by Drury Athletics
For the first time in 14 years, the Drury Lady Panthers are the number one ranked team in the nation in the WBCA/NCAA-II coaches’ poll. Drury is unbeaten at 19-0 and 9-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and moved up from number two to the top spot this week.
The Lady Panthers received 23 out of a possible 24 first-place votes in this week’s poll after going 2-0 last week while previously number one ranked Indiana (Pa.) lost at home to California (Pa.) 61-56 on Jan. 23. UC San Diego (17-0) is ranked second this week, while Ashland (18-1) received one first-place vote and is third.
One other team from the GLVC is in the top 25 as Lewis (16-2) is ranked 18th.
Drury is ranked number one for the first time since March 8, 2005. The Lady Panthers owned the top position in the coaches’ poll for nine weeks during the 2004-05 season when they appeared there on Dec. 8, 2004, then retook the number one spot again on Jan. 19, 2005 and held it for eight consecutive weeks. Drury’s 2004-05 team finished 29-2, 12-0 in the Heartland Conference, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA-II tournament where they lost to Emporia State 78-71 in overtime.
The Lady Panthers are nationally ranked for the 88th consecutive week, the longest such streak in the nation. Drury is also in the top 10 for the 26th week in a row. Their 19-0 start is the longest unbeaten run to begin a season in program history.
The Lady Panthers are back at home with two games this week. Drury hosts Quincy on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. and they take on Truman State, a team receiving votes for the top 25, on Saturday at 1 p.m. Both games are in the O’Reilly Family Event Center, and tickets can be purchased by calling (417) 873-6389.