Big Sky power rankings
Here are Bill Speltz’s power rankings as we approach the final weekend of play in the Big Sky women’s basketball conference:
1. Idaho State (13-2, 21-7): Congratulations to coach Seton Sobolewski on earning his first league title by beating Eastern Washington on the road last Saturday. Losing at Sacramento State last Thursday was unexpected, but we’ll chalk it up as a rare slip. The Bengals are going to be a tough out in the league tourney next week, playing at home with the best defense in the Big Sky.
2. Sacramento State (7-9, 12-17): What an outstanding week it was for the Hornets, beating Idaho State at home and then winning at Portland State. Sac State has won four games in a row, but you have to wonder why they waited so long to get hot. Their season is over unless Portland State loses one of its remaining games against Montana or Northern Colorado, giving the Hornets a berth in the Big Sky tourney.
3. Northern Colorado (10-5, 18-10): If the Bears win their home finale on Saturday against Portland State, they will take a five game win streak into the conference tournament. They are the most consistent shooting team in the league, hitting 42.1 percent of their attempts from the floor.
4. Montana (9-5, 16-11): Two wins in a row have the Lady Griz believing they can repeat what they did last season when they went into the Big Sky tourney as a No. 4 seed and won the title in Portland, Ore. Offensively the team seems to have found another gear with the emergence of Jordy Sullivan as a bona fide scoring threat.
5. Portland State (6-8, 14-13): The Vikings went to Cheney, Wash., last Thursday and stunned Eastern Washington, 76-69. They failed to follow up on Saturday, dropping a crucial home game to Sacramento State. But they stil have the ability to beat anyone in the league.
6. Montana State (9-6, 17-10): The Cats have some impressive young talent in the frontcourt, but their inexperience was exposed in a loss at Montana last Saturday. MSU also seems to have a dilemma at point guard. Without a bona fide scoring threat to complement Katie Bussey, teams are sagging on defense.
7. Eastern Washington (10-5, 16-12): The Eagles have lost three games in a row and their last win over a team with a winning record came on Jan. 28 (at Montana State). Idaho State’s Ashleigh Vella shredded EWU for 21 second-half points Saturday as the Bengals clipped the Eagles, 63-50.
8. Northern Arizona (3-12, 8-20): The Lumberjacks lost their third game in a row on Monday, 75-63 to Northern Colorado, despite 21 points by Amy Patton.
9. Weber State (0-15, 2-26): The Wildcats have lost 18 games in a row.