Lady Lions keep top spot in NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll

Lady Lions keep top spot in NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll

Tue, Feb. 28, 2017 - [Women's Basketball]

Courtesy of NAIA Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) once again holds a familiar perch, as the Lady Lions own the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the sixth-straight edition, the national office announced Tuesday. Freed-Hardeman was the unanimous pick, gathering all 10 first-place votes and 250 points.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999-2000)

Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) holds the No. 1 ranking for the sixth-consecutive poll and 24th time in program history this week. The Lions trail only former member Union (Tenn.) (53), Oklahoma City (49) and Vanguard (Calif.) (41) for the most No. 1 rankings since the start of the 1999-2000 season.

The Lady Lions claimed a spot in the 2017 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championships, presented by Wells Fargo, for the 21st-straight season after winning the American Midwest Conference (AMC) regular-season title. Freed-Hardeman has been the class of the AMC three out of the last four seasons, including a 24-0 record in the league this season.

The Lady Lions, who are the only remaining unbeaten team at 30-0, play Williams Baptist (Ark.) Wednesday as part of the AMC Tournament.

Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) returns to the No. 2 ranking after a one-poll hiatus. The Warriors closed the regular-season with a 29-1 record and host the lowest remaining seed in the Frontier Conference tournament on Friday.

Rounding out the top five once again are No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Vanguard (Calif.) and Shawnee State (Ohio), which are both tied at No. 4.

Lindsey Wilson is the only team this season to be ranked among the top five in every poll. The Blue Raiders saw their run at an unbeaten regular-season end last week in an 89-73 loss to Shawnee State. Due to the loss, Lindsey Wilson holds the No. 2 seed in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) tournament and has to play the No. 7 seed Cumberland (Tenn.) on Thursday.

Overall, only six teams held their positions from the last poll – Freed-Hardeman, No. 8 Baker (Kan.), No. 9 Campbellsville (Ky.), No. 10 Lyon (Ark.), No. 20 Montana Western and No. 22 Pikeville (Ky.).

No. 12 Montana State-Northern, No. 14 Biola (Calif.) and No. 21 Central Methodist (Mo.) highlight the poll with three-spot jumps, while No. 17 Wayland Baptist (Texas) and No. 18 Bethel (Tenn.) each slid down four spots.

Two newcomers join the Top 25 in No. 23 Loyola (La.) and No. 25 Talladega (Ala.). Both clubs have previously been ranked at some point during the season.

Only Freed-Hardeman and MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) have held the No. 1 ranking this season.

Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, the top-ranked team in the preseason poll has never finished the year unranked. Currently, preseason No. 1 MidAmerica Nazarene is not in the Top 25.

Nine of 10 conferences are represented in the poll. The Association of Independent Institutions is the only league not represented.

The AMC, MSC and Golden State Athletic Conference are tied for the most teams in the poll with four each.

In total, 30 teams have been ranked in the Top 25 this season.

Union and Vanguard are the only programs to have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) (Vanguard: 2005-06, 2006-07).

2016-17 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Feb. 28)

RANK

PRVS

SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)

Record

TOTAL POINTS

1

1

Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) (10)

30-0

250

2

4

Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)

29-1

237

3

2

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)

28-1

235

T4

3

Vanguard (Calif.)

27-2

223

T4

5

Shawnee State (Ohio)

28-2

223

6

7

Oklahoma City

26-2

207

7

6

Westmont (Calif.)

24-4

203

8

8

Baker (Kan.)

26-4

190

9

9

Campbellsville (Ky.)

25-5

185

10

10

Lyon (Ark.)

25-4

183

11

12

Columbia (Mo.)

25-5

167

12

15

Montana State-Northern

22-7

160

13

11

Benedictine (Kan.)

23-7

152

14

17

Biola (Calif.)

23-6

140

15

16

Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)

23-7

134

16

17

John Brown (Ark.)

22-7

133

17

13

Wayland Baptist (Texas)

23-5

129

18

14

Bethel (Tenn.)

21-9

121

19

21

The Master’s (Calif.)

20-7

103

20

20

Montana Western

22-7

91

21

24

Central Methodist (Mo.)

22-8

89

22

22

Pikeville (Ky.)

20-9

81

23

RV

Loyola (La.)

25-5

79

24

23

Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.)

22-8

72

25

RV

Talladega (Ala.)

19-8

54


Dropped from the Top 25: Cumberland (Tenn.) (No. 19); Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (No. 25) 

Others receiving votes: Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 45; LSU Shreveport (La.) 36; Clarke (Iowa) 24; Mobile (Ala.) 15; William Penn (Iowa) 12; Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 9; William Woods (Mo.) 8; Cumberland (Tenn.) 7; Wiley (Texas) 6.