SRX_GU VS_BYU_22

Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier talks with players during a second half timeout, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

BYU loss drops Zags to 21st in AP pollBy Jim Allen

The Gonzaga women paid a heavy price in the polls for their first loss since early December.

Four days after losing at BYU, the Zags fell five spots, to 21st, in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 basketball poll.

However, GU remains 20th in this week’s NET rankings, a primary tool used for selection and seeding in the NCAA Tournament

Riding a 17-game winning steak, Gonzaga had risen to a season-high 16th last week. However, the Zags lost Thursday night to the Cougars, 61-56.

Prior to that, the Zags hadn’t lost since Dec. 6 at South Dakota State.

It was the first West Coast Conference regular-season defeat in more than a year for GU, which is 19-3 overall and 14-1 in the WCC after it regrouped to beat San Diego on Saturday.

No team fell farther than GU in this week’s poll, although another non-Power 5 team, DePaul, also fell 5 spots, to 22nd, after losing to unranked Creighton.

Of the five teams that passed GU, four are in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia moved up five spots, to 17th, after a win over then 21st-ranked Tennessee, which offset that loss by beating No. 2 South Carolina.

Jim AllenMeanwhile, Kentucky dropped two spots, from 19th to 17th, after beating unranked Florida and losing to South Carolina; and Arkansas went from 18th to 16th by defeating unranked Ole Miss.The Zags finish the regular season this week at home, against Pepperdine on Thursday and Loyola Marymount on Saturday. They lead BYU by one game in the standings.

The WCC Tournament in Las Vegas is scheduled for March 4-9, and Selection Monday is March 15.

The NCAA Tournament begins March 21 at several sites in the San Antonio area.Jim Allen can be reached at (509) 459-5437 or by email at jima@spokesman.com