTON BACK - Redshirt sophomore Katie Menton (Coarsegold, Calif./ Yosemite HS) returns to action after missing most of last season with an injury. Menton was a 2007-08 WCC All-Freshman Team selection. Menton averaged 8.9 points per game and contributed 47 assists for the season. The versatile sophomore played in all 28 games and started in four.

SERVICE - The women's basketball team is one of the most involved teams at Pepperdine in community service. In the summer, the team put on a series of basketball clinics for local youth to attend. All of this involvement, Rousseau believes, is the key to success in life and on the court - which is giving to others and making the world a better place.

WAVES IN THE PROS - Rasheeda Clark, who played for the Waves from 1999-2001 and was the 2000 WCC Player of the Year, became the school's first-ever player to be chosen in the WNBA Draft (however, she didn't end up making a team). Then, Jennifer Lacy became the first WCC women's basketball player to make a WNBA roster, as she won a spot with the Phoenix Mercury in 2006. Lacy was then part of the Mercury's 2007 WNBA championship squad.

FIRESTONE FIELDHOUSE - Firestone Fieldhouse opened on Nov. 30, 1973 and it has long been the home of the Pepperdine women's basketball program. Since the 1976-77 season, which spans the last 33 seasons, the Waves have compiled a 289-164 (.638) record in the Fieldhouse. Pepperdine has posted 26 winning seasons and just six sub-.500 seasons. All told, the Waves have posted a double-digit win total 14 times, including seven consecutive from 1997-2003. The single-season record for home victories came during the 1980-81 campaign when Pepperdine posted a 15-4 record.

PEPPERDINE HISTORY - Pepperdine has posted a winning record 10 times in the last 14 seasons and has recorded 20-win seasons on six occasions. The Waves  captured the program's first-ever West Coast Conference Tournament title in 2002 and followed that up with victories in 2003 and 2006. Pepperdine has also won at least a share of the regular-season championship in four of the last nine seasons. Pepperdine has made the postseason in seven of the last nine years, including the NCAA Tournament four times. The Waves also played in the Women's National Invitation Tournament three times in recent years.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men's sports - one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine's teams are ranked nationally year after year and compete for conference and national titles.

TICKETS - Individual game prices are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. For more information please call 1-866-WAVE-TIX.




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