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Top 25 Poll No. 8

February 06, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After sharing the top spot with Davenport (Mich.) one week ago, Indiana Wesleyan has regained sole possession of the No. 1 ranking in the eighth regular-season edition of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Wildcats, who received nine first-place votes and 370 points, have maintained at least a share of the No. 1 ranking for eight-consecutive weeks. Indiana Wesleyan dominated both Huntington (Ind.) and Spring Arbor (Mich.) in Mid-Central College Conference (MCC) action since last week.

Great Plains Athletic Conference leader Concordia (Neb.) moves up to No. 2 with five first-place nods and 364 points. The Bulldogs have won 10-straight games, highlighted by a 72-68 victory over No. 6 Concordia (Mich.) on Jan. 28. Davenport falls from co-No. 1 last week to No. 3 after an 81-78 overtime loss to Concordia (Mich.) in the NAIA Game of the Week on Feb. 1. The Lady Panthers, who earned 348 points, saw their 17-game winning streak come to an end. Meanwhile, Nos. 4 and 5 remain the same with College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and Morningside (Iowa) filling those spots with 341 and 324 points, respectively.

No. 8 Jamestown (N.D.) and No. 14 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) tied for the largest advancement in the poll this week as each jumped three slots. Jamestown is appearing in the top 10 for the first time this season after being placed in the 11 – 13 range in each of the last four polls. The Jimmies lead the nation in scoring margin at plus-22.2 points per game and boast the NAIA’s No. 3 scoring offense (81.4). Cardinal Stritch continues to roll, carrying a 13-game winning streak and a 9-0 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference mark.

Both Union (Ky.) and Huntington spiraled out of the rankings this week, while No. 15 Eastern Oregon plummeted the furthest among teams in the Top 25. The Mountaineers fall seven spots due to a stunning 76-74 overtime loss to Northwest Christian (Ore.), who had entered the Feb. 4 contest at 1-12 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play.

No. 24 Saint Francis (Ind.), No. 25 (tie) Marian (Ind.) and No. 25 (tie) Cornerstone (Mich.) are new this week’s installment, however, none are strangers to the Top 25. Saint Francis has been tabbed as high as No. 7 this season, Marian rose to 21st on Dec. 12 and Cornerstone garnered the No. 14 spot in the preseason. Of the three, Saint Francis posted the most notable win over the past week when it took down No. 12 Bethel (Ind.), 65-56, on Feb. 4.

Twelve of the 14 Division II women's basketball conferences and independents are represented throughout the Top 25. The Great Plains Athletic Conference again placed the most teams of any league in the poll with five: Concordia, Morningside, No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 11 Briar Cliff (Iowa) and No. 19 Hastings (Neb.). The MCC was second with four ranked teams: Indiana Wesleyan, No. 12 Bethel, Saint Francis and Marian.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The next poll will be announced on Feb. 13.

Notes: (All information as of the 1999 – 2000 season) Indiana Wesleyan has now appeared at the top of the poll on 22 occasions, three better 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 40 schools have appeared in the Top 25 at least once this season … Northwestern has been placed in the top 10 of 91 polls all-time.

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Indiana Wesleyan (9) 24-2 370
2 3 Concordia (Neb.) (5) 23-2 364
3 1 Davenport (Mich.) 23-3 348
4 4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) 22-3 341
5 5 Morningside (Iowa) 20-6 324
6 6 Concordia (Mich.) 22-4 311
7 7 Northwestern (Iowa) 18-5 297
8 9 Grand View (Iowa) 21-5 285
8 11 Jamestown (N.D.) 23-3 285
10 13 Corban (Ore.) 18-5 265
11 10 Briar Cliff (Iowa) 20-6 244
12 12 Bethel (Ind.) 19-6 226
13 15 Mount Mercy (Iowa) 19-7 211
14 17 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 21-5 202
15 8 Eastern Oregon 19-6 201
16 16 St. Thomas (Fla.) 18-5 194
17 14 Southwestern (Kan.) 18-6 185
18 18 Tennessee Wesleyan 18-7 159
19 20 Hastings (Neb.) 16-8 144
20 22 Friends (Kan.) 18-8 125
21 23 Ave Maria (Fla.) 21-4 114
22 18 Saint Mary (Neb.) 18-7 108
23 25 Point Park (Pa.) 18-4 100
24 RV Saint Francis (Ind.) 17-3 97
25 RV Marian (Ind.) 17-6 63
25 RV Cornerstone (Mich.) 17-9 63

Others receiving votes: College of Idaho 58; Montreat (N.C.) 58; Warner Pacific (Ore.) 31; Asbury (Ky.) 26; Union (Ky.) 25; Daemen (N.Y.) 15; Grace (Ind.) 13; Sterling (Kan.) 10; Indiana Southeast 9; Mount Marty (S.D.) 8; Northwestern Ohio 7; Iowa Wesleyan 6; Siena Heights (Mich.) 6; Taylor (Ind.) 1; Huntington (Ind.) 1; Virginia Intermont 1; Bluefield (Va.) 1; Indiana Northwest 1.