Archive for Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Women’s AP Top 25: Top eight same; Buckeyes enter

January 7, 2003

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Jim Foster is working fast at Ohio State.

Less than two months into Foster's tenure, Ohio State joined the AP women's basketball poll for the first time in three years Monday, riding a seven-game winning streak into the rankings at No. 23.

Duke remained No. 1 on a day the Blue Devils moved to the top of the men's poll.

Connecticut is the only other school that has had its men's and women's teams ranked No. 1 at the same time. It happened eight times for the Huskies, most recently in the 1999-2000 preseason poll.

The top eight in the women's poll stayed the same, with Connecticut gaining on No. 2 Louisiana State after beating Tennessee in an overtime thriller for its 51st straight win.

Kansas State (13-1) stayed at No. 4 after making 15 3-pointers, 10 by Laurie Koehn, in a 103-60 victory over Iowa on Sunday. Tennessee held at No. 5 and was followed by Stanford, Purdue and Texas Tech.

Foster was the highest profile coach to change jobs during the offseason, leaving Vanderbilt after 11 years to take over an Ohio State program that has been inconsistent since reaching the 1993 national championship game.

The Buckeyes have responded with a 10-2 start after going 14-15 last season. They beat then-No. 17 Texas on Sunday and have a victory over No. 18 Arizona. Their losses were at No. 19 Wisconsin-Green Bay and at No. 22 Villanova.

"My whole objective is to get a team to play well in March," Foster said. "That's what we talked about from the day we walked in here -- be a good March team, good enough to play then and make some noise. I would view this is a step in that direction."

Duke (12-0) received 41 of 44 first-place votes from a national media panel and had 1,097 points. The Blue Devils, who have been No. 1 all season, returned to action Monday night after a seven-day layoff.

LSU (12-0) had one first-place vote and 1,043 points -- 16 more than Connecticut (12-0). The Huskies trailed LSU by 22 points a week ago.

UConn received two first-place votes, one more than last week, after its 63-62 overtime win over Tennessee.

Mississippi State made the biggest jump within the poll, from 18th to 14th after beating Xavier. South Carolina climbed three places to 13th after winning by margins of 43 and 62.

Oklahoma fell six places to 25th after a 58-38 loss to Stanford, while Texas and Notre Dame each dropped three spots.

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