The Gonzaga women are halfway through the West Coast Conference season, and things couldn’t be going much better.
The Zags moved up to 12th in this week’s Associated Press poll, became the first 20-win team in Division 1 last weekend and have a nation-leading 18-game winning streak.
They also picked up the school’s fourth WCC Player of the Week honor this season, as Jill Townsend won her second after torching Loyola Marymount for a career-high 28 points on Saturday.
That leaves the Zags at 9-0 in the conference – which really doesn’t mean that much.
“It just gets harder,” Bulldogs coach Lisa Fortier said after the 78-52 win over LMU. “What we have expected all season was just to go out every single day and be the best we can be that day.”
“It gets fun, and it gets crazy in the second half, but we’ve done as much as we could to this point and so we’re really happy and proud of them for that,” Fortier said.
“We do have to tinker a little bit and come up with things we think we can execute, watch what people have tried to do against us and see if they’re going to try to do that better, or if we need to come up with a secondary game plan,” Fortier said.
Certainly WCC opponents are working on their game plans to beat the Zags; indeed, Portland and Pacific nearly pulled off upsets in the Kennel. Rematches will be on the road, but first comes a tough week against the Zags’ closest pursuers.
On Thursday, San Diego (12-8 overall, 6-3 in the WCC) will be in the Kennel. Two days later, it’s BYU (12-7 and 7-2), which has won five straight since dropping two at home against GU and Portland.
Regardless of its record, GU also has work to do.
“We look at every game we played,” Townsend said. “There’s stuff you gotta work on, and tighten up, and other teams are gonna be watching the film, and they’re only gonna get better at defending us and what we do.”
It’s unclear whether that game plan includes junior forward LeeAnne Wirth and freshman guard Kayleigh Truong, who each missed both games last week with minor ankle injuries.
Another apparent setback: Freshman forward Eliza Hollingsworth, who had warmed up with the team Thursday, was back in street clothes Saturday as she deals with a high ankle sprain that’s cost her the entire season so far.
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