AP Ranks Old Dominion Lady Monarchs 24th
Jan. 2, 2002
Connecticut and Tennessee remained the top two teams in The Associated Press women's basketball poll Monday, setting up another No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the rivals in Knoxville on Saturday.
Seven games between ranked teams during the past week produced numerous changes elsewhere in the poll. Cincinnati is ranked for the first time in school history at No. 25, Iowa State achieved its highest ranking ever at No. 4 and Penn State dropped out.
Connecticut received 40 of 43 first-place votes from a national media panel and had 1,072 points to easily maintain its hold on the No. 1 spot for the eighth straight week.
The Huskies beat Cal State Northridge 101-44 and then-No. 23 Old Dominion 84-70 last week before closing out the calendar year with a 97-39 victory over Wright State on Monday to improve to 14-0.
Tennessee (10-0) received the three other first-place votes and had 1,034 points. The Lady Vols had two impressive wins last week, 89-68 over then-No. 9 Duke and 92-66 over Memphis.
Saturday's game will be the sixth between Connecticut and Tennessee when they held the top two spots in the poll. Connecticut has won four of the first five.
The next three teams in the poll, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Stanford, each moved up one place. Iowa State has matched its best start at 12-0. Vanderbilt fell from third to sixth after losing at Texas Tech and Baylor climbed one place to seventh.
Georgia was up two spots to eighth, Texas Tech climbed four places to ninth and Purdue fell three spots to 10th. Purdue lost to then-No. 14 Wisconsin before beating Michigan, which was 12th last week.
Duke dropped two places to 11th after splitting two games, losing to Tennessee and beating Georgia Tech, while Wisconsin climbed two spots to 12th.
Louisiana Tech was 13th and South Carolina 14th, followed by Florida, Colorado, Auburn, Michigan, North Carolina and Colorado State.
Texas, Tulane, Louisiana State, Old Dominion and Cincinnati held the final five places.
Cincinnati (11-0), off to its best start ever, has become a solid program under coach Laurie Pirtle, reaching the WNIT three of the last four years and making the NCAA tournament in 1999. But the Bearcats had never appeared in the poll before Monday.
"It's almost like having a birthday and mine happens to be tomorrow," Pirtle said. "You know how coaches are, we just go game to game, but in the back of your mind, you're grateful people feel that way about you.
"It's been a long haul. It's nice to see we've established a little respect."
Penn State (8-5), 24th last week, dropped out after splitting its first two Big Ten games, beating Minnesota behind sophomore Kelly Mazzante's 49 points but losing to unranked Ohio State.
Michigan and Colorado State also lost to unranked opponents. Michigan lost to Illinois before falling to Purdue and tumbled six places to 18th, the biggest drop in the poll. Colorado State fell from 15th to 20th after losing to Oakland, Mich.
Texas Tech's move from 13th to ninth was the biggest jump. That gave the Big 12 four teams in the top nine: Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor and Tech. Oklahoma plays at Texas Tech on Saturday.
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 30, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking
By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer
Others receiving votes: Drake 50, Arizona St. 49, Boston College 35, Penn St. 26, Kansas St. 24, Virginia Tech 21, N.C. State 18, Illinois 14, DePaul 12, Minnesota 12, UNLV 10, Florida St. 7, Iowa 6, Michigan St. 5, New Mexico 5, St. Joseph's 5, Virginia 5, Clemson 4, Santa Clara 4, Notre Dame 1, TCU 1.