By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two wins last week secured Oklahoma City’s unanimous grasp on the No.1 spot in the seventh edition of the 2011-12 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Stars captured 312 points and all 12 first-place votes for the second-straight week and fifth time this season. Last week, Oklahoma City extended its win streak to seven games with victories at Oklahoma Baptist, 102-49, on Feb. 2 and against St. Gregory’s (Okla.), 63-52, on Feb. 4.
Similarly to Oklahoma City, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and Union (Tenn.) maintain their No. 2 and No. 3 rankings with the Lady Lions garnering 302 points, while the Lady Bulldogs received 292 points, respectively. Freed-Hardeman, who owns a 21-3 record (9-1 TransSouth) on the season, extended its win streak to three games with victories at Blue Mountain (Miss.), 77-50, on Feb. 2 and against Cumberland (Tenn.), 57-46, on Feb. 4. Union kept pace with the Lady Lions in the TranSouth Athletic Conference race and extended its win streak to six games following an 82-69 victory against Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Feb. 4.
With a loss to unranked San Diego Christian (Calif.), Westmont fell two spots to No. 6 with 262 points, which opened the door for Lee (Tenn.) and Cumberlands (Ky.) to advance up to No. 4 and No. 5 in this week’s poll.
Moving up two spots, No. 11 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 16 Georgetown (Ky.) are the biggest movers this week. Olivet Nazarene has won a season-high nine straight following a 111-82 win against Roosevelt (Ill.) on Feb. 4, while Georgetown knocked off UVa-Wise (Va.), 96-85, over the weekend to extend its win streak to three games.
No. 23 Shorter (Ga.) is the lone newcomer to this week’s polls, as the Hawks replaced William Woods (Mo.) (No. 23 last week). Shorter has ranked as high as 18th this season, but went unranked in last week’s Top 25 after falling at Lee, 71-58, on Jan. 28. Since that loss, the Hawks have won two straight with blowout victories against Truett-McConnell (Ga.), 67-33, on Jan. 30 and against Southern Wesleyan (S.C.), 74-43, on Feb. 4.
Ten of the 12 Division I women’s basketball conferences and independents are represented throughout the Top 25, led by five teams from the Mid-South Conference: Cumberlands, No. 10 Shawnee State (Ohio), No. 16 Georgetown (Ky.), No. 21 Campbellsville (Ky.) and No. 24 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 Feb. 13.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999 - 2000 season) This week’s No. 1 ranking gives Oklahoma City its 40th top mention, which ranks second all-time behind Union’s (Tenn.) 53 … Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) received its first No. 1 ranking in school history with a unanimous selection in the Jan. 23 poll … Oklahoma City, Freed-Hardeman and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) are the only schools to be placed in the No. 1 position this season … Oklahoma City, Azusa Pacific, Vanguard (Calif.) and Freed-Hardeman are the only 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 (40), Vanguard (27) and Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (15) …Oklahoma City, Freed-Hardeman and Union have been listed in all 148 polls since the start of the 1999-2000 season … Vanguard has appeared in 113 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)||2011-12 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (12)||21-1||312|
|7||7||Lubbock Christian (Texas)||18-3||253|
|8||8||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||21-3||241|
|10||11||Shawnee State (Ohio)||21-4||224|
|11||13||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||21-3||210|
|13||12||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||16-6||194|
|14||14||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||17-6||181|
|17||16||Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||17-7||147|
|22||20||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||17-7||102|
|24||25||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||16-8||72|
Others receiving votes: William Woods (Mo.) 66; LSU Shreveport (La.) 48; Rogers State (Okla.) 38; Avila (Mo.) 36; Columbia (Mo.) 15; San Diego Christian (Calif.) 10; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 9; St. Gregory’s (Okla.) 3; Robert Morris (Ill.) 1; Central Methodist (Mo.) 1; Rio Grande (Ohio) 1; Montana-State Northern 1; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 1.