Women's Basketball to Finish Off Nonconference Schedule as it Hosts USC
Dec. 20, 2011
THIS WEEK: The Waves return to Firestone Fieldhouse for their final nonconference tilt of the season, as they host USC at 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The 5-5 Waves will look to get back to winning ways as they try to halt a two game skid after back-to-back losses to Oregon State and UC Santa Barbara.
GAME 11: USC at Pepperdine, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1 p.m. PT, WaveCast available at pepperdinesports.com.
COME OUT TO SUPPORT: President Andy Benton has declared Wednesday's game faculty and staff appreciation day. All employees are encouraged to attend for free with their Pepperdine ID card. Discounted refreshments will also be available. The Waves Team Shop is also having a sale, 40% off of all merchandise.
LAST TIME OUT: After nearly a week off for finals, the Waves fell on the road to UC Santa Barbara on Friday night, 54-44. The Waves were plagued by uncharacteristic turnovers and poor shooting in the first half as they scored a season low 13 points. In the second half the Waves stepped things up, led by senior leaders Lauren Bell and Jazmine Jackson, and drew within five points in the second half. The hot second half shooting of the Gauchos proved to be too much as the Waves were unable to make the comeback victory. Jackson led all Wave scorers with 18 points.
USC: The Trojans are 4-5 on the season and come to Malibu after two straight close losses Last Thursday they fell at Arkansas State 58-56 and followed that up with a 71-70 loss at reigning NCAA champion Texas A&M. Senior forward Briana Gilbreath leads the squad with 13.2 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. Senior guards Ashley Corral and Jackie Gemelos are the team's starting guards and average 11.4 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. Center Cassie Harberts and forward Alexyz Vaioletama also average double-figure scoring in a balanced Trojan offensive attack. Third-year head coach Michael Cooper is at the helm of the Trojan program, after taking over for former Pepperdine head coach Mark Trakh in 2009.
MEETINGS WITH THE TROJANS: This is the 18th meeting all-time between Pepperdine and the USC. The Trojans have won all 17 previous meetings. The last time the two teams squared off was in the 2008-09 season at USC's Galen Center, with the Trojans taking a 69-55 victory. In the 2007-08 season was the last time the Trojans and Waves squared off in Firestone Fieldhouse, with the Trojans winning by a close 53-52 margin.
IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR: Freshman forward/center Tessa Emerson's mother Holly Ford was a standout player for USC from 1985-88. She is one of only 23 Trojan student-athletes all-time to amass over 1,000 points (1,118). Currently Emerson has made an appearance in all 10 games this season for the Waves and is averaging 1.7 points per game.
GETTING THE HARDWARE: For her efforts, Lauren Bell was named tournament MVP, as she averaged 12 points, 4 assists and 6.5 steals per game. She joined fellow senior guard Katie Menton on the all-tournament team. Menton led the way with 21 points and eight boards in the victory over Idaho and followed up with nine points, including two threes in the title game.
GETTING RECOGNIZED: Senior guard Katie Menton was named West Coast Women's Basketball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. Menton had a 21-point and eight-rebound effort in the victory over Idaho. She followed that up with eight points, including two three-pointers against New Mexico.
INJURIES: The Waves have started the season off injury-riddled. Usual staters Jazmine Jackson and Skye Barnett have missed three and five games, respectively. Jackson, the WCC Defensive Player of the Year last season has averaged a team-leading 17.5 points in the games she has played and Barnett is the emotional spark for the Waves. In the games she has played she has averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds. Juniors T'Keyah Shealy has only played in two games so far this season, and Audrey Miller only one due to ongoing injuries. Freshman Bria Richardson made her collegiate debut in the 10th game of the season against Santa Barbara.
IN THE STATS: In typical Pepperdine fashion, the Waves are top in the conference with 12.1 steals per game. The team also leads the WCC with a +7.10 turnover margin. They are also ranked third with a .711 free throw percentage. Senior guard Lauren Bell leads the conference with 3.4 steals per game (34 overall) and minutes played (39.1 per game). Her seven steals against New Mexico is a single-game high in the WCC. She also ranks fourth with 3.3 assists per game from her point guard position.
AMONG THE NCAA LEADERS: As a team the Waves are ranked 16th nationally with a +7.1 turnover margin ... They also rank 34th with 12.1 steals per game ... Individually Lauren Bell is 26th with 3.4 steals per game.
KEY RETURNERS: The Waves return their entire starting lineup from a year ago, including 2010-11 Defensive Player of the Year, Jazmine Jackson. The Waves' point guard Bell also returns and is poised to have a strong season as the field general. Sharp shooter Katie Menton returns for her senior season and boasts a .346 three-point field goal percentage. Skye Barnett, the heart and soul of the squad is ready to have a strong senior season after missing the postseason last year with injury.
JOINING THE FOLD: The Waves boast four freshmen in guards Grace Leah Baughn, Ea Shoushtari and Bria Richardson and forward/center Tessa Emerson. All four come to Malibu after stellar senior seasons and are expected to contribute to the squad.
WCC PRESEASON POLL AND TEAM: For the second-straight season the Waves are picked to finish third in the WCC by a vote of the conference coaches. This year the team came in just two points behind newcomer BYU. Senior guard Jazmine Jackson was named to the All-WCC Preseason team after earning First Team All-Conference accolades last season and being named WCC Defensive Player of the Year.
TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE: The Waves have a tough non-conference schedule this season, as they kick the season off at No. 3 Tennessee and also have a game against 2011 NCAA Tournament participants Fresno State. They also play tough Pac-12 opponents in currently ranked USC and Oregon State.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: With only one home game in the month of November, the Waves are set to become road warriors with a tough non-conference schedule. They will travel to Fullerton, Calif., Boise, Idaho, Albuquerque, N.M. and San Luis Obispo, Calif. in the month of November alone.
2012 RECRUITS: The Waves have signed a four-player 2012 recruiting class, that is ranked No. 7 for mid major programs by ESPN's HoopGurlz. The class includes forward Amanda Lovely and Kelsey Brockway, point guard Alisha Roberts and wing Keitra Wallace.
GETTING A NEW TITLE: In his fourth year in Malibu, Darryl Brown was named associate head coach. Brown, a former head coach on the Division Ievel at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, Brown has also coached at his alma mater Temple and Montclair State.
CHART CLIMBING: Jazmine Jackson ranks sixth on Pepperdine's individual career records chart for total free throws made with 332 ... Lauren Bell ranks fourth in free-throw percentage at .788 ...Her 192 career steals are fifth all-time ... Elsewhere, Jackson is second all-time with 219 steals.
CHART CLIMBING II: With 188 3-point field goals made Katie Menton needs to hit 48 more long-range attempts to claim the program's varsity record ... Damaris Hinojosa holds the program record of 236 ... She played in 120 games from 1999-2003 ... Menton, whose career 3-point field-goal percentage of .329 ranks her among the all-time top 15 at Pepperdine, has appeared in 99 games.
SUMMER CHAMPS: For the second-straight summer Jazmine Jackson and Lauren Bell won the 2011 San Francisco Bay Area Women's Pro Am Championship with their Mission Rec Center Team in early August after beating Bay City, 81-59, in game two of their best-of-three series ... Jazmine Jackson led the way with 16 points in the series-clinching victory ... Mission Rec won the first game 92-79.
AMONG THE WCC LEADERS: Pepperdine finished ranked No. 1 in two categories: turnover margin (+8.0) and steals (12.8) ... Individually, Lauren Bell ranked second in steals (2.8), third in assists (3.9) and third in assist/turnover ratio (1.4) ... Jazmine Jackson finished third in steals (2.6) and minutes played (33.7), and is fifth in free-throw percentage (.826) ... Katie Menton was tops with 2.3 3-point field goals made ... Robie Mayberry placed second with a .412 3-point field-goal percentage.
THE WIRE GANG: Another section of the season record book where Jazmine Jackson and Lauren Bell appear is the steals category ... Bell's 84 thefts last year are the fourth most in Pepperdine history, while her 2.8 steals average ranks fourth ... The season record for steals of 123 has been held by Donna Tatum since the end of the 1980-81 campaign ... Jackson's 78 steals in 2010-11 rank her tied for fifth on the season records list.
ALL-CONFERENCE HONOREES: Junior guard Jazmine Jackson and freshman forward Robie Mayberry both received postseason recognition from the West Coast Conference ... Jackson was named to the 2011 All-Conference Team and voted Defensive Player of the Year ... Mayberry was one of five rookies selected to the 2011 All-Freshman Team ... Jackson is the third Wave to be named WCC Defensive Player of the Year, joining NeSha Thomas (2001) and Kelsey Ball (2006) ... Mayberry is the eighth Wave in as many years to be part of the conference's all-freshman squad.
100 WINS FOR JULIE: Julie Rousseau earned her 100th career victory as Pepperdine's head coach when her Waves defeated Saint Mary's, 69-48, on Feb. 3, 2011 ... Her all-time coaching record currently stands at 104-106 (.495) ... Three of the four previous Pepperdine basketball coaches also reached 100 victories: Mark Trakh (199), Patty Meyers (146) and Ron Fortner (131).
COACHES COME BACK: Previous Pepperdine women's basketball staffers Kristen Dowling and David Johnson returned to the Waves' bench this last year ... Johnson, an assistant on Rousseau's first Pepperdine team in 2004-05, left an Aquinas (Calif.) High School boys' basketball team that won the previous three Christian League championships ... Dowling, who served as a graduate assistant from 2006 to 2008, returned to Malibu from Cal State Bakersfield where she was part of a coaching staff that guided the Roadrunners to the two best records in school history.
LET'S TURN THIS SHIP AROUND: Pepperdine's 18-12 campaign in 2010-11 was the third straight winning season for head coach Julie Rousseau's Waves ... The Rousseau era began with a 1-6 start in her first year of 2004-05 and was followed by three additional sub-par years that dropped her win-loss record to 19 games under .500 ... But over the past three seasons, beginning in 2008-09, the Waves have developed into a winning program and contender for the WCC title ... The Waves have placed third in the WCC at 9-5 each of the last three seasons.
STRIVING FOR GREATNESS THROUGH SERVICE: The women's basketball team is one of the most involved teams at Pepperdine in terms of community service ... In the summer, the team put on a series of basketball clinics for local youth to attend and later it worked at a Santa Monica convalescent home for the second-straight year in early September during the campus-wide "Step Forward Day" ... This level of involvement, head coach Julie 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.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE -- Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #55 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges. The 2011-12 school year marks Pepperdine's 75th anniversary.