UConn is career leader at No. 1

Monday, December 15th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

No one does No. 1 in women's basketball like Connecticut.

Connecticut became the all-time leader at No. 1 with its 91st appearance at the top of The Associated Press poll Monday. But for the first time this season, the Huskies were not unanimous.

UConn (6-0), which did not play last week, received 45 of 47 first-place votes from a national media panel. The two remaining first-place votes went to No. 2 Tennessee (5-0).

Tennessee had been tied with Connecticut for the most times at No. 1.

All of Connecticut's appearances at No. 1 have come since midway through the 1994-95 season. The Huskies have led 62 of the last 81 polls. Tennessee has not led the poll since the week of Feb. 26, 2001.

While Connecticut was idle because of exams, Tennessee won two tough games, beating Rutgers 59-49 after trailing by six in the second half and coming from 14 down to defeat then-No. 6 Stanford 70-66 in overtime.

Tennessee also has defeated No. 12 Louisiana Tech and Notre Dame, which was ranked 17th at the time. Connecticut has not played a team in the Top 25.

With most teams playing just once during the past week, the only change among the top 12 in the poll was No. 6 Penn State trading places with Stanford, which fell to seventh.

There was shuffling in the lower half of the poll after four teams lost to unranked opponents, but no one dropped out.

Duke was third and Texas Tech fourth, followed by Texas, Penn State, Stanford, Purdue, Minnesota and Georgia. Kansas State remained 11th and Louisiana Tech held at No. 12.

Oklahoma climbed one spot to 13th and Colorado jumped three places to 14th. They were followed by North Carolina, LSU, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Utah and UC Santa Barbara. The final five were Oregon, TCU, Auburn, Michigan State and Boston College.

The No. 6 ranking for Penn State was the highest since the Lady Lions were sixth in the final poll of the 1999-00 season. They have won six straight since a loss at Old Dominion, including wins over Kansas State and Texas.

Virginia Tech matched Colorado for the biggest jump in the poll, climbing from 20th to 17th. The Hokies (7-0) beat Maryland 63-43 in their only game during the week.

Ohio State and UC Santa Barbara both fell five places. The Buckeyes dropped from 13th to 18th after a 60-55 loss at Nebraska. UCSB lost 75-49 at Florida and tumbled from 15th to 20th.

TCU fell from 19th to 22nd after losing to Rutgers, and an overtime loss to George Washington sent Boston College from 23rd to 25th.