South Carolina stays No. 1 in women’s AP Top 25 despite loss

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South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley communicates with players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won 80-68. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

South Carolina remained the No. 1 team in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll on Monday despite experiencing its first loss of the season last week.

The Gamecocks (13-1, 1-1 SEC) fell to Missouri 70-69 in overtime Thursday on a last-second shot. South Carolina, which rebounded with a victory on Sunday, still received 22 of the 30 first-place votes from a national media panel to stay the top choice in the poll.

Coach Dawn Staley’s squad has beat five top-10 teams this season, including the No. 2 team twice. Stanford remained in second place.

It isn’t the first time that a team lost and remained No. 1 in the poll. Back when Louisiana Tech was a powerhouse in the early 1980s, the Lady Techsters saw their 54-game winning streak snapped by Old Dominion. Louisiana Tech stayed No. 1 the next week.

Louisville, which received five first-place votes this week, was third and Arizona was fourth. The Wildcats, who haven’t played since Dec. 17 because of COVID-19 issues, got the other three first-place votes. North Carolina State followed Arizona.

Indiana moved up two spots to sixth after an overtime win over then-No. 6 Maryland. Tennessee, Michigan and Texas moved ahead of the Terrapins, who fell to 10th.

Baylor saw its run of 137 consecutive weeks in the top 10 end, after the Bears lost to Kansas State on Sunday. That was the longest active streak after UConn’s ended a few weeks earlier. Baylor dropped to 14th in the poll. Louisville is now the active leader with 81 consecutive polls.

Missouri, bolstered by its victory over South Carolina, went from receiving no votes last week to just missing the AP Top 25. While the Tigers fell short of making the poll, Oklahoma jumped in at No. 23. The Sooners are ranked for the first time since 2017.

COVID-19

As of Sunday, more than 260 Division I women’s basketball game have been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus since the season began. A majority of those have come after mid-December.

STREAK BUSTERS

It was a week that saw a few longtime streaks come to an end. Indiana’s win over Maryland was the Hoosiers’ first against the the Terrapins in 12 tries. Baylor’s loss to Kansas State was its first in 18 years, ending a 36-game winning streak by the Bears.

GAME OF THE WEEK

South Carolina at LSU, Thursday. The Gamecocks are looking up in the standings at new-look LSU with coach Kim Mulkey. The 13th-ranked Tigers (14-1) are 2-0 in the SEC so far this season.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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