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 7
(Rank/Last Week/ School/Record: Comment)
1. (1) Washington (15-10, 8-6 Pac-12): One of the more difficult things for a young team to do is forget about an upset win like, oh, defeating then-No. 3 Stanford at home and travel to a rough climate to face a couple of struggling conference teams. Well, UW battled foul trouble, streaking shooting and high altitude to sweep the Rocky Mountain schools this season. Washington is on a three-game win streak, winning five of its past six games overall. G Kelsey Plum was named conference freshman of the week.
2. (4) Oregon State (17-9, 9-5 Pac-12): I pegged OSU to be a sleeper team at the beginning of Pac-12 play and it has found its identity to cause a stir in the Pac-12. The Beavers swept the LA schools at home last week for an impressive 12-1 record at Gil Coliseum, winning 11 of those games by 10 points or more. But this week is huge. OSU travels to Washington to play a red-hot UW and unpredictable Washington State to stay in the hunt for third in conference standings. Shoot, second in Pac-12 standings is even in reach given No. 18 Cal is just 10-4 in sole possession of second place.
3. (2) Idaho (18-8, 11-1 WAC): Staying undefeated in conference play is hard, just ask Gonzaga. Often it’s the game after that shows what type of team you have and the Vandals responded with a 69-61 win against struggling Utah Valley (4-20, 1-10). Not exactly the type of margin-of-victory expected from a team looking to rebound. Idaho did shoot 40.9 percent from the field, led by 17 points from sophomore G Christina Salvatore. Here’s coach Jon Newlee with more:
4. (3) Gonzaga (23-4, 13-2 WCC): The Zags’ 13-game win streak ended in a 62-52 loss at BYU. It was GU’s final regular-season road game and it was ugly. The Zags shot 15.4 percent from the field (6-of-39) in the second half, reportedly missing their final 10 field goal attempts. The positive? GU plays its final three games of the WCC schedule at home.
5. (5) Boise State (14-9, 9-3 Mountain West): Junior G Deanna Weaver scored a career-high 33 points in a 86-80 overtime win against New Mexico — the Broncos’ eighth win in their past nine games. BSU plays a big home game against conference-leading Colorado State (20-4, 12-1) on Wednesday.
6. (8) Seattle U (13-12, 8-4 WAC): SU picked up a key home win against Bakersfield on Saturday to keep itself in the running for the WAC title with four games remaining in regular-season play. Didn’t know senior F Kacie Sowell hadn’t made a three-pointer in her career. That interesting fact ended in Saturday’s 74-67 win — SU’s only made three-pointer in the game.
7. (9) Washington State (14-12, 8-6 Pac-12): Love it when a kid says, “I’m better than ever,” and backs it up with a season like junior G Tia Presley is having for the Cougs. Named Pac-12 player of the week for the first time in her career, Presley had back-to-back 32-point nights in helping WSU sweep the Rocky Mountain schools last week. Presley, whose first two college seasons were marred by foot and knee injuries, has had three 30-point games this season. She’s averaging a team-leading 19.4 points on 44.8 percent shooting. The Cougs’ win totals in conference and overall play are the program’s most since 1995-96.
8. (6) Eastern Washington (12-11, 8-6 Big Sky): EWU’s four-game winning streak ended in a 86-78 loss at Northern Arizona.
9. (7) Portland (14-12, 7-8 WCC): UP couldn’t complete the season sweep against San Diego, losing 59-52 on Saturday. Earlier this season, the Pilots helped knock the Toreros out of the national polls in ending their 15-game win streak.
10. (10) Oregon (13-11, 4-9 Pac-12): UO hosts UCLA on Monday at 4pm (PT) on Pac-12 Networks.
11. (11) Portland State (6-17, 4-10 Big Sky): After a rough road swing, the Vikings play their final four regular-season home games at home.