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 6
(Rank/Last Week/ School/Record: Comment)
1. (4) Washington (13-10, 6-6 Pac-12): A win like Sunday’s 87-82 upset against then-No. 3 Stanford makes a UW fan want to kick themselves for previous losses to Portland and the Oregon schools. The NCAA tournament remains a distant dream for this season, but first-year UW coach Mike Neighbors said the signature victory is about the process anyway. Keeping the “we’ve been here before” mantra, Neighbors will have his staff make a collage of the win — a new thing for victories against ranked teams. (Stanford dropped to No. 6 in the AP poll released Monday). Washington will put the collages on a locker room wall and keep working until those wins are a norm and UW is headed to the NCAA tournament consistently. Since the team is off Monday, we can revel a little more in the game, however. G Kelsey Plum was named freshman of the week for the fifth time this season. The best stat line was senior PG Mercedes Wetmore finishing with a career-high 18 points, a career-high eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and zero turnovers in 40 minutes. Perfection. The hustle award goes to redshirt sophomore Talia Walton, who played her first game against the Cardinal, and junior F Aminah Williams. True, All-American Chiney Ogwumike finished with her standard 23 points and 14 boards. Card junior Mikaela Ruef had career highs in points (16) and rebounds (22). Stanford outrebounded Washington 57-38. Yet, to anyone watching the game, the timely boxouts and defensive play of Walton and Williams on Ogwumike was key. The latter even showed respect on her Twitter account.
@TWalton_3 way to play today! Kudos to your squad!
— Chiney Ogwumike (@Chiney321) February 10, 2014
2. (2) Idaho (17-7, 10-0 WAC): The Vandals won a pair on the road to push its win streak to 10, matching the 1985-86 season. Idaho is the first team in the WAC to remain unbeaten this late into the conference season since Fresno State went 11-0 in 2011-12.
3. (1) Gonzaga (22-3, 12-1 WCC): Love this story about Zags senior G Haiden Palmer and her volunteer work for Blessings Under the Bridge. In addition to providing things like clothing, blankets and haircuts, the non-profit organization has coordinated weekly communal meals for Spokane’s homeless since 2007. According to the report, volunteers like Palmer spend their Wednesday evenings serving those meals under the I-90 overpass. On the court, the Zags remained at No. 20 in the national AP poll.
4. (3) Oregon State (14-9, 6-5 Pac-12): The Beavs’ game against Utah was moved to Monday due to an unexpected snowstorm blanketing the state. The matchup tips at 6pm at Gill Coliseum.
5. (5) Boise State (13-9, 8-3 Mountain West): A six-game win streak was snapped at San Diego State, 75-65. But the Broncos showed resolve in defeating Utah State at home three night’s later.
6. (9) Eastern Washington (11-10, 6-5 Big Sky): EWU junior F Melissa Erickson (Camas High) was named Big Sky player of the week after helping her team collect a pair of big wins against the rival Montana schools. Williams averaged 11 points and 10.5 rebounds for the week. Eastern swept the weekend series from the Montana schools for just the seventh time in program history, Erickson shooting 62.5 percent (10-for-16) from the field. She now has three straight games with double-digit rebounds.
Here are some highlights from Saturday’s win against Montana:
7. (6) Portland (14-10, 7-6 WCC): The Pilots are on a three-game win streak — a first since December.
8. (8) Seattle U (11-12, 6-4 WAC): Splitting two on the road, the Redhawks return to Connolly Center for a matchup against Utah Valley on Thursday and Bakersfield on Saturday. SU defeated UVU on the road. CSB (13-8, 7-2) is second in WAC standings.
9. (7) Washington State (12-10, 6-4 Pac-12): The Cougs should be seething more about UW defeating Stanford than Stanford. WSU had its own opportunity to pull the historic upset on Friday. But, unlike UW, it made too many mistakes in the waning minutes to allow a struggling Stanford escape with a win. WSU tenderized All-American F Chiney Ogwumike with its physical play and UW had the right pieces and game-plan to finish the kill.
10. (10) Oregon (13-9, 4-7 Pac-12): Yep, that same snowstorm forced UO to host Colorado on Monday at 5pm at Matthew Knight Arena.
11. (11) Portland State (6-15, 4-8 Big Sky): Here are some highlights of PSU’s home win against Montana State. Sophomore G Emily Easom led with a career-high 27-points to end a five-game losing skid.