KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma City earned the top spot in the first regular-season edition of the 2011 - 12 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Stars, who were listed third in the preseason edition, are off to a 6-0 start and were a unanimous selection with 12 first-place votes for 312 points. The last time that Oklahoma City was ranked No. 1 was the final poll of the 2003 - 04 season.
Second-ranked Union (Tenn.) totaled 298 points and No. 5 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) recorded 274 points as two of four teams that retained their positions among the Top 25. Preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Azusa Pacific (Calif.) dropped back to No. 3 with 296 points. Climbing two spots from sixth to fourth was Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) with 278 points.
In addition to Union and Lewis-Clark State holding rank were No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 13 Saint Xavier (Ill.).
Westmont (Calif.) made the biggest improvement since the preseason, rocketing 14 spots from 20th to sixth thanks to an 8-1 start, including a 68-64 win over Azusa Pacific on Nov. 29. With wins over then-No. 11 Southern Nazarene (Okla.), then-No. 16 Xavier (La.) and then-No. 24 Rogers State (Okla.), Langston (Okla.) jumped from 19th to eighth, a move of 11 spots.
Four squads made their season debut on the poll: No. 15 Cumberlands (Ky.), No. 21 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 22 Robert Morris (Ill.) and No. 24 Rocky Mountain (Mont.). William Woods (Mo.), Rogers State and Westminster (Utah) fell out of the Top 25
Ten of the 12 Division I women's basketball conferences and independents are represented throughout the Top 25, led by five squads from the Mid-South Conference: No. 7 Shawnee State (Ohio), No. 14 Campbellsville (Ky.), Cumberlands (Ky.), Georgetown and No. 25 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The next regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Dec. 12.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000 season) Oklahoma City's move to No. 1 marks its first top ranking since the final poll of the 2003 - 04 season ... It is the 36th time in the Stars' history that they have been listed first, which ranks second all-time behind Union's (Tenn.) 53 ... Oklahoma City joins Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Vanguard (Calif.) as the only other teams that have owned the No. 1 spot in the last five years ... Four programs have topped the poll 10-or more times: Union (53), Oklahoma City (35), Vanguard (27) and Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (15) ... There have been six preseason No. 1s that have gone on to win the national championship with the last happening in 2010 ... Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Oklahoma City and Union have been listed in all 142 polls since the start of the 1999 - 2000 season ... Vanguard has appeared in 108-consecutive polls ... Union and Vanguard are the only programs that have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007 - 08, 2008 - 09, 2009 - 10, 2010 - 11) (Vanguard: 2005 - 06, 2006 - 07).
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||3||Oklahoma City (12)||6-0||312|
|3||1||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||5-1||296|
|5||5||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||8-1||274|
|7||4||Shawnee State (Ohio)||8-2||241|
|11||12||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||8-1||210|
|13||13||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||9-2||195|
|16||11||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||5-3||162|
|19||17||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||5-3||133|
|22||RV||Robert Morris (Ill.)||9-1||89|
|24||RV||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||9-2||68|
|25||14||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||6-3||60|
Others receiving votes: William Woods (Mo.) 56; Rogers State (Okla.) 56; Avila (Mo.) 24; Biola (Calif.) 24; Westminster (Utah) 22; The Master's (Calif.) 17; Loyola (La.) 15; Lyon (Ark.) 15; Park (Mo.) 14; LSU Shreveport (La.) 11; Benedictine (Kan.) 4; Oklahoma Baptist 1; St. Gregory's (Okla.) 1; Graceland (Iowa) 1; Montana Western 1.