Women's Basketball AP Top 25 Poll
Jan. 1, 2002
Connecticut and Tennessee remained the top two teams in The Associated Presswomen's basketball poll Monday, setting up another No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchupbetween the rivals in Knoxville on Saturday.
Seven games between ranked teams during the past week produced numerouschanges elsewhere in the poll. Cincinnati is ranked for the first time inschool history at No. 25, Iowa State achieved its highest ranking ever atNo. 4 and Penn State dropped out.
Connecticut received 40 of 43 first-place votes from a national media paneland had 1,072 points to easily maintain its hold on the No. 1 spot for theeighth straight week.
The Huskies beat Cal State Northridge 101-44 and then-No. 23 Old Dominion84-70 last week before closing out the calendar year with a 97-39 victoryover Wright State on Monday to improve to 14-0.
Tennessee (10-0) received the three other first-place votes and had 1,034points. 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 whenthey held the top two spots in the poll. Connecticut has won four of thefirst five.
The next three teams in the poll, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Stanford, eachmoved 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 Baylorclimbed one place to seventh.
Georgia was up two spots to eighth, Texas Tech climbed four places to ninthand Purdue fell three spots to 10th. Purdue lost to then-No. 14 Wisconsinbefore beating Michigan, which was 12th last week.
Duke dropped two places to 11th after splitting two games, losing toTennessee and beating Georgia Tech, while Wisconsin climbed two spots to12th.
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 finalfive places.
Cincinnati (11-0), off to its best start ever, has become a solid programunder coach Laurie Pirtle, reaching the WNIT three of the last four yearsand making the NCAA tournament in 1999. But the Bearcats had never appearedin the poll before Monday.
'It's almost like having a birthday and mine happens to be tomorrow,' Pirtlesaid. 'You know how coaches are, we just go game to game, but in the back ofyour 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 littlerespect.'
Penn State (8-5), 24th last week, dropped out after splitting its first twoBig Ten games, beating Minnesota behind sophomore Kelly Mazzante's 49 pointsbut losing to unranked Ohio State.
Michigan and Colorado State also lost to unranked opponents. Michigan lostto Illinois before falling to Purdue and tumbled six places to 18th, thebiggest drop in the poll. Colorado State fell from 15th to 20th after losingto Oakland, Mich.
Texas Tech's move from 13th to ninth was the biggest jump. That gave the Big12 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 pointsbased on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-placevote 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, NewMexico 5, St. Joseph's 5, Virginia 5, Clemson 4, Santa Clara 4, Notre Dame1, TCU 1.