Arizona State Gets Noticed For Another Reason Now

Feb. 6, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's basketball team drew a lot of attention by stagingthe first outdoor college game.

Now, the Sun Devils are being noticed for another reason.

Arizona State joined the poll for the first time in nine years Monday,breaking in at No. 23 with a six-game winning streak that has carried them tofirst place in the Pac-10.

'I think the thing that means the most is that hopefully the (NCAA)selection committee is taking notice of us,' said coach Charli Turner Thorne.'Even though the polls aren't really supposed to influence the committee, Icertainly think it draws attention to your program. That part of it for me isreal exciting.'

Arizona State (15-6) was one of three newcomers in the poll, joining leaguerival Arizona and North Carolina State, both of whom returned after being outfor one week.

Notre Dame remained No. 1 for the third straight week. Tennessee replacedConnecticut at No. 2, one of several changes in the poll as the races forconference titles start to heat up.

Arizona State was ranked 33 times during the early 1980s and last appearedin the poll the week of March 1, 1992 - when it was tied for 25th.

The Sun Devils received national attention when they played Tennessee atBank One Ballpark in late December, and have used that game - a 67-63 loss - asa springboard to success in the Pac-10. They lead the league by a half-gameover Arizona and Stanford.

'Honestly, that's kind of what we expected,' Turner Thorne said. 'Weplanned that event in a year I knew was going to be pretty good. The idea wasto bring attention to us and hopefully capitalize on the fact that people areactually watching our program a little bit.'

Transfers Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson have led the resurgence for theSun Devils, who last had a winning season in 1992-93. Levens moved to Tempeafter two seasons at Old Dominion, a perennial NCAA tournament team. Johnsonspent two years at Colorado.

'Amanda Levens has two Sweet 16 appearances under her belt. That has beenvery big for us,' Turner Thorne said. 'To have a player with that type ofleadership and will to win - we have other players like that - but the factshe's been there, done that, lends credibility with the team.'

Notre Dame (21-0) beat Providence and Boston College by solid margins lastweek to remain the nation's only unbeaten Division I team. The Irish received39 of a possible 40 first-place votes from the national media panel, and had999 points.

Tennessee (23-1), which has won 12 straight games since a five-point loss atConnecticut on Dec. 30, received the other first-place vote and had 958 points.

The Lady Vols avenged that loss by beating Connecticut 92-88 in Knoxvillelast Thursday, then posted a 97-75 win at Alabama. They've won seven gamessince Tamika Catchings, last season's national player of the year, wassidelined by a torn knee ligament.

Connecticut (18-2), No. 1 the first 11 weeks of the season, slipped tothird, but received far worse news than that Monday. The college career ofSvetlana Abrosimova, a first-team All-American last year, is over because shetore a ligament in her left foot at Tennessee.

UConn rebounded from the Tennessee loss to beat then-No. 24 Villanova 75-39.Villanova dropped out of the poll, as did Baylor and Oregon.

Duke (21-1) held at No. 4, Purdue (21-3) climbed one spot to fifth andFlorida (19-2) jumped three places to sixth after beating Top 25 teams Georgiaand Vanderbilt.

Georgia fell from fifth to seventh, and was followed by Louisiana Tech, IowaState and Oklahoma.

Texas Tech moved up one place to 11th, and Rutgers went from 14th to 12th.Then it was Xavier, LSU, Southwest Missouri State, Penn State, Utah,Vanderbilt, Colorado and Wisconsin.

Texas, Arizona, Arizona State, North Carolina State and Clemson held thefinal five places.

Arizona (16-5), which dropped out last week after losing three straight roadgames, bounced back with victories over then-No. 22 Oregon and Oregon State.

North Carolina State (14-8), ranked the first 12 weeks, has won threestraight games after losing four in a row.

By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer

The Women's Top Twenty Five
By The Associated Press

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll,with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 4, total pointsbased on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-placevote and last week's ranking:

                         Record   Pts   Pv 1. Notre Dame (39)        21-0   999    1 2. Tennessee (1)          23-1   958    3 3. Connecticut            18-2   919    2 4. Duke                   21-1   879    4 5. Purdue                 21-3   823    6 6. Florida                19-2   750    9 7. Georgia                19-4   742    5 8. Louisiana Tech         19-4   731    7 9. Iowa St.               18-2   722    810. Oklahoma               17-4   658   1011. Texas Tech             17-3   597   1212. Rutgers                15-5   495   1413. Xavier                 19-2   469   1514. LSU                    15-6   451   1115. SW Missouri St.        16-4   448   1316. Penn St.               16-6   411   1617. Utah                   18-2   405   1818. Vanderbilt             15-6   281   1919. Colorado               15-5   156   2320. Wisconsin              14-7   140   2521. Texas                  16-7   133   2122. Arizona                16-5   100    -23. Arizona St.            15-6    93    -24. N.C. State             14-8    91    -25. Clemson                15-7    90   17

Others receiving votes: Maryland 80, Villanova 63, Baylor 61, Virginia Tech34, Oregon 32, George Washington 28, Arkansas 22, Ball St. 21, Colorado St. 18,TCU 14, Drake 10, Alabama 8, Stanford 8, Washington 8, Auburn 7, Santa Clara 7,Stephen F.Austin 6, Hawaii 5, Wis.-Green Bay 5, Iowa 4, Virginia 4, Toledo 3,DePaul 2, Michigan 2, Missouri 2, Oklahoma St. 2, UC Santa Barbara 2, Tulane 1.

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