2014-15 NAIA Division II Women?s Basketball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? Feb. 17
By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, MO. – For the ninth-straight release, Morningside (Iowa) earned all 14 first-place votes and 374 total points en route to its unanimous No. 1 ranking in the 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The top-billing for the Mustangs is the 29th overall in the school’s history, which is second behind Indiana Wesleyan (35).
Morningside (28-0) is a perfect 18-0 in Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) action this season, and tallied another victory over the weekend with an 83-75 toppling of Doane (Neb.) on Feb. 14. The Tigers have been a tough out for the Mustangs this year, as Doane took the top team to overtime on Jan. 10, but eventually fell, 88-86 in Crete, Neb.
In Saturday’s win over the Tigers, The Mustangs shot 52.5 percent for the game and had one of their most balanced scoring efforts of the season with six players hitting double-digits. Ashlynn Muhl led the way with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season, including her fourth in the last five games. Joining Muhl with double figure scoring were Taylor Bahensky (14), Lexi Ackerman (12), Allison Bachman and Jordyn Wollenburg (11) and Jessica Tietz (10).
Morningside’s school record 36-game home winning streak at the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center is put to the test as conference foe No. 3 Concordia (Neb.) (27-1) comes calling on Saturday, but the team cannot look past No. 19 Briar Cliff (Iowa) tomorrow night.
The Panthers of Davenport (Mich.) (26-0) stand still at No. 2 with 362 points. The Panthers have been ranked in 99-straght Top 25 Polls, dating back to Feb. 7, 2007, when the team was No. 25. They claimed the outright Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) title – their ninth-consecutive conference crown – and a berth in the 2015 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm, by beating Indiana Tech, 72-48, on Feb. 11.
Davenport will make its 11th-consecutive trip to Sioux City, Iowa, courtesy of the win. The WHAC champion continues to keep pace with the Mustangs as the only undefeated schools remaining in the 2014-15 season.
Most recently, the Panthers mauled Concordia (Mich.) on Feb. 14, 78-34. The second-ranked squad hits the road for its final away game at Lourdes (Ohio) tomorrow evening.
The rest of the top five schools in the release stand still from their positions in the Feb. 10 poll, as Concordia (350 points) remains at No. 3. The Bulldogs have won 22 games in-a-row since dropping to No. 1 Morningside, 78-70, on Nov. 15. The GPAC showdown with Morningside looms on Saturday, but Grace (Neb.) is up next for Concordia tomorrow.
No. 4 is Saint Xavier (Ill.) (25-2) (338 points), and in fifth is Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (23-3) (325 points).
No. 17 (tie) Eastern Oregon rose four spots within the poll, the best of any institution. Purdue Calumet (Ind.) continues its free-fall, dropping from No. 13 to No. 20.
No. 24 Rio Grande (Ohio) surfaces in the Top 25 this week for its first ranking of the season.
Eleven conferences/Association of Independent Institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four teams from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Crossroads League and GPAC. The Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference has second-most teams in the poll with three.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions. For the entire 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
The tenth unveiling of the regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced Feb. 24.
Notes: (All information dates back to the 1999 – 2000 season) The top seven programs held position from last week’s poll, while the carousel in the middle of the rankings continue… Two Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) members – No. 1 Morningside (Iowa) and No. 3 Concordia (Neb.) – continue to claim a top-three position… The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Crossroads League both have two schools in the top seven… Preseason No. 1 Saint Francis (Ind.) slid to No. 9 this week… Indiana Wesleyan has appeared at the top of the poll on 35 occasions, the most of any program, followed by Morningside with 29 and Saint Francis with 24… Fourteen different teams have earned the No. 1 ranking all-time… Three schools have spent an entire season ranked No. 1: Morningside in 2008-09, College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in 2007-08 and Saint Francis in 1999-2000… In the last 13 years, six teams that were ranked No. 1 in the preseason have gone on to win the national championship, with the last being Northwestern (Iowa) in 2011 and 2012… Morningside (139) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (126) are the only teams that have been ranked in the Top 25 for over 100 consecutive weeks… No. 2 Davenport (Mich.) has earned 99 Top 25s in-a-row… Since 2007, the only national champions to hail from a conference other than the GPAC are Indiana Wesleyan (2007, 2013) and Saint Francis (2014).
2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Feb. 17)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||28-0||374|
|4||4||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||25-2||338|
|5||5||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||23-3||325|
|9||8||Saint Francis (Ind.)||20-8||273|
|15||16||College of Saint Mary (Neb.)||21-6||207|
|16||17||Robert Morris (Ill.)||19-5||176|
|T17||20||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||21-7||162|
|19||18||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||19-7||160|
|20||13||Purdue Calumet (Ind.)||19-7||148|
|21||22||Siena Heights (Mich.)||22-6||136|
|23||24||St. Thomas (Fla.)||21-4||105|
|24||RV||Rio Grande (Ohio)||22-6||72|
Others Receiving Votes: Southwestern (Kan.) 58; Madonna (Mich.) 51; Valley City State (N.D.) 49; Tabor (Kan.) 47; Southeastern (Fla.) 40; Point Park (Pa.) 22; Northwestern (Iowa) 16; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 6; Grand View (Iowa) 5; Haskell (Kan.) 3.
^ 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Feb. 10)