The Gonzaga Bulldogs pulled off one of the year’s biggest upsets so far by beating previously eighth-ranked and unbeaten Stanford on Sunday night, 79-73, to earn the latest team of the week honor.
Not only did the Bulldogs avenge last year’s first-round loss to the Cardinal, they also jumped into the Associated Press top 25 at No. 24. Gonzaga is now 8-1 with its only loss coming against then-No. 1 Notre Dame.
Stanford is the first ranked win this year for Gonzaga, but the Bulldogs also have a quality 17-point win in Vancouver against a team Rutgers that has only lost to Notre Dame, a ranked Drake team and an undefeated Virginia Tech squad.
Against the Cardinal, Chandler Smith led the way for the Bulldogs with 20 points. The redshirt senior guard earned West Coast Conference player of the week accolades for her performance, which included three rebounds and three assists. She was 6 of 10 from the field.
It was a complete team effort from the Zags. They had 29 bench points and were an incredible 8 for 13 from 3-point range (61.5 percent). They held Stanford to sub-44 percent shooting while lighting it up from the floor at 54.2 percent.
Perhaps the most impressive fact form this game was that Stanford had won each of its six games by at least 22 points. But there’s no rest for the Zags. They now head into another matchup with a Pac-12 opponent, the Washington State Cougars.
Looking further ahead, the Zags might not play a ranked team the rest of the season with conference play beginning at the end of the month. With that in mind, it’s very possible Gonzaga could enter the postseason with less than five losses. The Bulldogs have made two straight NCAA tournaments.