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Gonzaga Women's Basketball

Gonzaga women drop spot to No. 17 in AP Poll; lead the nation in 3-point and foul shooting

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kaylynne Truong (14)shoots the ball against the Santa Clara Broncos in the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center on Sat. Jan. 7, 2023 in Spokane WA.  (James Snook/For The Spokesman-Review)
By Jim Allen For The Spokesman-Review

The Gonzaga women dropped a notch in this week’s Associated Press poll despite winning both of their games last week in Northern California.

The Zags are 17th this week, losing a spot largely because North Carolina moved ahead of them after beating then-No. 13 ranked Duke and Georgia Tech.

The Tar Heels are now 15th, while Duke dropped three spots to 16th; the Blue Devils are still ahead of GU.

The Zags narrowly beat Pacific, 81-78, on Thursday, but routed Saint Mary’s, 82-57. Those results pushed them up to 19th in rankings compiled by RealTimeRPI.com.

GU is still just 37th in the NCAA’s NET rankings, which relies heavily on strength of schedule. That metric won’t get any better this week, as the Zags host Loyola Marymount (293rd out of 361 schools) and Pepperdine (209th).

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Charlie Crème moved the Zags up a spot, to a sixth seed, in his latest bracket, which was posted on Friday.

Statistically, the Zags (19-2 overall) are the best team in the land from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line.

From long range, GU is 166 for 403. That’s good enough for 41.19%, just ahead of Boston University’s 41.16%.

And despite going just 3 for 11 last weekend, Brynna Maxwell still sits atop the individual leader board at 51.75%. That’s more than 2.3 percentage points ahead of Esmerala Morales of Portland State (49.49%).

As a team, the Zags are hitting 80.13% of their foul shots, or 263 out of 327. That’s well ahead of the GU men, who are making 69% of their free throws.

Maxwell also leads the land individually in free-throw percentage, making 53 of 54, or 98.15%.