KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Vanguard (Calif.) tops the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the eighth-straight edition, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lions accumulated nine first-place votes and 250 total points to earn their 36th 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 19-0, returns to the hardwood on Feb. 11, when the Lions will face off against Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) foe and No. 10 Westmont (Calif.). Westmont (6-2) is one of three teams tied for second in the GSAC, behind unbeaten Vanguard (8-0). The Lions are searching for their first GSAC regular-season title since 2010. Vanguard is also looking to become the first team to spend the entire season ranked No. 1 since former-member Union (Tenn.) in 2010-11. Currently, the Lions rank among the top 10 nationally in 11 statistical categories and lead the nation in scoring margin (+29.74) and assist to turnover ratio (1.79). Senior guard Taylor Belmont leads the nation in assists per game (8.16).
Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), the nation’s other undefeated team at 23-0, received the remaining first-place vote and 242 total points en route to its sixth-straight No. 2 ranking. Last week, the Lady Lions moved to 15-0 in the American Midwest Conference with a 15-point win over Mid-Continent (Ky.) and a 29-point win over Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.). On the season, Freed-Hardeman is outscoring its opponents by an average of 26.65 points per game. With this week’s ranking, Freed-Hardeman has now been ranked among the top three nationally in 19 of the last 20 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 fourth-straight week. The Griffins are 18-2 on the season, including a perfect 12-0 mark in the Frontier Conference. Last week, Westminster recorded a 41-point victory over Dickinson State (N.D.) and a 26-point win over Carroll (Mont.) to extend its winning streak to 11 games. Paced by NAIA individual leader Alli Winters (.573), the Griffins lead the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.417).
No. 4 Campbellsville (Ky.) and No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist round out the top five with 226 and 216 points, respectively. The Tigers are riding a nine-game win streak, including an 85-71 victory over Mid-South Conference (MSC) rival and No. 8 Georgetown (Ky.) in last week’s NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Game of the Week. On the year, Campbellsville is 22-2 and 12-1 in the MSC. The Bison are 21-3 on the season and 13-1 in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). Oklahoma Baptist’s lone SAC loss came on Jan. 8 against Wayland Baptist (Texas), 73-65.
Baker (Kan.) moved up a poll-high four positions to No. 14. Conversely, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) fell six spots to No. 13 after suffering two of its three losses in back-to-back games, including an 84-72 defeat at the hands of Baker on Jan. 30.
No. 24 Central Methodist (Mo.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25. The Eagles have been ranked or received votes in every poll this season. This is Central Methodist’s first Top 25 ranking since Dec. 10, when the Eagles were No. 19.
Mobile (Ala.) (No. 25) fell out of the poll.
The GSAC leads all conferences with four programs among the Top 25: Vanguard, No. 7 The Master’s (Calif.), Westmont and No. 15 Hope International (Calif.).
The eighth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced Feb. 18.
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 36th all-time and eighth-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 (36) 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 173 polls… Vanguard has appeared in 140-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. 7 (Feb. 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013-14 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Vanguard (Calif.) (9)||19-0||250|
|2||2||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (1)||23-0||242|
|7||9||The Master's (Calif.)||18-5||197|
|9||10||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||18-2||185|
|13||7||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||18-3||153|
|15||17||Hope International (Calif.)||17-5||139|
|16||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||23-3||131|
|16||16||John Brown (Ark.)||17-5||131|
|22||21||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||17-6||72|
|24||RV||Central Methodist (Mo.)||17-5||65|
|25||24||LSU Shreveport (La.)||16-6||54|
Others Receiving Votes: Mobile (Ala.) 49; Lyon (Ark.) 44; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 43; Coastal Georgia 20; Benedictine (Kan.) 19; Southern Poly (Ga.) 6; William Woods (Mo.) 5; Loyola (La.) 3.