2014-15 NAIA Division II Women?s Basketball Coaches? Top 25 Poll ? Feb. 24
By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With a thrilling 77-76 victory over No. 3 Concordia (Neb.) on Feb. 21, the Mustangs of Morningside (Iowa) locked up the top spot in the 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the 10th-consecutive edition, the national office announced Tuesday. The top-ranked squad collected all 14-first place votes and 374 total points en route to the 30th No. 1 ranking in program history.
The final regular-season edition of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 – used to decide the at-large teams for the upcoming NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship – is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4. The 32 NAIA National Championship qualifiers will be announced at 3 p.m. CST on March 4. The national championship bracket will be announced via a live selection show at 7 p.m. CST on March 4.
The Mustangs’ win over the Bulldogs also clinched an unblemished regular season, the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) title outright, and a trip to the 2015 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm, in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 11-17.
In the aforementioned showdown, Concordia’s Bailey Morris – an NAIA first-team All-American and the reigning GPAC Player of the Year – misfired on a drive to the basket as time expired. She led all scorers with 24 points in the contest. For the Mustangs, Taylor Bahensky and Jessica Tietz both netted 17.
Morningside (30-0) is now eight-time GPAC champions during head coach Jamie Sale’s tenure. The team also extended its school-record Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center winning streak to 37 games and posted their 30th-consecutive regular season GPAC triumph.
Next up for the No. 1 team is the GPAC tournament which begins Feb. 25.
Davenport (Mich.) (28-0) – the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) winner – remains in the No. 2 position with 362 points. With this week’s rating, the Panthers have been ranked in 100 Top 25 Polls in-a-row, dating back to Feb. 7, 2007, when the team was No. 25. They claimed their ninth-consecutive conference crown and a berth in the National Championship 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 trampled Marygrove (Mich.), 96-42, on Feb. 21. The second-ranked squad takes on Lawrence Tech (Mich.) in the WHAC tournament quarterfinals tomorrow.
As for the rest of the top five, Concordia (28-2) (350 points) remains at No. 3 despite falling to Morningside. The Bulldogs’ loss on Feb. 21 snapped a 22-game winning streak. Both of Concordia’s defeats have come to No. 1 Morningside, with the first coming on Nov. 15, 78-70.
No. 4 is Saint Xavier (Ill.) (27-2) (338 points), and in fifth is Indiana Wesleyan (26-4) (325 points).
Within the ranking, No. 14 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) jumped five positions, the best of any school. Eighteenth-ranked College of Saint Mary (Neb.) fell three slots from No. 15.
No. 25 Tabor (Kan.) enters the tail-end of the poll after claiming the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title by beating Ottawa (Kan.), 60-57, on Feb. 22.
Twelve 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.
Notes: (All information dates back to the 1999 – 2000 season) There was minimal movement at the top of the poll as only No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan and No. 6 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) swapped places from last week… Two Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) members – No. 1 Morningside (Iowa) and No. 3 Concordia (Neb.) – continue to claim top-three positions despite the Bulldogs’ loss to the top team over the weekend… The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Crossroads League both have two schools in the top seven… Preseason No. 1 Saint Francis (Ind.) held steady 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 30 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 (140) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (127) are now joined by No. 2 Davenport (Mich.) (100) as being the only programs ranked in the Top 25 for over 100 consecutive weeks… 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. 24)
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) (14)||30-0||374|
|4||4||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||27-2||338|
|6||5||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||22-4||312|
|9||9||Saint Francis (Ind.)||22-8||273|
|14||19||College of the Ozarks (Mo.)||21-7||204|
|16||16||Robert Morris (Ill.)||21-5||183|
|18||15||College of Saint Mary (Neb.)||23-6||180|
|19||17||Briar Cliff (Iowa)||22-8||168|
|20||21||Siena Heights (Mich.)||24-6||140|
|21||20||Purdue Calumet (Ind.)||20-7||136|
|23||23||St. Thomas (Fla.)||24-4||118|
|24||24||Rio Grande (Ohio)||24-6||92|
Others Receiving Votes: Southeastern (Fla.) 59; Union (Ky.) 46; Southwestern (Kan.) 30; Valley City State (N.D.) 24; Point Park (Pa.) 24; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 17; Madonna (Mich.) 15; Northwestern (Iowa) 6; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 6; Bryan (Tenn.) 5; Ashford (Iowa) 5.
^ 2014-15 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Feb. 17)