Numbers don’t mean much at this point in the Gonzaga women’s basketball season, but they make for entertaining reading.
Consider what the Zags have done to earn a 3-1 record and a No. 22 ranking in the Associated Press poll released on Monday.
They’re doing a great job shooting the ball (48.3%, ranking 17th out of 349 teams in Division I) and they’re taking good care of it (their 12.8 turnovers per game is 29th best in the nation).
“I think we moved the ball well,” coach Lisa Fortier said after the Zags beat Eastern Washington 84-44 on Friday night. “That was an issue we had against Stanford.”
Stats are a reflection of the opponent, and that’s certainly true so far for GU. The Zags shot a combined 54.2% (91 for 168) in wins over CSU Bakersfield, Tennessee Martin and EWU, but only 32.8% at Stanford.
On the other hand, there’s no defense against great free-throw shooting, and GU is hitting 76.3% to rank 37th in Division I.
There’s more good news in the stats for GU fans: their team has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios (1.29 per game, ranking 30th), rebounding margin (plus-83, good for 58th) and 3-point shooting defense (opponents are shooting only 25.6%, the 63rd-best mark in the nation).
However, despite their height and the quality of the opposition, the Zags have blocked only 10 shots so far this year (ranking 222nd) and have committed an average of 19.5 fouls (ranking 246th).
Individually, guard Katie Campbell is again near the top of the charts for 3-point shooting (52.9 percent, ranking 30th) and point guard Jessie Loera’s five assists per game is good for 63rd nationally.
The best numbers, of course are the Zags’ current standing in the national rankings: 21st in the USA Today poll, 23rd in the AP.
That translates into a No. 7 seed in the current prediction by ESPN bracketologist Charlie Crème, who has the Zags playing Georgia Tech in a first-round group hosted by Texas A&M.
That prediction will likely change many times until March, as will the Zags’ statistics after this week’s three games in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida.
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