Nov. 20, 2001
Connecticut strengthened its hold on the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll Monday after starting the season with four impressive victories.
The Huskies swept through the four rounds of the preseason NIT with an average victory margin of 31.5 points. They received 41 of 43 first-place votes from a national media panel and had 1,073 points.
Tennessee (2-0) remained second, receiving the two other first-place votes and 1,019 points. In the preseason poll, Connecticut had 31 first-place votes, Tennessee five and three others received at least one.
There was considerable change through the rest of the list, the result of five early season matchups between ranked teams and four members of the Top 25 losing to unranked opponents. Penn State and Utah dropped out and were replaced by Toledo and Wisconsin.
Oklahoma (3-0) moved up one spot to third with 968 points and Vanderbilt (3-1) slipped from third to fourth after losing to Connecticut 69-50 in the NIT championship game.
Louisiana Tech (1-0) went from sixth to fifth, while No. 6 Iowa State (1-0) and No. 7 Stanford (2-0) climbed two spots apiece. Texas Tech fell one spot to eighth after losing at Duke, which later lost at Toledo and tumbled from fifth to ninth. North Carolina State remained 10th.
Purdue held on at No. 11, and Florida was 12th. Then it was Baylor, Colorado, Notre Dame and Georgia, followed by Old Dominion, George Washington, Michigan and Colorado State.
Arizona State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Toledo and Washington held the five final places.
Wisconsin moved in after an 87-67 victory over Washington, ranked 19th at the time. The Badgers were ranked for all but five weeks last season and were 24th in the final poll.
Toledo’s 71-65 victory over Duke was the first over a ranked team for the Rockets, who returned four starters from a 25-6 team that won the Mid-American Conference championship last season.
The Rockets were last ranked in the final poll of the 1998-99 season, when they were 25th.
Penn State, 21st in the preseason poll and one of the favorites in the Big Ten, dropped out after a 74-58 loss to Villanova. Utah, which had been 25th, lost to Santa Clara and beat Butler.
Colorado State had the biggest jump within the poll, moving from 24th to 20th after a 102-30 rout of Sacramento State in its opener.
Washington’s fall of six places to 25th was the biggest drop. The Huskies, who reached the final eight in the NCAA tournament last season, needed overtime to beat Montana State in their opener and trailed all the way in their 20-point loss at Wisconsin.
The big game this week is Louisiana Tech at Tennessee on Friday. Tennessee, getting strong play from freshman Shyra Ely, opened the season with 40-point wins over Chattanooga and Southern Cal. Louisiana Tech beat Michigan in its only game.
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ women’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 18, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking
By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer
Others receiving votes: LSU 79, Texas 75, North Carolina 64, Villanova 49, St. Mary’s, Cal. 39, Iowa 37, Rutgers 32, Penn St. 30, Boston College 28, Drake 28, Louisville 24, Clemson 22, Utah 21, Tulane 20, DePaul 16, TCU 11, Auburn 9, Mississippi St. 8, Ohio St. 7, St. Joseph’s 7, UNLV 7, Wis.-Green Bay 6, Santa Clara 5, Southern Cal 3, Xavier 3, Florida St. 2, SW Missouri St. 2, Arizona 1, Fla. International 1, Illinois 1, Tennessee Tech 1, UC Santa Barbara 1.