by Ed Beach
The Drury Lady Panthers retained their number one national ranking in the NCAA-II women’s basketball coaches’ poll for the 13th consecutive week this week. Drury is 25-0 with a 16-0 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference received 16 votes for first place.
Ashland, recipients of seven first-place votes, remained number two in the poll and is also 25-0. Texas A&M-Commerce (24-0) is the only other undefeated team in NCAA-II and is number three. Lee (24-1) moved up to number four this week while Hawaii Pacific (23-1) is ranked 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 (23-2) is ranked sixth, Walsh (22-2) is 11th, and Kentucky Wesleyan (23-1) is ranked 18th.
The regional rankings, which determine the field and seeding of the NCAA-II tournament, will be released on Wednesday. The national poll does not play a factor in the regional rankings.
This week’s poll marks the 108th consecutive week the Lady Panthers have been in the top 25, the longest such streak in the nation. It is their 46th straight week in the top 10, and their 13th week in a row at number one dating back to the NCAA-II preseason poll in October.
Drury is at home on Thursday night hosting Truman State, the team with the second-best record in the GLVC. The Bulldogs are 17-6 and 13-3 in the conference. Tipoff is at 5:45 pm in the O’Reilly Family Event Center.