Loyola Marymount Lions
| MESSAGE BOARD
REGION: Midwest SEED: 13
COACH: Jill Wilhoit CONFERENCE: WCC
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|PLAYER TO WATCH|
Adrianne Slaughter was the West Coast tournament MVP, but Murray has been making waves for the Lions all season. The 6-foot senior guard/forward is the only player in program history to rank among the top 10 leaders in 12 of Loyola Marymount's 13 all-time statistical categories, and stands in second place on the career scoring chart with more than 1,500 points. The two-time All-WCC first-team selection averages 16.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals, and her lethal 88.6 percent accuracy at the foul line ranks eighth in the nation.
ANALYSIS BY ESPN'S STACEY DALES-SCHUMAN
For the first time, Julie Wilhoit's Loyola Marymount Lions captured both the West Coast Conference tournament championship and regular-season title, earning them a berth to the NCAA Tournament. One might say that the Lions are on a bit of a long-term tear, having won every game that they've played over the past two months.
Much of this success can be credited to the school's first ever Player of the Year in senior guard/forward Kate Murray. After a season-ending knee injury a year ago, Murray has closed her West Coast career in high fashion, tallying 16 points and shooting a deadly 43 percent from the trey. She's also one of the top free-throw shooters in the nation, sinking nearly 89 percent at the foul line.
Murray's fellow senior counterpart is 6-foot-2 center Adrianne Slaughter. The conference Defender of the Year last season, Slaughter has stepped up her scoring touch around the hoop to average 11 points and shoot almost 50 percent. Described as a fiercely intense competitor, the Lions will need all her fire -- and then some -- come tournament action.
With an abundance of seniors, Loyola Marymount is a team built upon composure and poise. As a result, the Lions take excellent care of the basketball and they've developed an incredible winning streak that continues to evolve. Between the confidence derived from this streak and the best defense in the conference, LMU has high hopes for the NCAA Tournament.