By Nikki Sherrill, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, MO. – With a 16-0 mark, the Fighting Saints of St. Francis (Ill.) earned nine first-place votes to remain atop the 2016-17 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced on Tuesday. This is the second-straight week St. Francis has claimed the No. 1 ranking, and only second time the Saints have earned the top spot in program history. The third regular-season installment will be released on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Top 25 Highlights
• As one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the league, St. Francis continues its reign at No. 1 for the second-straight week in the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. With a 16-0 unblemished record, the Fighting Saints gathered nine first-place votes and 310 total points to extend its appearance at the lead of the rankings.
• The Fighting Saints have won all but two contests by double-digits. Off to one of its best starts in program history, the Fighting Saints are looking to make a deeper run in the national championship in March after last year’s first-round loss to Asbury (Ky.), 63-60.
• Just like last week, the Bulldogs of Concordia (Neb.) remain at the heels of St. Francis at No. 2. Concordia is currently 17-1, with its lone loss coming at the hands of defending national champion, Marian (Ind.), in the first game of the season. The Bulldogs lead the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) with a 10-0 record as they head into the second half of the season. Concordia received the remaining three first-place votes this edition.
• No movement was made through the rest of the top five spots this installment, as each team held its original standing – No. 3 Saint Xavier (Ill.), No. 4 Southern Oregon, No. 5 Marian.
• Four programs this edition saw positive adjustment to their previous rankings with No. 8 Southeastern (Fla.) making the largest leap up nine spots. This new ratings is the highest in program history for the Fire. No. 17 Eastern Oregon moved up two spots, while one place improvements were made by No. 6 Davenport (Mich.) and No. 11 Morningside (Iowa).
• Ten squads saw slight backward falls but still remain in the Top 25.
• Milligan (Tenn.) has fallen out of the Top 25 this week for the first time this season. Only Huntington (Ind.) also saw its ranking drop out.
• Two newcomers are welcomed to the poll this week as No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.) and No. 25 Northwestern (Iowa) make appearances. This is the first national ranking for both teams this season and Reinhardt’s first showing in program history.
• Overall, 11 of the 12 conferences are represented in this edition of the poll. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and the GPAC lead the field with five teams each. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Crossroads League, Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, Association of Independent Institutions, North Star Athletic Association and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference all bring two teams to the ratings.
• Morningside has the most No. 1 rankings in NAIA history with 38, while No. 12 Indiana Wesleyan is second with 33.
• Morningside holds the active streak of being ranked in the Top 25 (159). No. 3 Saint Xavier is second with 146-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. 3 (Jan. 10)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||Season Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||St. Francis (Ill.) (9)||16-0||310|
|2||2||Concordia (Neb.) (3)||17-1||304|
|3||3||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||16-1||288|
|9||8||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||15-2||238|
|10||8||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||14-4||217|
|14||13||IU Northwest (Ind.)||15-3||186|
|15||14||Purdue Northwest (Ind.)||14-5||167|
|19||16||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||13-4||138|
|23||22||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||13-5||82|
|24||24||Dickinson State (N.D.)||10-5||73|
Dropped from the rankings: Milligan (Tenn.) (23), Huntington (Ind.) (25)
Others receiving votes: Oregon Tech 50; Milligan (Tenn.) 39; Kansas Wesleyan 29; Point Park (Pa.) 27; Huntington (Ind.) 26; Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 17; Valley City State (N.D.) 12; Midland (Neb.) 9; Keiser (Fla.) 3
^Reflects ranking in 2016-17 Poll No. 2