By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
Photo by Richard Robards, Campbellsville (Ky.) Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fourth-straight poll, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) lands the No. 1 position in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lady Lions, who enter the week riding a 17-game winning streak, captured nine first-place votes and 250 total points.
Freed-Hardeman, which tops the poll for the 11th time since 1999-2000, improved to 17-1 on the year after dismantling Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 77-46, on Jan. 17. The Lady Lions are led by the duo of Hayley Newby and Grace Alonso de Armino, who both average double-doubles – Newby at 18.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, and Alonso de Armino at 15.4 points and 14.0 rebounds per game.
Freed-Hardeman returns to the floor Thursday against Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) at 5:30 p.m. CST, before hosting St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
No. 2 Oklahoma City (242 points) and No. 3 Campbellsville (Ky.) (234 points) hold their positions for a third-consecutive week. Oklahoma City, which received the editions final first-place vote, boasts an 11-1 record. The Stars passed arguably their toughest test of their conference schedule so far with an 86-78 win against No. 8 Oklahoma Baptist last weekend. Six individuals for Oklahoma City finished the game in double figures, led by a season-high 15 points from Kara Partridge.
The Tigers are off to an 18-1 start, which is the best for the program since going 30-1 to open the 2009-10 season. Campbellsville ranks among the top 10 nationally in nine statistical categories, including leading the country in total steals (253) and turnover margin (8.3). The Tigers square off against Mid-South Conference rival and No. 25 Georgetown (Ky.) on Thursday at 6 p.m. CST.
Rounding out the top five this week are No. 4 Westminster (Utah) with 221 points and No. 5 Langston (Okla.) with 218 points, as both programs jump one spot. Westminster, which is 12-2 on the season with both losses coming to ranked opponents, has been mentioned among the top five in 18-straight polls.
Langston is making its first top-five appearance since Jan. 16, 2012. The Lions are the only remaining unbeaten team in NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball at 15-0. Last week, Langston downed LSU Alexandria (La.), 98-68, on Jan. 16 and LSU Shreveport (La.), 77-73, on Jan. 17. Lynette Holmes has keyed the strong start for the Lions, averaging just shy of a double-double at 20.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Langston puts its unbeaten record on the line Tuesday night against Bacone (Okla.).
Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), fueled by a 97-76 win against then-No. 10 Wiley (Texas), jumped three spots to No. 15 to highlight the positive movement in the poll. Due to the loss, Wiley tumbled seven positions.
No. 22 Great Falls (Mont.) is the only newcomer this week. The ranking is the first ever for the Argos, who improved to 16-3 on the year after downing then-No. 19 Carroll (Mont.), 73-68, last Saturday.
Cumberland (No. 22) fell out of the Top 25.
The Frontier Conference leads all leagues with five programs represented – Westminster, No. 10 Montana State-Northern, No. 13 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), No. 21 Carroll and Great Falls. The Association of Independent Institutions and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference are the only conferences without a ranked team.
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 I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
The fifth regular-season edition of the Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 27.
Notes (All information dates back to 1999-2000): Freed-Hardman (Tenn.) is making its 11th all-time appearance at No. 1 … This is the fourth-straight No. 1 ranking for the Lady Lions … Two teams have held the No. 1 ranking in the 2014-15 season: Freed-Hardeman and Oklahoma City … The Frontier Conference boasts the most ranked teams with five … No. 10 Montana State-Northern is ranked among the top 10 for the first time since March 2, 1999 … No. 22 Great Falls (Mont.) is making its first-ever appearance … Former member Union (Tenn.) leads all schools in all-time No. 1 rankings with 53, while Oklahoma City (48), Vanguard (40) and former member Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (15) are the only other programs with 10-or-more No. 1 rankings … Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, only Oklahoma City and Freed-Hardeman have been listed in all 183 polls … Vanguard has appeared in 150-straight … Thirty-three teams have been ranked in 2014-15 … Loyola’s (La.) No. 4 ranking on Jan. 13 is its highest in program history … Union and Vanguard are the only programs to have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) (Vanguard: 2005-06, 2006-07).2014-15 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Jan. 20)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014-15 Record||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (9)||17-1||250|
|2||2||Oklahoma City (1)||11-1||242|
|12||T14||Shawnee State (Ohio)||17-3||160|
|13||T14||Lewis-Clarke State (Idaho)||16-3||146|
|14||16||The Master’s (Calif.)||14-4||144|
|15||18||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||12-4||134|
|18||12||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||13-5||117|
|19||21||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||16-4||101|
|22||RV||Great Falls (Mont.)||16-3||80|
|23||25||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||15-3||73|
Others receiving votes: Benedictine (Kan.) 51; Texas Wesleyan 48; Baker (Kan.) 18; Xavier (La.) 14; Pikeville (Ky.) 12; Cumberlands (Ky.) 12; Cumberland (Tenn.) 9; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 7.