Dec. 13, 2004
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By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer
From LSU at No. 1 to Ohio State at No. 10, The AP women’s basketball poll had no changes Monday.
This season, that qualifies as news.
After constant shuffling among the leading 10 teams, there were no upsets during a light week in which eight of those top schools played.
The major changes were at the bottom of the poll. Arizona State moved in at No. 23, and Iowa joined at No. 24. DePaul fell six places to 21st after losing twice, while Arizona and TCU dropped out.
Iowa (8-0) is off to its best start since 1993-94 with a team that starts only one senior and has four freshmen in the rotation. The Hawkeyes were last ranked the final five weeks of the 2000-01 season, which was coach Lisa Bluder’s first at the school.
“I’m happy for our kids,” Bluder said. “We all know it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a fun accomplishment for our kids to see something for their hard work. It’s great motivation for them going into finals week.”
Iowa’s first game as a Top 25 team this season will be interesting for Bluder. The Hawkeyes play Saturday at Drake, where Bluder coached for 10 years before going to Iowa.
LSU (8-0), which hasn’t played since Nov. 30, led the poll for the third consecutive week and was a unanimous pick for the second straight time, receiving all 45 first-place votes from a national media panel.
The Lady Tigers return to action this week at No. 13 Minnesota on Tuesday night and at Southwest Missouri State on Saturday.
Stanford (7-0) held on at No. 2 after beating Pepperdine and San Francisco handily, while No. 3 Duke (8-1) breezed past Liberty 83-48 in its only game last week.
Texas was fourth and North Carolina fifth, followed by Baylor, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Tennessee and Ohio State.
Not only were there no upsets among the top 10 teams, but they all won decisively. The closest call was Notre Dame’s 14-point win over Washington. Tennessee trailed DePaul by 15 in the first half before rallying for a 78-63 victory.
“I’m happy for our kids. We all know it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a fun accomplishment for our kids to see something for their hard work. It’s great motivation for them going into finals week.”
UI Coach Lisa Bluder
Michigan State climbed one spot to 11th and Texas Tech moved up one place to 12th. Then it was Minnesota, Boston College, Georgia and UCLA, followed by Vanderbilt, Maryland, Houston and Purdue.
DePaul, Rutgers, Arizona State, Iowa and Kansas State held the final five spots.
Arizona State (7-1), which has lost only to LSU, made the Top 25 for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The Sun Devils were ranked for three weeks that season, the last time on Jan. 14.
ASU is coming off a 67-57 victory over Georgia, which dropped from 11th to 15th. Georgia (7-3), which bounced back to beat Augusta State and Arizona, was ranked third only three weeks ago.
TCU (7-3), which had been ranked for two weeks, dropped out after splitting two games. The Lady Frogs beat Oklahoma but lost at Utah.
The loss to Georgia knocked Arizona (6-2) out of the Top 25. The Wildcats had returned to the poll last week at No. 24 after being out for a week.
DePaul’s drop of six places was the biggest within the poll. The Blue Demons lost starting guard Charlene Smith to a knee injury early in the week, then were beaten at Purdue before losing at Tennessee.
Minnesota, Boston College and Houston made the biggest jumps, each moving up three places.
Houston (8-0), LSU, Stanford and Iowa are the only teams in the Top 25 that are still unbeaten.