Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Silent Majority rankings #12 (Jan. 25)

Previous rankings
Week 10
Week 9
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

1. Xavier (16-2, 5-0 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 1
A-10 Player of the Week Amber Harris averaged 23.5 ppg and 12 rpg in a 20-point victory over St. Bonaventure and a 21-point win at Charlotte. The Bonnies and 49ers have good teams. The Musketeers have a great team. On deck: Saturday vs. Rhode Island (6-13, 0-5 A-10). The win over St. Bonaventure was the 200th for coach Kevin McGuff.

2. Marist (17-2, 8-0 MAAC)
Last week: 2
Talk about dominating a league. The Red Foxes have held at least a share of first place in the MAAC for 54 straight weeks of league play, or since Jan. 30, 2005. Monday they had what passes for a close conference game, a 10-point victory at Loyola (Md.) that featured a 22-point, 9-of-10 shooting performance by Erica Allensbach. On deck: Friday at Rider (2-17, 2-6 MAAC); Monday vs. Siena (8-10, 6-2 MAAC)

3. Green Bay (18-1, 7-0 Horizon)
Last week: 3
It may have only been the second-most notable performance by a Green Bay team over the weekend, but the 83-47 dismantling by the Phoenix of Milwaukee was easily the most dominant. The Phoenix pressure defense forced 16 Milwaukee turnovers in the first 14 minutes and Green Bay led 42-13 at halftime. Meanwhile, Hannah Quilling continues to transition smoothly into the starting point guard's role in place of the injured Adrian Ritchie. Quilling set a Kress Center record with a career-high 11 assists against shell-shocked Milwaukee. On deck: Thursday at Butler (13-6, 7-0 Horizon); Saturday at Valparaiso (4-15, 1-6 Horizon).

4. Bowling Green (17-2, 5-1 MAC)
Last week: 7
Lauren Prochaska (23.5 ppg in 2 games, 19-of-19 from the free throw line) is Bowling Green's Papa John's Female Athlete of the Week. Wonder what you get for that, a certificate, or a large pepperoni? The great Prochaska is 41 points shy of Jackie Motycka's program record for career points (2,122). As for the Falcons, they will take a 23-game home winning streak into Wednesday's game vs. MAC West Division-leading Toledo. On deck: Wednesday vs. Toledo (13-6, 5-1 MAC); Saturday at Western Michigan (5-14, 1-5 MAC)

5. Duquesne (16-3, 3-1 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 4
Richmond rallied from 21 down in the first half to win by 14 by feasting on a Duquesne weakness - a tendency to succumb to defensive pressure. The Dukes got back on track Saturday with their 10th straight road victory, an 81-65 win at LaSalle. Still, that game featured 23 Dukes turnovers, marking their fourth straight game with 20 or more. They'll need to clean this up. On deck: Wednesday at George Washington (5-13, 0-4 Atlantic 10); Saturday vs. Fordham (10-10, 2-2 Atlantic 10).
Related: McConnell-Serio has lifted Duquesne out of the doldrums

6. Princeton (12-3, 1-0 Ivy)
Last week: 6
Tigers will return to action Friday after a 20-day exams break. A year ago, Princeton whipped Brown by 31 points in their first game back, but they lost their second-half opener the previous two seasons and are just 5-4 in this game the past 9 seasons. Not sure this has anything to do with what will happen Friday. Just throwing it out there.... On deck: Friday at Brown (4-12, 0-2 Ivy); Saturday at Yale (6-10, 2-0 Ivy).

7. Middle Tennessee State (16-4, 7-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: 9
We talk so much about talented underclassmen with this team it's sometimes easy to forget there's a pretty good senior named Anne Marie Lanning out there, too. The Murfreesboro, Tenn. native scored 18 points and became the 25th Blue Raider to crack the 1,000 career points mark in Sunday's 71-68 victory over Denver. But it's not her scoring that has endeared Lanning to coach Rick Insell. "This year, she has been running around with all those infants on the floor and directing them where they need to go, and she's doing more coaching on the floor than I am doing off the floor," Insell said. Not surprisingly, Lanning virtually never leaves the floor - she's averaging 38.7 minutes per game. On deck: Wednesday at Florida Atlantic (4-14, 1-6 Sun Belt); Saturday at Florida International (7-14, 2-5 Sun Belt).

8. Gonzaga (17-4, 5-0 WCC)
Last week: 8
We're thinking the West Coast Conference might saving time and shipping costs by engraving the name Courtney Vandersloot on a few more Player of the Week Awards and send them out all at once. The Bulldogs' star seems destined to continue collecting 'em - this week's honor (Co-POW with Portland's ReZina TecleMariam) was her second straight and the 11th of her career. The Zags have won seven straight and 15 of their last 16. On deck: Thursday at St. Mary's (12-8, 4-1 WCC); Saturday at San Diego (11-8, 1-4 WCC)

9. Louisiana Tech (13-5, 5-0 WAC)
Last week: 10
Speaking of players who get greedy about Player of the Week honors, the Lady Techster's Chastity Ross earned the WAC award after averaging 31.0 ppg and 8 rpg in a pair of victories over Utah State and Nevada. The victory over Nevada featured the Lady Techsters wearing throwback sleeved jerseys in honor of the program's three national championship teams on a weekend marking the 30th anniversary of the program's first title. "At first they told us to come into the locker room and we thought we had gotten in trouble," junior guard Jasmine Bendolph said. "When we saw the jerseys, it was a shock to us because we didn't know anything about it. It was neat." On deck: Thursday at Idaho (10-7, 3-2 WAC); Saturday at Boise State (11-8, 2-3 WAC).

10. Florida Gulf Coast (15-1, 8-1 Atlantic Sun)
Last week: 5
Maybe it was all that national attention. One day after being featured in USA Today and after living by the 3-pointer all season - and it was a long and prosperous life - the Eagles finally died by it last week. FGCU hit just 7 of 31 attempts and failed to make more treys than its opponent for the first time in 2010-11 in a 70-52 loss to Stetson that leaves Duke as Division I's only remaining unbeaten team. To the Eagles credit, they bounced back Monday with a much more vintage performance - 11 3-pointers in a 20-point victory at Campbell. On deck: Saturday at Lipscomb (7-12, 4-6 Atlantic Sun); Monday at Belmont (7-12, 4-6 Atlantic Sun).

11. TCU (14-6, 6-0 Mountain West)
Last week: 12
The Horned Frogs' 56-46 victory over Utah Saturday was their eighth straight and gave them their best start since joining the Mountain West in 2005. TCU hasn't lost since dropping a 60-57 decision to Georgia on Dec. 22. On deck: Wednesday vs. New Mexico (6-11, 0-5 MVC); Saturday at Air Force (6-12, 1-4 MVC).

12. Houston (15-4, 6-0 Conference USA)
Last week: 14
The Cougars separated themselves from Memphis Sunday with 60 percent second-half shooting en route to an 81-68 win. Brittany Scott scored 15 of her 20 points after the break, and Courtney Taylor narrowly missed yet another double-double with 19 points and 9 rebounds. The 6-0 C-USA record marks the team's best start in its 15 seasons in the league. On deck: Thursday at UCF (11-8, 4-2 C-USA); Sunday vs. SMU (10-8, 3-2 C-USA).

13. Richmond (13-6, 4-1 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 13
The Spiders were at their disruptive-defending, full-throttle offensive best in rallying from 21 points down to win by 14 at Duquesne. Not surprisingly, the Spiders couldn't quite sustain that level three days later and paid for it against Dayton. That leaves us with a situation where Richmond has beaten Duquesne, Duquesne has beaten Dayton and Dayton has beaten Richmond, all on the road. Throw in conference unbeaten Temple and the A-10 would be having one heck of a title race if those bullies from Xavier weren't around. On deck: Wednesday vs. Charlotte (15-5, 3-2 Atlantic 10); Saturday at Temple (13-6, 4-0 Atlantic 10). 
RelatedShells explores her two passions - film and basketball - at UR

14. Tulane (16-3, 5-1 Conference USA)
Last week: 12
Last Thursday, the Green Wave missed 25 of 32 3-point attempts in an 86-81 overtime loss to Southern Miss. Three days later, they took just 8 3-point shots, scored 38 points in the paint and went to the free throw line 41 times (making 29) in an 80-66 win at Tulsa. You think Green Wave coach Lisa Stockton said a few words about attacking the rim between games? On deck: Thursday vs. Rice (11-9, 3-3 C-USA); Sunday vs. UTEP (11-7, 3-3 C-USA).

15. Old Dominion (12-6, 6-1 CAA)
Last week: 15
VCU's 63-60 victory over the Lady Monarchs postponed the 600th victory celebration ODU had in mind for coach Wendy Larry, but three days later the party went on as scheduled after the Lady Monarchs routed Towson. ODU has this pressure defense it can apply that has completely disrupted teams. The Lady Monarchs don't use it often - not sure they have the depth for that - but when Larry has called for it, it hasn't appears as though anyone in the CAA has had an answer. On deck: Thursday at William and Mary (2-15, 1-6 CAA); Sunday vs. Georgia State (7-11, 2-5 CAA).

16. Dayton (12-7, 3-2 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 20
The Flyers' gritty 66-55 victory at Richmond Saturday kept Dayton in solid contention for a Top-4 seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament. That's important, as the top four teams receive first-round byes and have to win just three games to take the title instead of four. On deck: Wednesday vs. LaSalle (5-14, 1-3 A-10); Saturday vs. St. Joseph's (12-7, 2-3 A-10).

17. Charlotte (15-5, 3-2 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 16
No shame in Saturday's 82-61 loss to physically superior Xavier. Wednesday's game at Richmond is another toughie, especially since the 49ers will have to deal with not only the Spiders but hundreds of screaming elementary school children after the noon tip. On deck: Wednesday at Richmond (13-6, 4-1 A-10); Sunday at St. Louis (6-13, 0-4 A-10)

18. Hampton (13-6, 6-1 MEAC)
Last week: 17
The Lady Pirates were cruising past Bethune-Cookman up 17 with less than 12 minutes left before a stunning collapse resulted in a four-point loss. Hampton rebounded nicely two nights later to win at Florida A&M and returned from their two-game swing through the Sunshine State in the same spot they were in when they left - alone in first in the MEAC. In other words, the Bethune-Cookman loss erased some of margin for error, but barring any more collapses, it shouldn't stop Hampton from winning the league's regular-season title. On deck: Saturday vs. Delaware State (5-13, 1-5 MEAC); Monday vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (7-12, 4-2 MEAC).

19. Temple (13-6, 4-0 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 18
The Owls had more of a struggle with Temple than we expected (62-55), but strange things often happen when those Big Five teams hook up. Penn's 55 points were 12 more than the defense-first Owls had allowed in any of their previous three games. On deck: Wednesday at UMass (6-14, 2-3 A-10); Saturday vs. Richmond (13-6, 4-1 A-10).

20. James Madison (13-6, 6-1 CAA)
Last week: 19
The Dukes welcomed senior center Lauren Jimenez back after she missed three games with concussion-like symptoms. Jimenez performed as though she'd never left the floor as she averaged 17.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg in victories over William and Mary and VCU. JMU, ODU and UNC Wilmington are all tied for first in the CAA with 6-1 league marks. On deck: Thursday at Drexel (12-6, 4-3 CAA); Sunday at Towson (7-11, 1-6 CAA).

21. Fresno State (13-6, 4-1 WAC)
Last week: 21
Jaleesa Ross scored 12 points in Monday's 79-55 victory over Hawaii and needs just 9 more to break Yvette Roberts' 22-year-old Bulldogs all-time scoring record (1,788 points). Typically a 2-guard, Ross devoted a lot of her time to the point in place of freshman Taylor Thompson, who sat out with a knee injury. On deck: Thursday vs. San Jose State (2-16, 2-3 WAC); Saturday at Nevada (13-5, 2-3 WAC).

22. UNC Wilmington (14-4, 6-1 CAA)
Last week: 22
Brittany Blackwell and Alisha Andrews swept the Colonial Athletic Association's weekly awards for the second time this month. Blackwell took player-of-the-week honors after averaging 18 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting a ridiculous 84.2 percent from the field in victories over Delaware and Northeastern. Andrews was named the league's top rookie after she averaged 10 points, 8 assists and 3 steals in the two games. This duo also swept the league's awards on Jan. 3, and each of them has won their respective awards on one other occasion. On deck: Thursday vs. Hofstra (11-7, 3-4 CAA); Sunday vs. William and Mary (2-15, 1-6 CAA).

23: Wyoming (14-4, 4-1 Mountain West)
Last week: NR
The Cowgirls lowered the boom on Air Force, winning by 42 (96-54) for their third straight victory and 9th in their last 10 games. Senior forward Hillary Carlson earned MVC Player of the Week honors for the third time this season after averaging 23.5 points, 7 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in victories over Seattle and Air Force. On deck:  Wednesday at UNLV (9-11, 2-4 MWC; Saturday vs. San Diego State (8-9, 2-3 MWC).

24. Northern Iowa (14-5, 7-1 Missouri Valley)
Last week: NR
The Panthers rarely turn the ball over, ranking second in Division I to Marist in fewest turnovers (13.2). But they don't mind taking the ball away. On Sunday they turned 31 Southern Illinois turnovers into 36 points en route to a 79-39 decision and their sixth straight victory. The 79 points were three more than the Panthers allowed in their last two games combined. On deck: Saturday vs. Bradley (10-9, 3-5 MVC).

25. Arkansas-Little Rock (13-5, 7-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: NR
Saturday's 68-54 decison over Florida Atlantic was the Trojans' 10th straight victory since a 64-47 loss at Memphis on Dec. 11. UALR is holding teams to just 52.5 points per game, the 12th-best figure in Division I, and Chastity Reed is averaging a Sun Belt-best 19.6 points per game. On deck: Saturday vs. Arkansas State (11-10, 4-4 Sun Belt).

Hey, what about us?

 - Central Michigan (12-6, 4-2 MAC) - The Chippewas showed great resilience in holding off a hot Toledo team 77-74 last week. Would have liked to have seen them offer more resistance to Bowling Green (90-62) but hey, that's why the Falcons are No. 4 in this poll.

- Cal Poly (11-7, 7-0 Big West) - The Mustangs went 4-7 during the 2010 portion of their schedule but are 7-0 since the calendar turned over with a win over everyone else in the Big West except UCSB.

- VCU (10-7, 5-2 CAA) - A bit of a mixed bag last week for the Rams, who dealt ODU its first loss before struggling against James Madison.

- Lamar (14-6, 3-1 Southland) - The Lady Cardinals have moved up to 86th in the RPI, the program's highest since the index was made public prior to the 2005-06 season.

- St. Joseph's (12-7, 2-3 Atlantic 10) - A good team caught up in the pack of a very deep A-10.

 - Memphis (14-6, 3-3 Conference USA) - Brittany Carter (23 points) gave Houston fits before the Cougars prevailed by 14.

 - Missouri State (15-4, 6-1 Missouri Valley) - Has won four straight since a Jan. 6 loss at Northern Iowa.

 - St. Bonaventure (13-7, 3-2 Atlantic 10) - Took out the frustrations of a 20-point loss at Xavier by pounding Rhode Island by 14.


  1. Look at Tulane -- you wrote:

    "Last Thursday, the Green Wave missed 35 of 32 3-point attempts ... "

    How is this possible? :-P


  2. Thanks for the catch. We fixed it!

  3. In the writeup on UALR, you talk about Jaleesa Ross ... however, you mean Chastity Reed. Ross plays for Fresno State.