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Basketball back in AP Top 25; SMU next tonight

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Basketball back in AP Top 25; SMU next tonight

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas broke into the Associated Press women’s basketball top 25 this week at No. 25.

The 9-1 Lady Razorbacks host Southern Methodist on Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena at 7 p.m.

“I am very happy for our players,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “They have worked extremely hard, and they deserve the ranking.”

Arkansas’ only loss in the first 10 games of the season is to second-ranked North Carolina.

The vote by the members of the AP women’s basketball poll put Arkansas back into the top 25 for the first time since the final poll of the 2002-03 season. The ranking is the first for the Lady’Backs under Coach Gardner, and the first time for Gardner as head coach in Division I.

“Yes, I’m happy, but this really is about our team,” Gardner said. “They have come together this year as a team, and we’ve played hard as a team.”

Arkansas faces former Southwest Conference era rival SMU Wednesday, then heads on the road to play at Tulsa on Saturday.

“We’ll talk with the team tomorrow about what it means to be the ranked team, and how we need to keep our focus,” Gardner said. “We’ve been building higher goals for the team all season, and this just gives us a chance to focus on building higher and higher.”

In the 31 years of women’s basketball at Arkansas, the Lady’Backs have been ranked during nine of those seasons. The most recent top 25 ranking came at the end of the 2002-03 as the Lady’Backs finished that year at 24th after peaking in the early conference season at eighth.

Arkansas moved into the poll as Nebraska and Rutgers dropped out this week. Joining Arkansas as new to the poll this year was 10-0 Pittsburgh.

Maryland remains No. 1 in the poll, followed by North Carolina. Tennessee is No. 5 this week with LSU moving up to No. 7. Other Southeastern Conference teams ranked this week were Georgia at No. 11 and Vanderbilt at No. 12.

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 Dec. 10, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

RecordPtsPvs

1. Maryland (46) 12-0 1,243 1

2. North Carolina (1) 10-0 1,188 2

3. Oklahoma (2) 8-0 1,149 3

4. Duke (1) 9-0 1,108 4

5. Tennessee 8-1 1,032 6

6. Connecticut 6-0 1,019 7

7. LSU 10-1 938 9

8. Ohio St. 7-1 832 5

9. Baylor 9-1 810 12

10. Arizona St. 8-1 769 13

11. Georgia 7-1 748 8

12. Vanderbilt 8-1 648 11

13. Purdue 8-2 639 10

14. Stanford 4-3 575 14

15. California 8-1 539 16

16. Louisville 9-0 530 17

17. DePaul 6-1 498 18

18. Michigan St. 7-1 373 20

19. Texas A&M 6-2 330 15

20. George Washington 8-2 244 21

21. Marquette 9-1 187 24

22. New Mexico8-2168 23

23. Texas 7-2 133 22

24. Pittsburgh 10-0 118 _

25. Arkansas 9-1 82 _

Others receiving votes: Florida St. 69, Rutgers 67, Bowling Green 61, Middle Tennessee 32, Hofstra 26, Iowa St. 17, Nebraska 16, Wisconsin 13, South Florida 12, Delaware 9, Kentucky 8, Missouri 6, N.C. State 3, Oregon 3, Oklahoma St. 2, Army 1, Indiana 1, Notre Dame 1, UCLA 1, Utah 1, Virginia 1.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)