Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Silent Majority rankings #13 (Feb. 1)

Previous rankings

1. Xavier (17-2, 6-0 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 1
The Musketeers could finally have their feet held to some A-10 fire Saturday at Dayton. Last month the Musketeers eked out a 63-59 win over the Flyers, a game in which Dayton trailed by just two points with 9.7 seconds left and would have had a chance to go for a tie or the win if they could have secured the rebound of a missed Amber Harris free throw. Xavier's smallest victory margin in their other five conference games has been 20 points.
On deck: Tuesday vs. LaSalle (6-15, 2-4); Saturday at Dayton (14-7, 5-2). 

2. Marist (19-2, 10-0 MAAC)
Last week: 2
Monday's 60-30 rout of Siena, coupled with Duke's loss at UConn, left the Red Foxes with the second-longest winning streak in Division I at 15 games. Top-ranked Baylor's 16-game streak in the longest. On deck: Friday vs. Niagara (1-20, 0-10); Sunday at Fairfield (14-6, 7-3). 

3. Green Bay (20-1, 9-0 Horizon)
Last week: 3
A tough win over up-until-then conference unbeaten Butler and a 69-50 dismissal of Valparaiso over a three-day span boosted the Phoenix win streak to 11 since their 63-60 loss at Marquette on Dec. 12. Senior Celeste Hoewisch earned Horizon player of the week honors for averaging 20 points and 4.5 rebounds in the two games. On deck: Thursday vs. Cleveland State (12-8, 5-4); Saturday vs. Youngstown State (3-17, 1-8).

4. Duquesne (18-3, 5-1 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 5
We continue to marvel at how well these Dukes play on the road. Last week's 61-53 decision at George Washington was their program-record 11th straight in an away game. The 11 road wins are more than any other Division I team. We also tip our caps to freshman Wumi Abunbiade, who earned A-10 all-rookie honors for the second week in a row and sixth time this season. Big showdown with Temple looming on Saturday. On deck: Wednesday at UMass (6-16, 2-5); Saturday vs. Temple (15-6, 6-0).

5. Princeton (14-3, 3-0 Ivy)
Last week: 6
No rust was evident from the Tigers, who came off a 20-day exams break to win at Brown by 22 points and at Yale by 25. OK, there was a little rust - Princeton trailed Yale by 5 early in the second half before kicking it into high gear. They'll likely need a full 40 minutes like that on Friday against a good Harvard team. On deck: Friday at Harvard (11-6, 3-0); Sunday at Dartmouth (4-13, 0-3). 

6. Gonzaga (19-4, 7-0 WCC)
Last week: 8
Remember the concern about scoring after the departure of, among others, West Coast Conference all-time scoring leader Heather Bowman? Well, a year ago at this point, the Bowman-led Bulldogs were averaging 80.7 points per game. This year, with Courtney Vandersloot, Katelan Redmon and Kayla Standish all averaging at least 16 ppg,, Gonzaga is scoring a Division I-high 85.0 ppg. The Bulldogs also lead D-I in assists (20.1) and assist-turnover ratio (1.42) while ranking second in field-goal percentage (49.0). On deck: Friday vs. Portland (12-10, 3-4).

7. Louisiana Tech (15-5, 7-0 WAC)
Last week: 9
Coach Teresa Weatherspoon has taken to the web to rally Lady Techsters Nation in advance of Saturday's showdown with Fresno State, a team LaTech nipped 94-92 in triple-overtime in a "Game of the Year" candidate last month in Fresno. Wrote Weatherspoon: "WE MUST PROTECT OUR HOUSE! We need your help Saturday night. I am urging all Louisiana Tech fans to come out in force this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center and become our sixth man.Paint yourself up in red and blue. Bring signs. Make noise. Be fanatical. Provide the home-court advantage that we need and show the Western Athletic Conference who has the best basketball fans around." Gotta hand it to T-Spoon. The woman thinks of everything. On deck: Saturday vs. Fresno State (15-6, 6-1); Monday vs. New Mexico State (10-11, 4-3).

8. Houston (17-4, 8-0 Conference USA)
Last week: 12
Down by 6 with less than 30 seconds to go, game's over, right? It wasn't for Houston Sunday against SMU, and the Cougars didn't even need overtime. Over an incredible final 27 seconds, Brittney Scott scored 9 points, the Cougars forced three turnovers and Houston wound up winning by 5 (62-57). "I've been doing this for a long time and that was one of the most incredible 30 seconds to a minute of basketball that I've ever been associated with, Houston coach Todd Buchanan said. "One" of the most? On deck: Sunday at Tulane (17-4, 6-2).

9. Temple (15-6, 6-0 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 19
The Owls added some explosive offense - a program-record 14 3-pointers - to their typically suffocating defense Saturday, and the result was an 84-56 rout of talented Richmond. Temple has now won 8 straight since their 7-point loss at Duke on Dec. 30, and the Owls are marching in lock-step with Xavier atop the A-10. On deck: Wednesday vs. St. Louis (7-14, 1-5); Saturday at Duquesne (18-3, 5-1). 

10. Florida Gulf Coast (17-1, 10-1 Atlantic Sun)
Last week: 10
Redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen bagged her second A-Sun Newcomer of the Week award after averaging a team-high 17.5 ppg in victories over Lipscomb and Belmont. FGCU has a two-game lead atop their conference and can really separate themselves from the pack by winning these next two games. On deck: Saturday vs. South Carolina Upstate (12-9, 8-4); Monday vs. East Tennessee State (13-9, 10-3). 

11. Old Dominion (14-6, 8-1 CAA)
Last week: 15
Lady Monarchs continue to grind opponents down with defense as they forced a season-high 27 turnovers Sunday in a 64-41 rout of Georgia State. Prior to the game, the Old Dominion retired the number (13) of former Lady Monarchs great Medina Dixon. On deck: Thursday at George Mason (10-10, 4-5); Sunday at James Madison (15-6, 8-1).  

12. Dayton (14-7, 5-2 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 16
The entire conference will be rooting for the Flyers to bring Xavier down to earth when Dayton hosts the Musketeers Saturday. But the Flyers had better not overlook Wednesday's trip to St. Bonaventure. On deck:  Wednesday at St. Bonaventure (15-7, 5-2); Saturday vs. Xavier (17-2, 6-0).

13. Middle Tennessee State (17-5, 8-1 Sun Belt)
Last week: 7
The Blue Raiders finally stumbled in conference, dropping a 62-59 decision at Florida International to snap an 8-game winning streak. On deck: Wednesday vs. Louisiana-Monroe (12-10, 6-3); Saturday vs. South Alabama (13-8, 5-4).

14. Fresno State (15-6, 6-1 WAC)
Last week: 21
Saturday's 72-51 win over Nevada was the Bulldogs' fourth straight and seventh in their last eight games. A very tricky road trip is looming later this week. On deck: Thursday at New Mexico State (10-11, 4-3); Saturday at Louisiana Tech (15-5, 7-0).

15. Hampton (15-6, 8-1 MEAC)
Last week: 18
MEAC teams continue to have no answers for Hampton's defense. The Lady Pirates held Delaware State and Maryland-Eastern Shore to 29 points apiece in convincing wins last week and have held four of their last seven opponents to 37 points or less. On deck: Saturday vs. South Carolina State (6-12, 2-6); Monday vs. North Carolina Central (2-19). 

16. Tulane (17-4, 6-2 Conference USA)
Last week: 14
Last week's 74-70 overtime loss to Rice gave the Green Wave a rare two-game home losing streak. They got back on track Sunday by forcing 33 turnovers in a 69-63 win over UTEP. On deck: Thursday at SMU (10-10, 3-4); Saturday vs. Houston (17-4, 8-0). 

17. Charlotte (17-5, 5-2 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 16
Nice road work by the 49ers, who pulled away at Richmond and rolled by 37 at St. Louis to keep themselves in the mix for a Top-4 finish - and first-round bye in the conference tournament - in the competitive A-10. On deck: Saturday at UMass (6-16, 2-6).

18. James Madison (15-6, 8-1 CAA)
Last week: 20
The Dukes made it six wins in a row Sunday by surging past Towson to maintain a share of first place in the CAA with Old Dominion and UNC Wilmington. Huge showdown on Super Bowl Sunday at home against Old Dominion; the Lady Monarchs rolled by 16 points when these teams met last month in Norfolk. On deck: Thursday vs. Georgia State (7-13, 2-7); Sunday vs. Old Dominion (14-6, 8-1). 

19. Bowling Green (17-4, 5-3 MAC)
Last week: 4
A 66-65 loss to Toledo followed by an especially surprising 11-point home loss to Western Michigan - a 6-15 team that came in on a 3-game losing streak - marked the first time the Falcons dropped consecutive MAC games in three years. The Falcons have now dropped 3 of their past 5 games in the ultra-competitive MAC. Strangely, three of Bowling Green's four losses have come by one point. On deck: Tuesday at Northern Illinois (9-12, 3-5); Saturday vs. Ball State (9-12, 4-4). 

20. UNC Wilmington (16-4, 8-1 CAA)
Last week: 22
The Seahawks continue to pile up convincing CAA victories, but they lost their only game against one of the conference's Top 4 teams with last month's 70-58 setback at VCU. They get those same Rams at home this week, and we're extremely interested to see how this one shakes out. On deck: Thursday vs. VCU (12-7, 7-2); Sunday at Georgia State (7-13, 2-7)

21. Richmond (13-8, 4-3 Atlantic 10)
Last week: 13
Not sure if it's just a shooting slump or if the better A-10 teams simply excel at focusing their defense on Spiders star Brittani Shells. Whatever the case, over her last three games - all Richmond losses - Shells is averaging 13.6 ppg on 28.6 percent shooting and is just 1-for-18 from 3-point range. In Richmond's four A-10 games before that - all victories - Shells averaged 21.3 points on 47.3-percent shooting. On deck: Wednesday at Fordham (10-12, 2-4); Saturday vs. St. Bonaventure (15-7, 5-2). 

22: Wyoming (16-4, 6-1 Mountain West)
Last week: 23
Another big week for senior foward Hillary Carlson, who dropped a career-high 34 point on UNLV and earned MVC Player of the Week honors for the second straight week and third time this season. The Cowgirls have won four straight. On deck:  Wednesday at BYU (14-7, 6-1); Saturday at Colorado State (11-9, 4-3). 

23. Northern Iowa (15-5, 8-1 Missouri Valley)
Last week: 24
The Panthers have held their last three opponents to 39 points or less, and the 34 they allowed to Bradley Saturday marked the fewest UNI has surrendered in a game since 1974. The Panthers' 7-game winning streak has them one game ahead of Missouri State and Creighton atop the Missouri Valley. On deck: Friday at Wichita State (4-5, 10-10); Sunday at Missouri State (16-5, 7-2). 

24. Arkansas-Little Rock (13-5, 7-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: 25
The Trojans delivered coach Joe Foley's 600th career victory with Saturday's 53-36 rout of Arkansas State. It was also UALR's 11th straight win this season and 20th straight at home. On deck: Wednesday vs. Denver (13-8, 5-3); Saturday at Louisiana-Lafayette (10-12, 3-6). 

25. TCU (14-8, 6-2 Mountain West)
Last week: 11
The Horned Frogs' eight-game winning streak came to a crashing halt last week as they fell by 11 at home to New Mexico then blew an 11-point lead over the final 8 minutes in a 60-55 loss at Air Force. On deck: Saturday vs. San Diego State (8-11, 2-5).

Hey, what about us?

Toledo (7-1, 15-6 MAC) - Scored a rare win at Bowling Green, then followed up by knocking off Kent State.

Appalachian State (17-4, 11-2 Southern): Someone accused us of sleeping on the Mountaineers. App State has now won 7 in a row, so maybe they're right.

Lamar (16-4, 5-1 Southland): The Lady Cardinals, winners of 11 of their last 12, continue to inch up the RPI rankings and are now at No. 83. 

- Cal Poly (12-7, 8-0 Big West) - The Mustangs continue to rule the Big West, but Thursday's trip to UC Davis should be tricky. 

VCU (12-7, 7-2 CAA) - Courtney Hurt, Andrea Barbour and Sonia Johnson comprise a formidable Big Three.

 - Missouri State (16-5, 7-2 Missouri Valley) - Got stung at Creighton as the MVC's contenders continue to beat on each other.

 - St. Bonaventure (13-7, 3-2 Atlantic 10) - Quietly positioning itself for a high finish in the A-10. Next three games - vs. Dayton, at Richmond and vs. Temple - will tell us a lot.

1 comment:

  1. LS: LA Tech defeated Fresno State AGAIN ... this time it only took one overtime. LA Tech 90, FSU 84. More than 7,000 fans at the TAC for the victory. All-American Adrienne Johnson had another AJ night with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.