Originally created 11/19/02

Louisiana Tech makes big jump in women's poll



An impressive victory in its opener lifted Louisiana Tech six spots Monday in the AP women's basketball poll, which still had Duke, Tennessee and LSU as the top three teams.

Louisiana Tech beat then-No. 7 Texas Tech 85-76 in the Tip-Off Classic and jumped to 10th in the voting by a national media panel.

It was a solid start for new coach Kurt Budke, who replaced Leon Barmore, the career leader in winning percentage among women's coaches.

Duke, which earned its first No. 1 ranking in the preseason poll, received 37 of 42 first-place votes and had 1,043 points. The Blue Devils open the season Friday against East Carolina.

Tennessee, which beat Oklahoma 94-68 in the other game at the Tip-Off Classic, had four first-place votes and 1,010 points. LSU received one first-place vote and 929 points. The Lady Tigers start their season Friday at Arizona.

Only eight ranked teams have played so far, but that was enough to produce some movement in the Top 25.

Kansas State moved up one spot to fourth after winning twice in the preseason WNIT, Texas Tech tumbled from seventh to 13th, and Colorado State went from 19th to 24th after losing to Southern Cal in the second round of the WNIT.

Mississippi State won twice in the WNIT to move from 24th to 20th. Penn State, the other WNIT semifinalist, remained at No. 14.

Oklahoma, which lost four starters from the team that was the NCAA tournament runner-up last season, slipped one spot to 23rd after the loss to Tennessee.

Stanford climbed one place to fifth, and defending national champion Connecticut fell two spots to sixth, the lowest ranking for the Huskies since they were No. 6 the week of March 2, 1999. Connecticut opens against Wright State on Friday night.

Purdue, Georgia, Notre Dame and Louisiana Tech completed the Top 10.

Vanderbilt was 11th, and Texas 12th, followed by Texas Tech, Penn State, North Carolina, Minnesota, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Boston College and Mississippi State.

George Washington, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Colorado State and Cal Santa Barbara held the final five places.

The season begins in earnest this weekend. The big games will be Sunday at the Jimmy V Classic in Raleigh, N.C., where Duke plays Tennessee, and Connecticut meets North Carolina State.

In the WNIT semifinals on Wednesday, it's Penn State against Mississippi State, and Kansas State against Southern Cal, which came within seven points of making the Top 25.



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