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Women's Basketball - Mon, Feb. 24, 2014

Playing under a new format—but with the same mantra: win or go home—the California Pacific Conference women's basketball championship tournament will get underway March 1 with four teams vying to keep their seasons alive for at least one more game.  

Menlo, La SierraWilliam Jessup, and Simpson meet at Menlo College for the semifinal round this Saturday to play for the opportunity to extend the season to Monday's championship game.  For the first time in almost a decade, the tournament will be held at one location instead of the higher seeded team hosting the game.  In recent years, all teams advanced to the conference tournament, but this year the Cal Pac has gone to a uniform format for all its sports where the championship tournaments are pared down to a final four with all games played at one predetermined site.


Menlo earned the top seed by sweeping all 12 of its Cal Pac games, finishing with at 23-5 overall.  The Lady Oaks square off with #4 Simpson (6-6 in the Cal Pac, 12-17 overall) in the 6:00 game on March 1.  In the nightcap, #3 William Jessup (8-4, 13-14) takes on #2 William Jessup (8-4, 14-14) at 8:00. 


The winners of the two games will play at 6:00 on Monday, March 3, with the winner earning the right to play in the national tournament, which begins March 12-13 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.


For all information regarding the Cal Pac Championships, go to California Pacific Conference Championship Tournament.


California Pacific Conference Championship Tournament



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Semifinal Games

6:00     #4 Simpson vs. #1 Menlo

8:00     #3 William Jessup vs. #2 La Sierra


Monday, March 3, 2014

6:00     Championship Game


6:00 Semifinal



Led by a trio of outstanding players, Menlo has dominated the competition and leads the conference in almost every offensive and defensive category.  Jolise Limcaco leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per outing, and triggers the potent offense with a conference-best 5.9 assists per game. Laurel Donnenwirth averages a double-double every time she steps on the court, dropping 14.4 points and grabbing 10.3 rebounds, the latter the best in the Cal Pac. The third standout is Vanessa D'Amico, who is averaging 13.4 points per game.  D'Amico is 10th in the country in total 3-point field goals made (80) and 18th in 3-point field goals made per game (2.9).



Simpson earned big Cal Pac wins over William Jessup—in overtime—and UC Merced to claim the final playoff slot.  Nichole Jones has led the charge, averaging 13.5 points per game to lead her team.  She not only provided the Red Hawks with steady scoring, she is second on the team in rebounding, pulling down 4.2 per contest.  Jones does the most damage on the defensive, as evidenced by her 2.72 steals per game, giving her the second best average in the conference. The rest of the offense has been very balanced with Esther Wofford (9.2 points per game) and Tiffany Aaserude (8.6) providing scoring from the perimeter.  Madison Cox has emerged as a force in the paint, with her scoring (5.6) and rebounding (5.6) increasing late in the season.


              MENLO                              Team Leader                             SIMPSON

     Jolise Limcaco (15.5)              Points per game                     Nichole Jones (13.5)     

     Laurel Donnenwirth (10.3)      Rebounds per game              Madison Cox (5.6)

     Jolise Limcaco (5.9)                Assists per game                   Kaity Hahn (2.2)

     Laurel Donnenwirth (50%)     Feld goal percentage             Nichole Jones (46%)

     Vanessa D'Amico (41%)         3-point percentage                 Nichole Jones (29%)

     Vanessa D'Amico (90%)         Free throw percentage           Karley Menez (81%)


Previous meetings this season:


January 9, 2014 (at Simpson):  Menlo 82, Simpson 60

  • Leading scorers: MC—Vanessa D'Amico (14); SU—Kayla Shubin (14)
  • Leading rebounders: MC—Laurel Donnenwirth (9); SU—Madison Cox (7)
  • Leading assists: MC—Jolise Limcaco (8); SU—Tiffany Aaserude, Nichole Jones (3)

February 1, 2014 (at Menlo):  Menlo 75, Simpson 59

  • Leading scorers: MC—Laurel Donnenwirth (21); SU—Nichole Jones (14)
  • Leading rebounders: MC—Laurel Donnenwirth (14); SU— Madison Cox, Nichole Jones (8)
  • Leading assists: MC—Jolise Limcaco (8); SU—Nichole Jones (2)

8:00 Semifinal



The Golden Eagles have a trio of prolific scorers, led by the Cal Pac's leading scorer, Natalia Hawthorne.  Hawthorne, who has scored 30 or more points in a game twice this season, averages 18.6 points per game and is doing it by ranking among the league's leaders in field goal percentage (35.7%).  She is also second in the conference in steals per game (2.8), and she ranks 12th in the country in total steals (72).  Joirdan Jones is another player capable of putting up points, as she did when she finished with 33 in a home victory three weeks ago, and is scoring at an 11.9 clip.  Shelby Madigan is also averaging double figures for the Golden Eagles at 11.1 points per game.  Madigan and Victoria Lowe 7.1 and 7.3 rebounds a game, respectively, placing them both in the top five in the Cal Pac.



The Warriors have a threesome that can compete with any team in the conference, led by one of the Cal Pac's top all-around performers, Ashley Rose.  Rose triggers an offense that is second in the league in scoring (66.9 points per game) and anchors the second rated defense (66.2 points per game).  She is second in the Cal Pac in scoring (18.4), second in field goal percentage (42.1%), third in steals (2.4), and third in assists (3.7). Rose has plenty of help around her, beginning with Sarah Petersen, who averages 14 points per game and 10 rebounds per contest. Nicole McDonald is another offensive threat, pouring in 11.5 points per game, but a number of other players have shown they can step up the offensive output when needed: Amanda Young and Taylor Borba both average 6.9 points per game, and Alexandria Westbrook is at 5.7.


           LA SIERRA                              Team Leader                           WILLIAM JESSUP

     Natalia Hawthorne (18.6)           Points per game                         Ashley Rose (18.3)     

     Victoria Lowe (7.3)                     Rebounds per game                   Sarah Petersen (10.1)     

     Joirdan Jones (2.5)                    Assists per game                        Ashley Rose (3.7)

     Brittani Walker (38%)                 Feld goal percentage                 Sarah Petersen (44%)

     Natalia Hawthorne (34%)           3-point percentage                     Sarah Petersen (42%)

     Natalia Hawthorne (81%)           Free throw percentage               Ashley Rose (78%)


Previous meetings this season:


January 18, 2014 (at La Sierra):  La Sierra 56, William Jessup 44

  • Leading scorers: LSU—Natalia Hawthorne (27); WJU—Amanda Young (15)
  • Leading rebounders: LSU—Shelby Madigan (10); WJU—Alexandria Westbrook (9)
  • Leading assists: LSU—Natalia Hawthorne (4); WJU—Sarah Petersen, A. Young (2)

February 6, 2014 (at William Jessup):  William Jessup 80, La Sierra 69

  • Leading scorers: WJU—Sarah Petersen (21); LSU—Natalia Hawthorne (22)
  • Leading rebounders: WJU—Alexandria Westbrook (11); LSU—Victoria Lowe (9)
  • Leading assists: WJU—Olivia Nelson, Amanda Young (4); LSU—Brittani Walker (4)