February 20, 2012
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan continues to stave off No. 2 Concordia (Neb.) for the top spot in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. For the third-consecutive week, Indiana Wesleyan gathered a mere four more points than Concordia to remain atop the poll, the national office announced Monday. The Wildcats again collected nine first-place votes and 370 total points despite a scare from the Mid-Central College Conference’s seventh-place team in Taylor (Ind.) on Feb. 15. Indiana Wesleyan wound up with a 62-60 nailbiter of a victory.
The rest of the top five teams remain the same with the flip-flop of the Nos. 4 and 5 teams marking the only change. Concordia, winner of 15-straight games, grabbed five first-place votes and 366 points. No. 3 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), which boasts the nation’s longest active winning streak with 18-consecutive victories, pulled in 350 points. Morningside’s (Iowa) 69-42 loss to then No. 18 Hastings (Neb.) pushed the Mustangs back one slot to No. 5 with 320 points. This allowed Concordia (Mich.) to move up one to No. 4 with 332 points.
No. 14 Ave Maria (Fla.) made the biggest waves in the poll by leaping up five spots. The Lady Gyrenes have improved their position in the Top 25 for the fourth-straight week and have reached their highest ranking in school history. Ave Maria is fresh off a 72-51 The Sun Conference regular-season title clinching victory over then No. 14 St. Thomas (Fla.) on Feb. 18 in the NAIA Game of the Week. That decisive loss pushed St. Thomas back five spots to No. 19, marking the largest drop among ranked teams.
Just one newcomer crashed this week’s poll: No. 25 Eastern Oregon. The Mountaineers, ranked No. 15 two weeks ago prior to dropping out of the poll on Feb. 13, are back in the rankings after three-straight victories by an average margin of 26.7 points per game. Eastern Oregon replaces Grace (Ind.) (No. 24), which suffered a four-point loss to then No. 15 Bethel (Ind.) and a five-point loss to unranked Taylor last week.
Twelve of the 14 Division II women's basketball conferences and independents are represented throughout the Top 25. The Great Plains Athletic Conference, which has led all leagues in Top 25 representation in each poll this season, again placed the most teams of any conference in the rankings with five: Concordia, Morningside, No. 8 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 11 Briar Cliff (Iowa) and No. 17 Hastings. The Cascade Collegiate Conference boasts the second-most ranked squads with three: No. 10 Corban (Ore.), No. 20 College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
At the conclusion of conference tournaments on Feb. 28, the 32-team national championship field will be announced on Feb. 29. In addition, the bracket for the 21st annual Division II Women's Basketball National Championship will be released. To track complete results from all 14 league tournaments, click here.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents.
Notes: (All information as of the 1999 – 2000 season) Indiana Wesleyan has now appeared at the top of the poll on 24 occasions, five more than Morningside (Iowa) for the most No. 1 rankings all-time … Davenport (Mich.) and Hastings (Neb.) are tied for the next most with 13 No. 1 rankings apiece, followed by Saint Francis (Ind.) who has made a dozen No. 1 appearances … There have been 14 different teams to garner the No. 1 ranking all-time … Indiana Wesleyan, Davenport and Northwestern (Iowa) are the only three squads to top at least one poll this season … Three schools have spent an entire season at No. 1: Morningside in 2008-09, College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in 2007-08 and Saint Francis in 1999-2000 … In the last 12 years, five teams that have been rated No. 1 in the preseason have gone on to win the national championship with the last being Northwestern in 2011 … A total of 41 schools have appeared in the Top 25 at least once this season … Eight teams have been ranked in all 11 polls so far this season … Indiana Wesleyan has been a unanimous No. 1 in six of its 10 top rankings this season … Concordia (Neb.), which has received five first-place votes in each of the last three polls, is trying to get back to the top spot for the first time since March 4, 2003 … Indiana Wesleyan, Concordia (Neb.) and No. 6 Davenport are tied for the fewest losses in the nation with two each.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Indiana Wesleyan (9)||28-2||370|
|2||2||Concordia (Neb.) (5)||28-2||366|
|3||3||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||27-3||350|
|9||9||Grand View (Iowa)||25-5||286|
|11||11||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||22-8||245|
|12||13||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||23-7||230|
|14||19||Ave Maria (Fla.)||26-4||199|
|15||12||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||24-6||198|
|19||14||St. Thomas (Fla.)||22-6||152|
|20||23||College of Idaho||19-8||146|
|23||20||Saint Mary (Neb.)||21-9||89|
|24||22||Point Park (Pa.)||21-6||88|
Others receiving votes: Indiana Southeast 61; Huntington (Ind.) 59; Daemen (N.Y.) 47; Warner Pacific (Ore.) 26; Northwestern Ohio 23; Saint Francis (Ind.) 19; Iowa Wesleyan 14; Siena Heights (Mich.) 14; Grace (Ind.) 13; Purdue Calumet (Ind.) 12; Bluefield (Va.) 4; Marian (Ind.) 4; Menlo (Calif.) 3; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 1; Asbury (Ky.) 1; Cornerstone (Mich.) 1; Kansas Wesleyan 1; Taylor (Ind.) 1; Indiana Northwest 1; Doane (Neb.) 1; Montreat (N.C.) 1; Cal State San Marcos 1; Virginia Intermont 1.