The Gonzaga women’s basketball team will welcome Eastern Washington foe Washington State to the McCarthey Athletic Center on Sunday as the teams face off for the 28th time in program history.
The Bulldogs enter on a high from last week’s showing and a No. 24 ranking in the latest Associated Press poll – their first time in the Top 25 since 2016. Last Sunday, GU had its best shooting performance of the season, going 26 of 48 from the field to take down No. 7 Stanford.
That win marked GU’s 15th win in program history over a ranked opponent and fifth over a top-10 team. The Cardinal were also the highest-ranked opponent the Zags have defeated.
The Cougars, on the other hand, started their season slowly, dropping home games against Utah State and Saint Mary’s before picking up their first win of the season – a 87-84 double-overtime decision over Nebraska on Nov. 16. WSU is on a three-game winning streak, including a 95-71 victory over Boise State on Dec. 1.
The Cougars are averaging 70 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting from the floor and 35.8 percent from the beyond the 3-point arc.
Borislava Hristova, who earned all-conference honors last season after averaging 18.1 points, is averaging 22 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest, second best on the team.
Maria Kostourkova leads the Cougars with 10.1 rebounds per game, which ranks second in the Pac-12.
The Zags will look for West Coast Conference Player of the Week Chandler Smith to continue her strong play. Against the Cardinal, Smith scored 20 points and hit a clutch jumper and two free throws to secure the Zags’ win in the final 13 seconds. It was her second 20-point performance of the season.
A win over the Cougars would give GU its best start in program history. Its 8-1 record ties for GU’s best start, set in the 2008-09 and 2013-14 seasons. Both seasons ended with trips to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs defeated WSU 64-56 last season in Pullman.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at the Kennel.
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