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Top 25 Poll - No. 5

January 23, 2012
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) rose to No. 1 last week for the first time in school history and strengthens its grip on the top spot this week, becoming a unanimous No. 1 selection, the national office announced Monday. The Lady Lions gathered all 12 first-place votes for 312 points as they extended their winning streak to 18 games. Freed-Hardeman picked up a quality 68-60 road win over Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Jan. 19 before an 83-52 blowout of Mid-Continent (Ky.) on Jan. 21.

The rest of the top four remains the same. No. 2 Oklahoma City garnered 301 points after getting back on track following its 88-66 upset loss to then-No. 12 Lubbock Christian (Texas) on Jan. 12. The Stars have since won three straight, outscoring their opponents by an average of 42.7 points in those contests. No. 3 Union (Tenn.) and No. 4 Westmont (Calif.) check in next with 293 and 281 points, respectively. Lee (Tenn.) moves up one spot to No. 5 this week on the strength of a 19-1 record.

No. 21 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 22 William Woods (Mo.) tied for the largest leaps in the poll with each climbing three positions. MidAmerica Nazarene holds a nine-game winning streak, which includes victories over then-No. 21 Robert Morris (Ill.) on Dec. 16 and William Woods on Dec. 17. William Woods has won three in-a-row and six of seven. Meanwhile, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) fell hardest among Top 25 teams, reversing five slots to No. 25. The Blue Raiders are now 3-5 in Mid-South Conference (MSC) play after dropping a pair of league games last week.

Robert Morris is the only ranked team from last week to drop out of the poll. The Eagles fell to then-No. 21 NAIA Division II Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) on Jan. 17 and to Purdue Calumet (Ind.) on Jan. 19, before rebounding with a win over Trinity Christian (Ill.) on Jan. 21. Robert Morris is replaced by No. 24 Shorter (Ga.), who returns to the rankings after falling out last week. The Hawks are now tied for third in the Southern States Athletic Conference with a 7-2 league mark.

Eleven 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. 6 Cumberlands (Ky.), No. 11 Shawnee State (Ohio), No. 17 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 19 Campbellsville (Ky.) and Lindsey Wilson. The Southern States Athletic Conference boasts four ranked members: Lee, No. 18 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 23 Loyola (La.) and Shorter.

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 Jan. 30.

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000 season) Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) is ranked No. 1 for the second time in school history and is a unanimous top selection for the first time in program history … Freed-Hardeman is the third team to be placed in the top spot this season along with Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Oklahoma City … Union (Tenn.) holds the most No. 1 rankings all time with 53, followed by Oklahoma City’s 38 top mentions … Freed-Hardeman joins Oklahoma City, Azusa Pacific and Vanguard (Calif.) as the only other teams that have owned the No. 1 spot in the last five years outside of Union's run of 48-straight No. 1 appearances from Oct. 31, 2007 - March 9, 2011 ... Four programs have topped the poll 10-or more total times: Union (53), Oklahoma City (38), 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, Oklahoma City and Union have been listed in all 146 polls since the start of the 1999 - 2000 season ... Vanguard has appeared in 112-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) RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (12) 18-2 312
2 2 Oklahoma City 17-1 301
3 3 Union (Tenn.) 19-2 293
4 4 Westmont (Calif.) 18-1 281
5 6 Lee (Tenn.) 19-1 269
6 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 18-2 254
6 8 Cumberlands (Ky.) 18-1 254
8 5 Langston (Okla.) 17-1 247
9 9 Lubbock Christian (Texas) 14-3 233
10 10 Vanguard (Calif.) 13-3 223
11 12 Shawnee State (Ohio) 16-4 212
12 13 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 13-5 199
13 11 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 14-5 196
14 14 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 17-3 184
15 16 Xavier (La.) 16-5 169
16 15 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 14-5 156
17 18 Georgetown (Ky.) 14-6 151
18 18 Belhaven (Miss.) 16-5 148
19 17 Campbellsville (Ky.) 14-7 132
20 21 Westminster (Utah) 11-7 113
21 24 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 15-6 111
22 25 William Woods (Mo.) 13-5 96
23 23 Loyola (La.) 15-2 92
24 RV Shorter (Ga.) 14-4 84
25 20 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 14-7 64

Others receiving votes: Robert Morris (Ill.) 46; Lyon (Ark.) 45; Columbia (Mo.) 33; LSU Shreveport (La.) 29; Rogers State (Okla.) 28; Avila (Mo.) 20; Biola (Calif.) 6; Texas Wesleyan 3; Bethel (Tenn.) 1; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 1; Rio Grande (Ohio) 1; Oklahoma Baptist 1; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 1; St. Catharine (Ky.) 1.