Oregon, which is coming off its most lopsided conference win in program history, has matched its highest ranking ever at No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press women’s basketball poll.
The Ducks (21-1, 10-0) notched their 14th consecutive win with a 102-43 demolition of Colorado on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.
“These games aren’t easy,” coach Kelly Graves said of facing inferior opponents. “(The players) see the standings, they see the records, and sometimes it’s hard to get them focused. But we have a veteran group, even though we’re still relatively young. We have a veteran group in terms of experience and we have competitors.
“They didn’t take (Colorado) lightly by any stretch. They prepared and they executed.”
The 59-point victory over the struggling Buffaloes (10-11, 0-10) surpassed a 46-point win over Washington State (101-55) on Jan. 22, 1987, as the largest for the Ducks in a conference game.
Entering this weekend’s road trip to the Bay Area, the defending Pac-12 champions have a one-game lead over No. 7 Oregon State in the standings.
Oregon plays at California on Friday and at No. 11 Stanford on Sunday. The back-to-back Civil War showdowns against the Beavers (19-3, 9-1) are on Feb. 15 in Eugene and Feb. 18 in Corvallis.
Graves’ talented team, which is seeking the program’s first Final Four appearance after back-to-back runs to the Elite Eight, is in position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
One of the regional finals will be played in Portland.
Baylor is No. 1 in the AP poll for the second consecutive week. Louisville moved up to No. 2 after beating UConn, which dropped to No. 5. Defending national champion Notre Dame is No. 4.
Oregon is 4-1 this season against teams currently ranked in the poll with wins over No. 6 Mississippi State, No. 15 Syracuse, No. 17 Utah and No. 20 Arizona State. The Ducks’ lone loss was at No. 23 Michigan State.