Originally created 12/04/01

Top four the same in women's poll



The Associated Press women's basketball poll had no changes among the top four Monday but plenty elsewhere on the list.

Connecticut remained an overwhelming choice for No. 1, receiving 41 of 45 first-place votes from a national media panel, and was followed by Tennessee, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt.

That foursome stayed the same for the third straight week. They were a combined 9-0 during the past week, and none had a game closer than 15 points.

Among the developments in the rest of the poll was Baylor's first appearance in the Top Ten. No. 22 Penn State and No. 24 Drake joined as newcomers, with Drake making just its third appearance since the 1982-83 season and its first since the final poll of 1997-98.

Defending national champion Notre Dame and George Washington dropped out. Notre Dame had been ranked every week since the start of the 1998-99 season.

Connecticut (7-0) received 1,121 points in the voting after one-sided victories over Wake Forest (88-38) and Ball State (103-69).

Tennessee (5-0) also was impressive, beating George Washington 88-57 and then-No. 8 North Carolina State 93-56. The Lady Vols received the four remaining first-place votes and had 1,082 points.

Oklahoma (7-0), off to its best start since the 1986-87 season, had 1,025 points. Vanderbilt (9-1), which has lost only to Connecticut, had 994 points.

Stanford (8-0) jumped two spots into a tie for fifth with Iowa State, and Purdue climbed three places to seventh. Louisiana Tech, Baylor and North Carolina State completed the Top Ten. Baylor moved up from 12th, which matched its highest previous ranking.

Duke, back on track after a couple of early losses, beat Louisiana Tech and moved up three places to 11th. Colorado State was 12th and Georgia 13th, followed by Texas Tech, Colorado, Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida.

Louisiana State, Penn State, South Carolina, Drake and Old Dominion held the final five places.

Penn State (4-2) was 10th in the preseason poll but fell out of the rankings after a 74-58 loss to Villanova in its opener. The Nittany Lions are coming off an 88-37 victory over Fairfield.

Drake (3-1), which has yet to play at home, has lost only to North Carolina State, 64-61. The Bulldogs returned four starters from a team that shared the Missouri Valley Conference championship with Southwest Missouri State, which reached the Final Four.

Notre Dame, which had been 23rd, lost to Michigan after beating Army. At 2-3, the Irish already have one more loss than all last season.

George Washington (2-3), ranked 22nd last week, dropped out after losing to Tennessee and Rice.

North Carolina, which joined the poll at No. 24 last week, jumped six spots to 18th after beating Kentucky and Old Dominion, which fell eight places to 25th.

Texas Tech fell from ninth to 14th. The Lady Raiders beat Oregon and North Texas, but lost to New Mexico.