SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah women’s basketball team reached new heights this weekend after a sweep of the Bay Area schools, including a win over then-No. 6 Stanford Sunday — a first in school history.
The two wins propelled Utah (18-1, 7-1) to the No. 14 spot in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll released Monday, jumping up seven spots from its previous place at No. 21 last week. This week’s ranking is the third-highest ranking in program history for the Utes and the highest since Utah jumped to No. 12 in the 2007-08 season.
In its victory over the Cardinal on Sunday, Utah tied its best win over a ranked opponent — a win over No. 6 Long Beach State in 1984 — and Utah’s fourth Top-25 win under head coach Lynne Roberts.
Utah is one of five teams from the Pac-12 ranked in the latest AP Poll, with No. 4 Oregon leading the conference. Behind the Ducks in the rankings are No. 8 Stanford, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 21 Arizona State. Utah will travel to Oregon this week to take on the Ducks on Friday at 8 p.m. MST and Oregon State on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST in two more Top-15 matchups.
Joining the Utes from the state is BYU (17-3, 9-0), who jumped up to No. 25 in the rankings after defeating San Diego Saturday in a 65-56 win. BYU was previously unranked last week. The Cougars are currently on an 11-game winning streak that started on Dec. 15 in a 51-42 win over Colorado State.
It's BYU's first appearance in the AP Top 25 since Feb. 13, 2012, when the Cougars ranked No. 23. Monday also marked the first time since 2006 that two teams from the state of Utah have been ranked in the Top 25 in women's basketball.
BYU is joined in the rankings from the West Coast Conference with No. 15 Gonzaga. The Cougars, who are the only unbeaten team in the WCC, play Thursday at Loyola Marymount and Saturday at Pepperdine.
In a projection of the NCAA Tournament by ESPN, Utah is projected as a No. 6 seed in the tournament playing in Milwaukee, and BYU is projected as a No. 10 seed playing in Starkville.
Pac-12 Player of the Week
Utah's Megan Huff was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for her performance against the two Bay Area schools last week. The senior forward averaged 20.5 points in the two contests and tallied a double-double in Utah's win over the Cardinal with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Sunday's performance was her 10th double-double of the season. Huff narrowly missed out on another double-double against Cal, but finished with 24 points and nine rebounds in a 87-74 win.
Huff ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring and second in rebounding in the Pac-12.
Contributing: Sean Walker