In this new Monday feature, I’ll take a look at the Northwest’s 11 Division I teams and give a weekly power ranking. The regional schools are Washington, Washington State, Seattle U, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, Idaho and Boise State. Idaho State will not be included due to Pocatello’s more eastern location.
NORTHWEST 11 WEEK 2
(Rank/Last Week/School/Record: Comment)
1. (1) Gonzaga (14-3, 4-1 WCC): Guess this tweet from GU coach Kelly Graves says it all:
Contrary to earlier reports by some, the Zags are still alive & well in Spokane
Zags swept BYU and then-No. 24 San Diego at home last week. A big reason is the continued improved play of junior F Sunny Greinacher. She was named WCC player of the week after averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds, shooting 65 percent from the field.
2. (2) Washington State (10-6, 4-0 Pac-12): So, Stanford F Chiney Ogwumike is an incredible player, but she robbed WSU junior F Shalie Dheensaw a chance at a career first Pac-12 player of the week honor. Dheensaw was the motor behind Washington State’s historic wins against Washington, snapping a 36-game losing streak and tying itself with Stanford atop conference standings. The Canadian averaged 15.5 points in the Apple Cup wins on 65 percent from the floor. Dheensaw also averaged a team-best 13.5 rebounds for her first two double doubles of her career.
3. (6) Oregon State (9-6, 1-2 Pac-12): G Sydney Wiese was named the Pac-12′s freshman of the week after scoring a season-high 24 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field in a 88-80 win against rival Oregon. She hit three shots from the foul line in the final minute to seal the victory. Wiese’s 45.8 percent shooting from three-point range ranks 14th in the nation.
4. (4) Idaho (11-7, 4-0 WAC): Senior F Alyssa Charlston (Eastlake HS) has played 114 consecutive games for Idaho, tied for first all-time. Her Vandals are predicted to be a No. 14 seed in the NCAA tournament according to ESPN’s first Bracketology release Monday.
5. (5) Portland (9-7, 2-3 WCC): The Pilots broke then-No. 24 San Diego’s 15-game unbeaten streak to open the season behind 18 points from Cassandra Brown in a 72-51 win on Wednesday. It’s UP’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2003.
6. (3) Oregon (9-5, 0-3 Pac-12): The Ducks play an early must-win game in Round 2 of the Civil War against OSU at 7pm Monday on the Pac-12 Networks.
7. (8) Eastern Washington (6-8, 2-3 Big Sky): EWU losing step on its preseason prediction to win the Big Sky Conference title. Currently North Dakota is atop the standings at 5-0.
8. (7) Washington (8-7, 1-3 Pac-12): UW trending downward after three-game losing streak, including first loss to Washington State since 1995, exposes weaknesses in its defensive mindset.
9. (9) Boise State: (6-8, 1-2 Mountain West): Junior wing Deanna Weaver, the MWC’s leading scorer entering conference play, held to 1 of 10 shooting in 55-48 loss to Wyoming on Saturday.
10. (10) Seattle U (8-9, 3-1 WAC): The Redhawks are on a five-game winning streak at Connolly Center, winning by an average of 15.4 points.
11. (11) Portland State (4-10, 2-3 WCC): Senior F Angela Misa is questionable for Thursday’s home game against Sacramento State due to injury. She’s the team’s third-leading scorer (10.9 points) and leading rebounder (9 rebounds).