Waves Host Gonzaga Saturday on Senior Day
UPCOMING Â The Pepperdine women’s basketball team (14-11, 7-4) has won five out of its last six games. Saturday the Waves host Gonzaga at home. Saturday also marks Senior Day and the last home game of the season for the Waves.
GAME #26 Â PEPPERDINE vs. GONZAGA Â Saturday (Feb. 21), at 2 p.m. at the Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu, Calif. Â SENIOR NIGHTÂ Come out and honor our graduating seniors!
The Waves last met the Bulldogs on Jan. 22, in Spokane. Gonzaga defeated Pepperdine 66-43.
Gonzaga (22-5, 10-1) defeated Loyola Marymount on Feb. 19, 81-78. Heather Bowman scored 24 points and had nine rebounds for the Zags.
Bowman leads the scoring for the Bulldogs with a 19.3 points per game average. Courtney Vandersloot averages 15.6 points per game.
Kelly Graves is the head coach for Gonzaga. He is in his ninth season coacing the Bulldogs.
PORTLAND RECAP Â The Pepperdine women’s basketball team upset Portland at a televised West Coast Conference game on Thursday evening, 64-55.
"There were great contributions from the entire team tonight," said head coach Julie Rousseau. "Our rebounding, steals and overall defense really made the difference."
Miranda Ayim (London, Ontario, Canada) led the scoring for the Waves (14-11, 7-4) with 15 points and nine rebounds. Joy Lelo (La Canada, Calif./La Canada HS) had a career-high 11 points, four rebounds and five steals, while Taylor Smith (Waialua, Hawaii/Kalaheo HS) also scored 11 points. Portland’s Allyson Sievers was the game high-scorer with 16 points, five rebounds and one steal.
PLAYER Q & A’S ON THE WEB Â Pepperdinesports.com has interviews with Lauren Bell, Miranda Ayim and Alisha Bryant in the features section on the web page. Nakeya Isabell is also featured in an article about her summer experience with Athletes in Action in Africa.
HONORING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Â The women’s basketball team joined the men’s team on Jan. 19 at a ceremony honoring the late Martin Luther King Jr., held at the Pepperdine Law School. The two teams presented keynote speaker Stedman Graham with a signed basketball. Graham spoke on the power of believing in yourself and doing your best to improve every day of your life.
NCAA NATIONAL STAT RANKINGS Â Senior Nakeya Isabell holds the No. 19 ranking in steals (2.9 apg), No. 14 in assists (6.0 apg), and No. 8 for assist turnover ratio (2.23). Junior Miranda Ayim is ranked No. 78 for field goal percentage with .481.
The team holds the No. 1 ranking in the nation for turnover margin (7.5) and is No. 3 for steals (12.9 apg).
RACKING UP THE STEALS AND ASSISTS Â Senior Nakeya Isabell notched her 100th assist for the season against Saint Mary’s (Jan 17). She has recorded 72 steals to date and currently ranks sixth on the all-time season steals record list. Isabell had a season and career-high 11 assists against San Francisco (Jan. 29).
WCC LEADERS Â Pepperdine leads the WCC in steals with 323 and a 12.92 average and turnover margin with of 25.9 percent. The Waves rank No. 3 in offensive rebounds with 379 and a 15.16 average.
Nakeya Isabell ranks No. 1 for steals with 2.88 per game, No. 1 for assist/turnover ratio with a 2.29 ratio, No. 15 for defensive rebounds with 3.24 per game. and No. 2 for assists with 6.04 per game. Miranda Ayim ranks in the top 15 on five different lists. Ayim is listed as No. 6 for blocks with 1.04 per-game, No. 6 for field goal percentage with .467, No. 12 for scoring with 11.5 per game, No. 9 for steals with 1.67 average and No. 13 for offensive rebounds with 2.04 per game. Jessica Ross ranks No. 5 for 3-point shots made at 1.56 average and No. 9 for 3-point percentage at .317. Taylor Smith is No. 28 for scoring with 6.9 per game. Freshman Jazmine Jackson ranks as the top freshman on the steal list at No. 4 with 2.13 per game and is the third highest ranking freshman on the scoring list at No. 19 with 9.6 per game.
WCC PRESEASON POLL Â Pepperdine was picked to finish sixth in the West Coast Conference in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches. The predicted order is as follows: Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Portland and San Francisco.
WCC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM Â Junior forward Miranda Ayim (London, Ont., Canada) was selected to the 2008-09 WCC Preseason All-Conference team. Ayim finished last season as a first team All-WCC selection and led the conference in field goal percentages.
JULIE ROUSSEAU Â The fifth head coach in Pepperdine women’s basketball history, Julie Rousseau is now in her fifth 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.
JOINING THE WAVES COACHING STAFF Â Maylana Martin Douglas (UCLA 2000), Darryl Brown (Temple 1995) and Maurice Hilliard (LaVerne 1991) round out the 2008-09 coaching 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 Â Starting returners from 2007-08 are Jessica Ross (Gilroy, Calif./ Notre Dame HS) Miranda Ayim (London, Ontario, Canada) Alisha Bryant (Pacoima, Calif./ Chatsworth HS) and Taylor Smith (Kailua, Hawaii/ Klaheo HS).
SERVICE Â The women’s basketball team is one of the most involved teams at Pepperdine in community service. On November 28-29, they hosted their third annual Time Out 4 HIV/AIDS Tournament to promote awareness and raise money to fight the disease. In October, 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 Â which is giving to others and making the world a better place.
Senior Nakeya Isabell (Seattle, Wash./ Cleveland HS) spent the summer of 2008 in North Africa as a member of Althletes in Action. The team was on a pioneering ministry where they conducted clinics, competed against other collegiate teams and worked to build relationships with women in Africa and sports,
PEPPERDINE HISTORY Â Pepperdine has posted a winning record in 10 of the last 15 years and has registered six 20-win seasons over the past 10 years. 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 ten years, including the NCAA Tournament four times. Waves also played in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament three times in recent years.
WAVES IN THE PROS Â 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 and is now with the Atlanta Dream.
FIRESTONE FIELDHOUSE Â 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 31 seasons, the Waves have won more than 63 percent of their home games. Pepperdine has posted 24 winning seasons at home and just six sub-.500 seasons.
TICKETS Â Individual game prices are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. For more information please call 1-866-WAVE-TIX.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE Â 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 Â 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.