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UA women get top-10 ranking

by The Associated Press | December 29, 2020 at 2:12 a.m.
Stanford players celebrate during a timeout as they jump ahead of UCLA during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NEW YORK -- For the first time in nearly 18 years, the University of Arkansas women's basketball team is ranked among the top 10 in the country.

The Razorbacks (9-1) switched places with UCLA to move into the top 10 of The Associated Press women's poll for the first time since Jan. 20, 2003. That team, which was Gary Blair's last at Arkansas, finished 22-11 and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 7 seed to No. 2 seed Texas.

Arkansas begins SEC play on Thursday night at No. 13 Kentucky. The Razorbacks return to Walton Arena at 4 p.m. Sunday to face Missouri.

Stanford faced its first real test of the season and passed to remain the top team.

The Cardinal beat UCLA 61-49 on Dec. 21, pulling away late in the only game between ranked opponents last week.

Stanford again received 26 first-place votes Monday from a 30-member national media panel. Coach Tara VanDerveer's team has another tough game ahead, visiting No. 6 Arizona on Friday.

While Stanford stayed on top, there was a little movement among the next few teams. Louisville remained No. 2 while North Carolina State moved up to third, edging UConn by a point in the poll. South Carolina stayed fifth.

The Huskies won their lone game last week, routing Villanova, but lost two points in the voting.

Arizona remained sixth, followed by Baylor, Oregon and Texas A&M.

It was a relatively quiet week because of Christmas, as women's basketball teams took off from Dec. 23-26. More than half of the Top 25 teams didn't play a game over the past seven days. Other teams were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

No. 22 Syracuse announced Sunday that a positive test was confirmed within the program. The team canceled its game with Morgan State scheduled for Monday night and could have to postpone its home game against North Carolina on Thursday.

South Carolina also lost a game this week against Mississippi on Thursday after the Rebels announced they had positive covid-19 tests and were doing contact tracing and quarantining individuals according to SEC protocols.


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