And down the stretch they come!
Get this. Mathematically, there is a chance that every local college women’s basketball team could participate in a conference or national postseason tournament.
Here’s a closer look at how:
The Whitworth Pirates (8-2 Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges, 14-11 overall) already have secured an NCIC playoff berth for the tournament that runs Feb. 22-25 at the site of the regular-season NCIC champ.
The Pirates are a half-game behind Willamette (9-2, 20-5) in the standings. Whitworth takes on Pacific and Lewis & Clark, Friday and Saturday. If the Pirates tie with Willamette, they would win the conference and host the playoffs.
The Spokane Sasquatch (9-1 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, 17-5) have locked up a playoff berth and will host Columbia Basin (10-0, 17-2) tonight at 6 at Spokane Falls Community College.
CBC beat Spokane Falls earlier this season, and a Hawks’ win would clinch the NWAACC Eastern Division title.
In the Big Sky Conference, Eastern Washington (4-5, 8-13) is tied for fourth with Northern Arizona (4-5, 12-9) for the final spot into the Big Sky tournament. The tournament is held at the site of the conference champ.
UI is 3-6, 5-16, and still alive mathematically.
In the West Coast Conference, the Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-6, 9-12) and the rest of the conference play in the WCC postseason tournament, with NCAA tournament berths at stake.
The Bulldogs play their final regular-season home game tonight at 6 against league-leading Portland. GU finishes the season with three straight road games.
And Washington State (4-7, 11-9), the recipient of Top 25 votes from the USA Today-CNN poll, looks as if it could be headed toward the NCAA tournament.
The Pac-10 is one of the toughest women’s conferences in the country (68-28 against non-conference Division I opponents this season). The Cougars are 0-7 on the road in conference. Five of their final seven games are at home. Among the home opponents are nationally ranked Stanford, Washington and Oregon State.
Jarosch will return
Washington State senior point guard Susie Jarosch, who injured her left knee Friday night in the Cougars’ game at Southern Cal, will return before the end of the season, WSU trainer Bill Drake said.
Jarosch, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair moderate cartilage damage in her left knee on Tuesday, will not play in the Cougars’ Thursday-Saturday home series against Oregon State and Oregon (7 p.m.). She is questionable for the Washington game Feb. 25, also at Pullman.