Gonzaga women fall to 23rd in AP poll after loss to Santa Clara
Feb. 6, 2023 Updated Mon., Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:16 p.m.
The Gonzaga women’s loss at Santa Clara last week cost them dearly in the national basketball rankings.
The Zags fell six spots, to 23rd, in the Associated Press media poll released Monday. The drop came four days after a 77-72 upset loss to Santa Clara, a team that ranked only 177th in the NCAA’s NET rankings.
Gonzaga (22-3 overall) also took a drop in the bracket prediction compiled by ESPN’s Charlie Crème. His latest bracket, posted Friday, has the Zags as a seven seed and traveling to Utah for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga is ranked 21st in RealTimeRPI, and rose one position, to 37th, in the NET rankings after a 22-point win Saturday at San Francisco.
The Zags will have a chance to recover some ground in the rankings if they defeat visiting Portland on Saturday in a game that will put the winner alone atop the West Coast Conference standings.
Statistically, Gonzaga remains the best 3-point shooting team in Division 1. After going 22 for 40 last week, the Zags are hitting 41.79%, or 201 for 481.
Leading the way again is guard Brynna Maxwell, who went 6 for 10 from long range last week to raise her nation-leading average to 52.17%. Maxwell is the only qualifying player above 50%; she is more than 3 percentage points ahead of second-place Kate Mager of Iona (48.97%).
Maxwell has made at least one long-range shot in all 25 games this season.
Maxwell is second in free-throw percentage at 95.2%, just behind Erin Houpt of Mercer (95.8%).
As a team, the Zags also rank second in free-throw percentage at 79.8%, or 312 for 391. Just ahead is Lehigh at 80.43%.
Guard Kaylynne Truong is among the national leaders in both assists (14th, with 134), and assists per game (22nd at 5.4).
In the AP poll, Gonzaga received 118 total votes, well behind the 164 votes for 22nd-ranked North Carolina State.
Defending national champion South Carolina received all 28 first-place votes. The Gamecocks were followed by Indiana, LSU, UConn and Iowa.
Stanford, ranked second last week, fell to sixth after an upset loss at Washington.
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