by Ed Beach
The Drury Lady Panthers are the number one ranked team in the nation for the 12th straight week as a result of the NCAA-II women’s basketball coaches’ poll.
The Lady Panthers are 23-0 and 14-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. They received 18 first-place votes this week while second-ranked Ashland picked up five votes for first, two more than they had last week thanks to their 77-52 win at Grand Valley State, who was ranked number three in the nation at the time. The Eagles are also 23-0 entering the week.
Division II’s only other undefeated team, Texas A&M-Commerce, is 22-0 and ranked third while Indiana (Pa.) is 21-1 and ranked fourth, while Lee (Tenn.) (22-1) is fifth.
The Midwest Region of NCAA-II has five teams ranked in the top 25, including four among the top 11. In addition to Drury ranked number one, and Ashland at number two, Grand Valley (21-2) is now ranked sixth nationally, Walsh (21-2) is 11th, and Kentucky Wesleyan (23-1) is ranked 22nd.
This week’s poll marks the 107th consecutive week the Lady Panthers have been in the top 25, the longest such streak in the nation. It is their 45th straight week in the top 10, and their 12th week in a row at number one dating back to the NCAA-II preseason poll in October.
The Lady Panthers are on the road for their next game as they travel to Rockhurst for a 5:30 pm game in Kansas City, Missouri.