KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Vanguard (Calif.) tops the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the seventh-straight edition, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lions accumulated nine first-place votes and 250 total points to earn their 35th all-time No. 1 ranking dating back to the 1999-2000 season.
Vanguard, which is one of the NAIA’s two remaining unbeaten teams at 17-0, returns to the hardwood on Feb. 4, when the Lions will face off against Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) foe and No. 9 The Master's (Calif.). Vanguard is searching for its first GSAC regular-season title since 2010. Currently, the Lions rank among the top 10 nationally in 12 statistical categories and lead the nation in scoring margin (+31.29) and assist to turnover ratio (1.83). Senior guard Taylor Belmont leads the nation in assists per game (8.00).
Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), the nation’s other undefeated team at 21-0, received the remaining first-place vote and 242 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Lady Lions are 13-0 in league play during their first season as members of the American Midwest Conference (AMC). Last week, they outscored conference opponents Stephens (Mo.) and Benedictine (Ill.) 179-67. With this week’s ranking, Freed-Hardeman has now been ranked among the top three nationally in 18 of the last 19 polls—the lone exception being the Preseason Poll on Oct. 29, 2013.
Westminster (Utah) accrued 234 points to hold the No. 3 position for the third-straight week. The Griffins are 16-2 on the season, including a perfect 10-0 mark in the Frontier Conference. Paced by NAIA-leader Alli Winters (.584), Westminster leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.408).
Oklahoma Baptist earned 226 points to land at No. 4, while Campbellsville (Ky.) and Oklahoma City share the No. 5 spot with 213 points each. The Bison are 19-2 on the season and 10-0 in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC), including a win over Oklahoma City on Jan. 16, when the Stars were ranked No. 3. Campbellsville, which is 20-2 on the year, is making its first top five appearance since Jan. 7. Oklahoma City, which is 14-2 this season, returns to the top five after a two-week hiatus.
No. 5 Campbellsville, No. 11 Westmont, No. 16 John Brown (Ark.) and No. 20 Xavier (La.) each moved up a poll-high three positions. Conversely, Talladega (Ala.) fell 11 spots to No. 22.
For the first time this season, there were no newcomers to the Top 25.
The GSAC leads all conferences with four programs among the Top 25: No. 1 Vanguard, No. 9 The Master’s (Calif.), No. 11 Westmont and No. 17 Hope International (Calif.).
The seventh regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced Feb. 11.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2013-14 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999-2000) This is the 35th all-time and seventh-straight No. 1 ranking for Vanguard (Calif.)… Five teams were ranked No. 1 during the 2012-13 season: Westmont (Calif.), Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Oklahoma City, Vanguard and former member Lubbock Christian (Texas)… Former member Union (Tenn.) leads all schools in all-time No. 1 rankings with 53, while Oklahoma City (46), Vanguard (35) and former member Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (15) are the only other programs with 10-or-more No. 1 rankings… Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, only Oklahoma City and Freed-Hardeman have been listed in all 172 polls… Vanguard has appeared in 139-straight… No. 8 Georgetown (Ky.) made its first appearance among the top five since Jan. 11, 2005 in the Preseason Poll…Thirty-five programs garnered Top 25 mention in 2012-13… Union and Vanguard are the only programs to have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) (Vanguard: 2005-06, 2006-07).
2013-14 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Feb. 4)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Vanguard (Calif.) (9)||17-0||250|
|2||2||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (1)||21-0||242|
|7||4||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||17-2||204|
|9||9||The Master's (Calif.)||17-4||184|
|10||10||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||17-2||178|
|13||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||22-2||156|
|16||19||John Brown (Ark.)||16-4||124|
|17||17||Hope International (Calif.)||13-6||123|
|21||22||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||17-4||94|
|24||25||LSU Shreveport (La.)||15-5||62|
Others Receiving Votes: Benedictine (Kan.) 46; Lyon (Ark.) 41; Coastal Georgia 35; Central Methodist (Mo.) 27; Southern Poly (Ga.) 14; Loyola (La.) 4, Wayland Baptist (Texas) 4.