By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the eighth time this season, Indiana Wesleyan claims the top spot in the 2012 –13 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Wildcats received all 12 first-place votes and 312 points to earn the top ranking in the postseason edition.
Indiana Wesleyan won its second national title on March 12 when it defeated Davenport (Mich.), 61-43. The Wildcats were led by Paige Smith, who was named 2013 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship MVP and coach of the year Steve Brooks.
National runner-up Davenport comes in at No. 2 with 302 points. Previous No. 1 Morningside (Iowa) fell two spots to No. 3, notching 292 points. Moving up three positions is No. 4 Northwestern (Iowa) with 281 points. Rounding out the top five is Eastern Oregon with 269 points.
Joining the poll this week is No. 19 Milligan (Tenn.) and No. 24 Menlo (Calif.). Milligan, a No. 7 seed in the national championship, nearly pulled off a first-round stunner before falling to College of the Ozarks (Mo.), 84-76 in overtime. Menlo, who an automatic qualifier from the California Pacific Athletic Conference, fell to then-No. 12 Jamestown (N.D.), 70-54. Milligan and Menlo replace Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (No. 24) and College of Saint Mary (Neb.) (No. 25), who fell out of the poll.
Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) improved eight positions in the poll. The Wolves upset No. 9 Concordia (Neb.) in the first round of the championship, 66-60, before falling to national runner-up Davenport in the second round. On the other end of the spectrum, Purdue Calumet (Ind.) and St. Thomas (Fla.) fell seven positions.
Twelve of the 13 Division II women’s basketball conferences/independents are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference with four teams each.
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 appeared at the top of the poll on 33 occasions, the most of any program, followed by Morningside (Iowa) with 19… There have been 14 different teams to garner the No. 1 ranking all-time … 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 (Ind.) in 1999-2000… In the last 13 years, six teams that have been rated No. 1 in the preseason have gone on to win the national championship with the last being Northwestern (Iowa) in 2011 and 2012… Since 2007, the only non Great Plains Athletic Conference school to win a national championship is Indiana Wesleyan with titles coming in 2007 and 2013.
2012-13 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Postseason Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||4||Indiana Wesleyan (12)||35-3||312|
|6||2||Saint Francis (Ind.)||32-4||265|
|8||5||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||30-5||237|
|12||14||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||25-10||210|
|13||21||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||27-8||193|
|15||18||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||25-7||170|
|16||17||College of Idaho||22-9||166|
|17||19||Grand View (Iowa)||22-7||164|
|20||13||Purdue Calumet (Ind.)||21-10||103|
|22||15||St. Thomas (Fla.)||27-4||99|
|23||20||Siena Heights (Mich.)||23-10||97|
|25||23||Valley City State (N.D.)||24-8||73|
Others receiving votes: Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 55; College of Saint Mary (Neb.) 48; Southwestern (Kan.) 41; Point Park (Pa.) 31; Mayville State (N.D.) 22; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 18; Oregon Tech 6; Union (Ky.) 6; Huntington (Ind.) 4; Ave Maria (Fla.) 3.
^ Ranking from Final Regular Season Edition on Feb. 27