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Gonzaga women fall to 15th in AP poll

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 10, 2020

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Jenn Wirth (3) shoots the ball against BYU during the second half of a college basketball game on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga won the game 59-44. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Jenn Wirth (3) shoots the ball against BYU during the second half of a college basketball game on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga won the game 59-44. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The last time the Gonzaga women lost a basketball game, the media was so impressed, they put the Zags in the Top 25.

Not so on Monday.

Two days after a 70-60 loss at unranked Saint Mary’s, the Zags dropped four spots, from 11th to 15th, in this week’s Associated Press poll.

The No. 11 ranking was the highest in school history.

Back in November, GU was unranked going into third-ranked Stanford, but took the Cardinal to overtime before losing by 76-70. Gonzaga’s reward for that near-miss was a No. 21 ranking.

Since then, the Zags have moved steadily upward as they built a national-best 21-game winning streak that was two short of the school record.

Then came Saturday’s game at Saint Mary’s, which hit 14 long-range shots at one end of the court while holding the Zags to 33% shooting.

The Gaels also held junior forwards Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth scoreless and were plus-10 on the boards.

“We could have overcome not being our best on one side of the ball or the other, but today, it was both,” GU coach Lisa Fortier said.

Fortier typically doesn’t pay much attention to the polls. However, another loss would probably cost the Zags a chance to host NCAA Tournament games.

That means it’s unclear for now whether this week’s West Coast Conference games against San Francisco and Santa Clara will be the last home contests of the year.

GU (23-2 overall and 12-1 in the WCC) hosts USF on Thursday.

Saturday’s game against Santa Clara will also be Senior Day, as GU honors seniors Jessie Loera and Katie Campbell, the latter being done for the year after a knee injury suffered Feb. 1 in a home win over BYU.

After that the Zags end the regular season with three road games – at Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and Portland.

With five games left in the regular season, GU has a three-game lead over BYU.

The top two finishers earn byes into the semifinals of the WCC Tournament, which runs March 5-11 in Las Vegas.

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