1. Stanford (24-2, 15-0). The Cardinal won a big game yesterday, beating second-place UCLA on the road without Nneka Ogwumike. As a bonus, Stanford got great minutes from freshman guard Toni Kokenis. Stanford should clinch at least a tie for the Pac-10 title on Thursday night against Oregon State.
2. UCLA (22-3, 12-2). The Bruins had an opportunity yesterday against Stanford and they missed it. UCLA needs to regroup and finish the Pac-10 strong to keep a top 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
3. Gonzaga (24-4, 12-0). The Bulldogs clinched their seventh straight WCC regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament this past weekend. St. Mary’s should provide a good pre-tournament test at home on Thursday.
4. Arizona State (16-8, 8-6). The Sun Devils did what they had to do up in Washington, coming up with a hard-won sweep that keeps them on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Hosting the L.A. schools this weekend is a chance to keep up the good work.
5. USC (16-9, 8-6). The Women of Troy want to be the solid No. 3 team in the Pac-10. Thursday’s game at Arizona State will be a big step in that direction.
6. Fresno State (18-7, 9-2). The Bulldogs seniors have won 90 games during their college careers and will set a school record with one more victory.
7. Arizona (16-9, 7-7). Three straight wins for the Wildcats puts them in the top half of the Pac-10 standings with four games to go. Senior Ify Ibekwe finishing her career strong with another big scoring performance against Washington with 24 points.
8. Cal (14-12, 6-9). Such a tough stretch for the Bears with five straight losses. The Oregon schools – the bottom two teams in the Pac-10 standings – are coming into Haas Pavilion, giving the Bears a chance to get on a winning track. With three games to go and a season-closing date at Stanford, the Bears could well finish with a losing record in conference play for the first time since Joanne Boyle arrived six years ago.
9. St. Mary’s (17-10, 9-3). The Gaels have won four in a row and closed out their home schedule this weekend with wins over USF and San Diego. If St. Mary’s wants to demonstrate some real momentum, the time to show it is this weekend on a regular-season closing trip to Gonzaga and Portland. Louella Tomlinson is on a roll with six straight double-doubles.
10. Cal Poly (14-10, 10-3). The Mustangs are hanging on to first place in the Big West despite two straight losses. Cal Poly has a one-game lead over UC Santa Barbara.