Top six teams remain the same

Updated: February 10, 2005, 11:58 PM ET
Associated Press

Returning to The Associated Press women's basketball poll is just part of the deal for Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Now that they're in, the Phoenix want to stay a while.

While LSU swept all 44 first-place votes from a national media panel and the top six teams remained the same, UW-Green Bay joined at No. 24. The Phoenix (20-2) came in on the strength of a 14-game winning streak, the fourth-longest in the country.

"We're moving up," UWGB coach Kevin Borseth said. "That's a good thing. That's what we want to do. Certainly it wasn't a goal of ours to get there and be happy and then get bumped out. We want to keep moving up."

The Phoenix did that the last time they were ranked. They joined the poll for the first time in school history on Dec. 16, 2002, and stayed in the rest of the season, rising to as high as 16th. That team finished 28-4, the best ever for the program.

"I don't know if the polls will be quite as kind this time around," Borseth said. "We need to solidify our position a little more. Ultimately we want to get into the national tournament and see what we can do."

Florida State, which had been 24th, dropped out after losing two of three games during the past week. The Seminoles (19-5) joined the poll two weeks ago, the school's first national ranking in 14 years.

LSU (21-1) was No. 1 for the second straight week and eighth time this season. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Duke each received a first-place vote last week, but LSU got them all this time.

The Lady Tigers had 1,100 points in the voting after decisive victories over Mississippi and Mississippi State. Ohio State (22-2) had 1,036 points and Duke (22-2) had 984 -- six more than No. 4 Stanford. Tennessee remained fifth and Notre Dame held at No. 6.

Baylor climbed one spot to seventh after beating Top 25 opponents Kansas State and Texas Tech. The victory at Tech was Baylor's first in Lubbock since 1982.

North Carolina, Michigan State and Connecticut each moved up one place to complete the Top 10. A 57-44 loss at Connecticut dropped Rutgers from seventh to 11th.

Minnesota was 12th and Texas Tech 13th, followed by Iowa State, DePaul, Kansas State, Texas, Georgia, Maryland and Temple.

The final five were Vanderbilt, Boston College, North Carolina State, UW-Green Bay and Penn State.

Iowa State, the surprising leader in the Big 12, went from 19th to 14th for the biggest jump within the poll. The Cyclones (18-2), who have already matched their victory total for all of last season, routed Colorado and beat Texas last week.

Texas fell four spots to 17th and Boston College tumbled from 16th to 22nd for the biggest drop. The Eagles lost to Notre Dame and St. John's last week and that wasn't their only setback -- leading scorer Jessalyn Deveney has been lost for the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon in her right foot.

Wisconsin-Green Bay has stayed healthy after losing its only seniors, Tiffany Mor and Natalie Yudt, to knee injuries a year ago. The Phoenix still won the Horizon League championship for the sixth straight year and made the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven years.

Mor was injured early enough to get a medical redshirt and leads this season's team with a 16.4 scoring average.

"She certainly adds a major punch," Borseth said. "And we've seen the emergence of some of our younger players. Our underclassmen have stepped up after getting a year under their belt. They've been able to contribute significantly."

Not to mention giving Green Bay fans something to cheer during a long, cold Wisconsin winter.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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