Here’s the Northwest 11 weekly power ranking. The qualifying regional Division I 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 4
(Rank/Last Week/ School/Record: Comment)
1. (2) Gonzaga (18-3, 8-1 WCC): The Zags moved up in the AP poll to No. 22, holding yet another opponent to 45 points or fewer. GU defeated Pepperdine 69-39 on Saturday. The Zags have held eight opponents to 45 points or fewer. For the effort — and scoring — senior G Haiden Palmer was named WCC player of the week. She averaged 21.5 points on 54.5 percent (18-of-33) from the field in last week’s two wins. It started with a career-high 32 points in a 91-82 overtime win at Loyola Marymount.
2. (3) Idaho (14-7, 7-0 WAC): The Vandals are on an seven-game win streak, the longest since the 2003-04 season. Idaho plays at Seattle U on Saturday. I’ll let the players tell you more:
3. (5) Oregon State (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12): OSU freshman PG Sydney Wiese is emerging as one of the conference’s talented court leaders. She averaged 15 points and 5.3 assists the Beavers’ 2-1 stretch last week, the wins being against the Washington schools. OSU coach Scott Rueck told the team he wanted to win the Northwest region. The Beavers are 5-0 in games against Northwest opponents, already sweeping Oregon and beating Portland 79-73 in December.
4. (1) Washington State (11-9, 5-3 Pac-12): In the midst of the toughest part of its conference schedule, WSU could easily find itself on a seven-game losing streak if it doesn’t find some offensive consistency. The Cougs shot 29.2 percent from the field in a loss at Oregon on Friday and 25 percent in the opening half of a loss at Oregon State on Sunday.
5. (4) Washington (10-9, 3-5 Pac-12): UW has allowed opponents to score 90 points or more in three games this season.
6. (6) Portland (11-9, 4-5 WCC): The Pilots are hovering around mediocrity. Perhaps a four-game home stretch will help the team make a season-defining breakthrough.
7. (8) Seattle U (10-10, 5-2 WAC): Really like how F Wilma Afungo is developing as a Redhawks reserve. She had a career-high 14 points on 100 percent shooting from the field with five rebounds in a 89-68 win over Grand Canyon on Saturday. SU only plays one game this week, giving it needed practice time headed into rivalry a game with Idaho on Saturday.
8. (9) Boise State (10-8, 5-2 Mountain West): Look who’s on a four-game win streak and a game behind Colorado State (14-4, 6-1) for the conference lead. Freshman G Brooke Pahukoa played a perfect game off the bench in the Broncos’ 90-69 win at San Jose State on Saturday. She finished with 16 points in 18 minutes with one block and no turnovers. Pahukoa was 5-for-5 from the field, making all four of her three-point attempts.
9. (7) Eastern Washington (8-9, 4-4 Big Sky): The Eagles are searching for consistency. A solid conference win against Sacramento State was dulled by loss, 62-61, at Southern Utah on Saturday. Sophomore G Haley Hodgins missed a last-second shot to possibly win.
10. (11) Oregon (11-8, 2-6 Pac-12): Oregon swept the Washington schools by an average of 16 points to collect its first conference wins of the season. UO won back-to-back Pac-12 games for the first time since beating Utah and Colorado in February 2012. Sophomore F Jillian Alleyne has dominated teams all season, riding a 15-game streak finishing in double digits in scoring and rebounding. She was named the conference player of the week while freshman G Chrishae Rowe is the freshman of the week. Sophomore PG Lexi Petersen is the difference-maker. She’s totaled 17 assists in her past three starts filling in for PG Ariel Thomas (ankle). Coach Paul Westhead said Thomas could return this week.
11. (10) Portland State (5-12, 3-5 Big Sky): Senior G Kate Lanz returned after a two-game suspension for violating team rules. She played off the bench for the first time this season and scored 14 points in a 69-60 loss at Southern Utah.