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Gonzaga debuts at No. 24 in women’s AP Top 25 after Stanford win

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 3, 2018, 10:47 a.m.

Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier gives directions to her players during the Bulldogs’ victory against Stanford at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The 79-73 GU win vaulted the Zags to No. 24 in the AP Top 25 poll released on Monday. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier gives directions to her players during the Bulldogs’ victory against Stanford at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The 79-73 GU win vaulted the Zags to No. 24 in the AP Top 25 poll released on Monday. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

A big win came with a nice reward.

The Gonzaga women’s basketball team, fresh off Sunday’s 79-73 upset of No. 8 Stanford, debuted at No. 24 in the AP Top 25 poll released on Monday.

The Zags (8-1) moved into the poll for the first time since 2016.

“If we play the right way, we can compete with anyone,” said Jill Townsend, who had 15 points in the Stanford victory. “It’s a huge win.” The Cardinal fell to 11th.

UConn moved up one place to the top spot after beating former No. 1 Notre Dame on Sunday by 18 points. UConn was the unanimous choice from the 31-member national media panel Monday.

Geno Auriemma didn’t want to make too much of his team’s ascension to the top spot after the 89-71 win over the Irish.

“We got a lot of tests coming up, at Louisville is no trip to the beach, neither is at Baylor,” he said. “Pass one test doesn’t mean you’re going to pass them all. Fail one test doesn’t mean you’re going to fail them all. Poll comes out and we’re No. 1 that doesn’t change what we do at practice.”

Auriemma did think that it was something his players could be proud of because they beat the former No. 1 team instead of just being handed a ranking.

“I think it makes our players feel that we’re No. 1 and because we did earn it,” he said.

The Irish fell to second and were followed by Oregon, Baylor and Louisville.

Mississippi State and Maryland stayed at No. 6 and 7 as Oregon State, Tennessee and North Carolina State rounded out the top 10 teams in the poll after Stanford and Texas both lost Sunday.

The Wolfpack matched their highest ranking since 2014.


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