KANSAS CITY, MO. (Jan. 12, 2016) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball makes its first-ever appearance in the Top 5 of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The Saints jumped two spots from last week's No. 6 to this week's No. 4, the national office announced Tuesday.
Ranked first is Westmont. The fourth regular-season edition will be released on Jan. 19.
In the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) poll released on Jan. 11, OLLU (4-0/12-2) holds on to its top ranking, followed by Langston University (5-1/9-3), Wiley College (3-1/10-1) and LSU-Shreveport (3-3/8-5).
Other RRAC teams in the NAIA's Top 25 are Langston, who dropped from No. 17 to No. 18 after suffering its first conference loss to the Saints last week, and Wiley College, who improved from receiving votes to a No. 24 ranking.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999-2000)
- This is OLLU's best-ever ranking. The Saints finished out the 2014-2015 season as No. 10 after making their fourth consecutive trip to nationals and their first Sweet 16 appearance. In the preseason poll released October 2015, the Saints were ranked No. 7, then dropped to No. 10 in the second poll released on Dec. 8. Last week, they were ranked No. 6.
- In competitions against teams currently in the Top 25, the Saints lost to Xavier (No. 14) 86-91 in overtime and to Oklahoma City (No. 15) 85-87. The Saints defeated Lewis-Clark State (RV 40) 79-63. OLLU also defeated what was then the No. 1 team in the NAIA -- Vanguard University 69-54. The team dropped from No.1 to No. 12. In addition, the Saints avenged their earlier loss to Oklahoma City with a 20-point 83-63 pounding on Jan. 2. Last week, the Saints defeated then No. 18 Langston 75-63.
- The Saints hold the third-best consecutive games won in the NAIA with 12 wins since losing their first two games of the season -- second only to 16-0 teams Columbia (No. 6) and Pikeville (No. 17).
- Westmont received eight of the nine possible first-place votes and 219 total points in the third regular-season installment of the Top 25.
- Bethel, Campbellsville, No. 8 Montana State-Northern, Our Lady of the Lake and Westmont have all been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season.
- Three teams have held the No. 1 ranking this season – Campbellsville (Ky.) (Oct. 27), Vanguard (Calif.) (Dec. 8) and Westmont (Jan. 5 and 12).
- For the third consecutive poll, No. 6 Columbia (Mo.) received the final first-place vote. The Cougars (16-0) and No. 17 Pikeville (Ky.) (16-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in NAIA Division I Women's Basketball. The two squads' 16 wins is also a NAIA-high.
- Compared to the previous two editions, minimal movement occurred throughout the poll. Pikeville and No. 22 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) highlighted the positive movement with three-spot jumps. Conversely, Montana State-Northern fell farther than any team still ranked, dropping from No. 2 to No. 8.
- Four newcomers joined the Top 25 – No. 20 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), No. 23 Wayland Baptist (Texas), No. 24 Wiley (Texas) and No. 25 Loyola (La.). Lewis-Clark State, Loyola and Wayland Baptist were both ranked earlier this season, while Wiley last appeared in the 2014-2015 Postseason Poll on April 1, 2015.
- The Mid-South Conference (MSC) leads all leagues with five teams represented: Campbellsville, No. 9 Shawnee State (Ohio), Pikeville, No. 19 Cumberland (Tenn.) and Lindsey Wilson.
- The MSC (Campbellsville and Shawnee State), Frontier Conference (Carroll and Montana State-Northern) and Heart of America Athletic Conference (No. 7 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 10 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)) each have a pair of teams in the top 10.
- Nine conferences claim at least one ranked program. Five leagues boast three-or-more Top 25 teams.
- Thirty-one different programs have been ranked through four polls.
- No. 13 (tied) Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and No. 13 (tied) Oklahoma City have been listed in all 195 polls dating back to the start of the 1999-2000 season. No. 12 Vanguard (Calif.) is next in line with 162-straight mentions.
- Former member Union (Tenn.) leads all schools in all-time No. 1 rankings with 53, while Oklahoma City (49), Vanguard (41), Freed-Hardeman (18) and former member Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (15) are the only other programs with 10-or-more No. 1 rankings.
- Union and Vanguard are the only programs to have spent an entire season ranked No. 1 (Union: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) (Vanguard: 2005-06, 2006-07).
- The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
- The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
- The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team's ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
- Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered "receiving votes"
- For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.
2015-2016 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (Jan. 12)
SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)
Westmont (Calif.) (8)
Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)
Columbia (Mo.) (1)
Shawnee State (Ohio)
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
The Master's (Calif.)
Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Dropped from Top 25: John Brown (Ark.) (No. 19); Baker (Kan.) (No. 21); Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (No. 22); Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (No. 24)
Others receiving votes: Great Falls (Mont.) 43; Central Methodist (Mo.) 43; John Brown (Ark.) 18; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 18; Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 14; Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 6; Baker (Kan.) 3; Hope International (Calif.) 3; William Woods (Mo.) 3.