Feb. 12, 2001
SEATTLE, Wash. - Washington and Iowa, both rich in women's basketball tradition, had disappeared from the national scene the past couple of years. Thanks to impressive turnarounds, both are back.
Each earned its first national ranking since the 1997-98 season Monday, Washington breaking into The Associated Press poll at No. 23 and Iowa joining at No. 25.
A year ago, both experienced losing seasons that ended with Washington finishing 8-22 and Iowa going 9-18.
"We had no seniors last year," Washington coach June Daugherty said. "I have six this year who are unbelievable leaders. We're excited and pleased to see that we're getting some recognition. We just want to keep improving. That's the big thing right now."
Notre Dame, the nation's only unbeaten Division I team, remained No. 1 and led a top four that was the same as last week. Georgia and Iowa State moved into the next two spots and Texas jumped three places to 18th after ending Texas Tech's 41-game home winning streak.
Clemson and Arizona dropped out.
Washington (15-6) beat two teams from last week's Top 25, Arizona and Arizona State, to move into a first-place tie in the Pac-10. The Huskies won only four league games last season.
While Hec Edmundson Pavilion was being renovated last season, the Huskies practiced in an auxiliary gym and played games in two downtown Seattle arenas.
"Going through a year of being off campus was horrible," Daugherty said. "Now we're back in a beautiful arena, the fans have responded and the team has responded."
Iowa has responded to first-year coach Lisa Bluder, who had NCAA tournament teams four of her last six seasons at Drake. The Hawkeyes (14-8) upset then-No. 5 Purdue 96-87 last week, then beat Minnesota for their eighth victory in nine games.
"I'm thrilled for the players," Bluder said. "It's a tremendous reward for all their hard work. It's deserved."
Bluder said a 79-64 victory over then-No. 16 Penn State Jan. 21 showed her players they could become a Top 25 team.
"They're having fun," Bluder said. "They're enjoying themselves and they enjoy playing the game. It's amazing what winning can do. The players have so much more confidence in themselves and in each other."
Iowa was a regular in the national rankings from the mid-1980s through most of the 1990s. Before Monday, though, the Hawkeyes had not been ranked since the final poll of the 1997-98 season. Washington had not been in the poll since the week of Feb. 24 that season.
Notre Dame (22-0) kept the No. 1 spot for the fourth straight week and received 39 of a possible 40 first-place votes from the national media panel. The Irish, who beat Pittsburgh 72-58 in their only game last week, had 999 points - 41 more than No. 2 Tennessee, which received the other first-place vote.
Tennessee (25-1) topped 100 points in its two most recent games, including a 103-73 victory at Florida, which fell from sixth to ninth. Connecticut remained third and Duke held at No. 4 despite losing to Florida State.
Georgia climbed two spots to fifth and Iowa State jumped three places to sixth. Purdue, Louisiana Tech, Florida and Oklahoma completed the Top Ten.
No. 11 Rutgers, No. 12 Xavier and No. 13 LSU each moved up one place, while Texas Tech fell three spots to 14th after its loss to Texas. Southwest Missouri State held at No. 15 and Utah was 16th, followed by Penn State, Texas, Colorado and Vanderbilt.
North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Washington, Arizona State and Iowa completed the Top 25.
Arizona, 22nd last week, lost to Washington State after its loss at Washington. The Wildcats had been ranked four of the previous five weeks.
Clemson, 25th last week, beat Wake Forest and lost to North Carolina in overtime. The Lady Tigers had been ranked for seven straight weeks.
By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
The Women's Top Twenty Five
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Feb. 11, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:
Record Pts Pv 1. Notre Dame (39) 22-0 999 1 2. Tennessee (1) 25-1 958 2 3. Connecticut 20-2 922 3 4. Duke 21-2 824 4 5. Georgia 20-4 805 7 6. Iowa St. 20-2 773 9 7. Purdue 22-4 754 5 8. Louisiana Tech 21-4 735 8 9. Florida 20-3 726 6 10. Oklahoma 19-4 670 10 11. Rutgers 17-5 541 12 12. Xavier 21-2 516 13 13. LSU 17-6 495 14 14. Texas Tech 18-4 486 11 15. SW Missouri St. 18-4 447 15 16. Utah 20-2 423 17 17. Penn St. 17-6 403 16 18. Texas 18-7 270 21 19. Colorado 17-5 262 19 20. Vanderbilt 16-7 167 18 21. N.C. State 15-8 129 24 22. Wisconsin 15-8 100 20 23. Washington 15-6 63 - 24. Arizona St. 16-7 62 23 25. Iowa 14-8 54 -
Others receiving votes: Stanford 51, Clemson 50, Villanova 41, Baylor 32,
Colorado St. 28, Drake 23, Florida St. 21, Oregon 21, TCU 18, Toledo 12,
Virginia 11, Arizona 10, Louisville 10, Stephen F.Austin 10, Maryland 9,
Alabama 7, George Washington 7, Santa Clara 7, Virginia Tech 7, Missouri 6, UAB
6, Arkansas 5, Hawaii 5, Wis.-Green Bay 5, Seton Hall 4, BYU 2, Michigan 2,
Mississippi St. 2, Old Dominion 2, Ball St. 1, Temple 1.