Hawkeyes Vault Six Spots in Rankings

Dec. 20, 2004

AP Sports Writer

LSU remained unanimous No. 1 and Utah joined at No. 25 Monday in TheAssociated Press women’s basketball poll.

There was some shuffling within the poll after five members of the Top 25lost to unranked opponents during the past week, but Utah was the onlynewcomer.

Arizona State, which had been 23rd, dropped out after being ranked for justone week.

LSU (10-0) beat No. 13 Minnesota and Southwest Missouri State during a swingthrough the Midwest and received all 45 first-place votes from a national mediapanel.

It was the fourth straight No. 1 ranking for the Lady Tigers and the thirdconsecutive time they’ve been unanimous.

Stanford (8-0), the only other unbeaten team in the Top 10, remained secondafter beating Missouri 71-55 in its lone game last week. The Cardinal, who aregetting outstanding play from freshman Candice Wiggins, face their mostchallenging game to date Tuesday night at No. 9 Tennessee.

Duke (10-1), which has won eight straight since a Nov. 17 loss at NotreDame, stayed at No. 3 – 62 points behind Stanford. The Blue Devils’ latestvictory was an 18-point win over then-No. 20 Purdue.

Texas was fourth and Baylor fifth, followed by North Carolina, Notre Dame,Connecticut, Tennessee and Ohio State. This was the third straight week the TopTen had the same teams.

No. 11 Michigan State, No. 12 Texas Tech, No. 13 Minnesota and No. 14 BostonCollege all held the positions from last week. Then it was Georgia, Vanderbiltand Maryland, followed by Iowa, DePaul and UCLA.

Purdue, Houston, Kansas State, Rutgers and Utah held the final five places.

Utah (8-2) has won seven straight after a 1-2 start that included narrowlosses to Stanford and Michigan State. The Utes are coming off a stiflingdefensive performance, holding Loyola Marymount to nine second-half points in a56-33 victory.

Utah was ranked for nine weeks last season, making its final appearance atNo. 25 the week of Feb. 16.

Iowa (9-0), which joined the poll last week, made the biggest jump, goingfrom 24th to 18th after beating Drake 80-69 in its only game.

Rutgers fell six places for the biggest drop, tumbling to 24th after losingto Temple and beating Clemson.

UCLA fell four spots to 20th after losing at Illinois, while Houston droppedfrom 19th to 22nd after a loss to Wake Forest.

A 61-45 loss at New Mexico knocked Arizona State (7-2) out of the Top 25.

Because of Christmas, this is another light week for games. The only othergame involving two ranked teams is UCLA at Ohio State on Tuesday night. Utahcould get a test at home Tuesday against Oklahoma, which was ranked in thefirst three polls this season.

Utah is the first team from the Mountain West to be ranked this season. TheBig Ten leads with five teams in the Top 25 – Ohio State, Michigan State,Minnesota, Iowa and Purdue.

The Big East, Big 12 and SEC each has four ranked teams.