By Nikki Sherrill, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, MO. – Boasting an undefeated record so far this season, the Fighting Saints of St. Francis (Ill.) take over the No. 1 spot in the 2016-17 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced on Tuesday. St. Francis claimed six first-place votes to capture the top ranking. The third regular-season installment will be released on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Top 25 Highlights
• Riding a 10-0 streak so far this season, St. Francis (Ill.) has taken over as the No. 1 team in the NAIA. Gathering six first-place votes and 307 total points, the Fighting Saints hold the top spot for the first time in program history.
• The Fighting Saints have not suffered a loss yet this season, and have won nine-of-ten games by double-digits. St. Francis is off to one of its best starts in program history. Last season, it was knocked out in the first-round of the NAIA National Championship in a 63-60 loss to Asbury (Ky.).
• The Bulldogs of Concordia (Neb.) made a five-spot leap this edition up to No. 2. This is Concordia’s first appearance at No. 2 since postseason in 2015 when the Bulldogs finished second at the national championship. Concordia is currently 13-1, with its lone loss falling at the hands of defending national champion, Marian (Ind.), in the first game of the season.
• The rest of the top-five saw adjustments as Saint Xavier (Ill.) remains at No. 3, and Southern Oregon moving up to No. 4, while Marian slid back to No. 5.
• Concordia and Saint Xavier earned the remaining first-place votes, with the Bulldogs gathering four and the Cougars notching the final two.
• No. 15 Friends (Kan.) made the largest stride in the ranking as it moved up nine spots from the last edition. No. 6 Hastings (Neb.) is right behind Friends as it moved up eight spots. Nine other teams also made their own positive movements this edition – No. 1 St. Francis, No. 2 Concordia, No. 4 Southern Oregon, No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 14 Purdue Northwest (Ind.), No. 16 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), No. 17 Indiana Tech, No. 18 Southeastern (Fla.) and No. 22 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.).
• Previous No. 1, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.), fell out of its top-spot after dropping two GPAC contests last week. The Tigers come in at No. 8 this week.
• Briar Cliff is the lone team to drop from the rankings after coming in at No. 19 last edition. The Chargers are 6-5 on the year and 4-3 in Great Plains Athletic Association Conference (GPAC) play.
• There is only one newcomer in the Top 25 this edition, as Dickinson State (N.D.) comes in at No. 24. The Bluehawks are currently 2-1 in the North Star Athletic Association, with their only conference loss coming to No. 10 Jamestown (N.D.).
• Overall, 11 of the 12 conferences are represented in this edition of the poll. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference leads the field with five teams, including the No. 1 spot. The GPAC follows closely behind with four teams, while the Crossroads League is represented by three.
• No. 12 Morningside has the most No. 1 rankings in NAIA history with 38, while No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan is second with 33.
• Morningside holds the active streak of being ranked in the Top 25 (158). No. 3 Saint Xavier is second with 145-straight, including its time in Division I.
• College of the Ozarks (2007-08), Morningside (2008-09) and Saint Francis (Ind.) (1999-00) are the only teams to go the entire season ranked No. 1.
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.
2016-17 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Poll No. 2 (Dec. 13)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||Season Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||3||St. Francis (Ill.) (6)||10-0||307|
|2||7||Concordia (Neb.) (4)||13-1||299|
|3||3||Saint Xavier (Ill.) (2)||9-0||293|
|T8||6||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||11-2||242|
|T8||1||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||11-2||242|
|14||15||Purdue Northwest (Ind.)||11-3||168|
|16||16||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||10-2||156|
|22||25||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||8-3||88|
|24||NR||Dickinson State (N.D.)||5-3||66|
Dropped from the rankings: Briar Cliff (Iowa) (19)
Others receiving votes: Briar Cliff (Iowa) 55; Kansas Wesleyan 49; Reinhardt (Ga.) 34; Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 29; Point Park (Pa.) 28; Valley City State (N.D.) 16; Doane (Neb.) 13; Oregon Tech 7; Northwestern (Iowa) 6; Union (Ky.) 5; Northwest Christian (Ore.) 3
^Reflects ranking in 2016-17 Poll No. 2