St. John’s cracks women’s AP Top 25 for 1st time since 2015

Dec 18, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2022, 10:02 am
FILE - St. John's Rayven Peeples (20) fouls Connecticut's Christyn Williams (13) as St. John's Sara...

FILE - St. John's Rayven Peeples (20) fouls Connecticut's Christyn Williams (13) as St. John's Sara Zabrecky (5) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Hartford, Conn. St. John’s earned its first ranking in seven years after matching the best start in school history, entering The Associated Press women’s basketball poll at No. 25 on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

              South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) drives against Charleston Southern forward Saniya Jones during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. South Carolina won 87-23. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
            
              FILE - St. John's head coach Joe Tartamella looks on during an NCAA college basketball game against Temple, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Elmont, N.Y. St. John’s earned its first ranking in seven years after matching the best start in school history, entering The Associated Press women’s basketball poll at No. 25 on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis, File)
            
              FILE - St. John's Rayven Peeples (20) fouls Connecticut's Christyn Williams (13) as St. John's Sara Zabrecky (5) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Hartford, Conn. St. John’s earned its first ranking in seven years after matching the best start in school history, entering The Associated Press women’s basketball poll at No. 25 on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

St. John’s earned its first ranking in seven years after matching the best start in school history, entering The Associated Press women’s basketball poll at No. 25 on Monday.

The Red Storm (11-0) equaled the 2004-05 team that also won its first 11 games with Sunday’s win over Providence. St. John’s had a victory over then-No. 13 Creighton on Dec. 4, helping coach Joe Tartamella’s squad earn its first appearance in the poll since Dec. 14, 2015.

“It’s great to be recognized and I’m proud for our kids,” he said. “We know we have a long way to go in the year. Obviously to be recognized nationally, you can’t take that for granted. It’s been a while and to know this group got us back in is pretty cool.”

South Carolina remained the top team in the poll, receiving all 28 first-place votes from a national media panel. The top five was unchanged with Stanford, Ohio State, Indiana and Notre Dame following the Gamecocks. The Irish won a showdown with then-No. 6 Virginia Tech 63-52 on Sunday. The Hokies fell to eighth. North Carolina and North Carolina State were sixth and seventh. UConn and LSU rounded out the top 10.

LSU (12-0) finished its non-conference schedule unbeaten for the first time since the 2002-03 season. The Tigers played their first Power Five opponent on Sunday, routing Oregon State by 32 points.

“We just have a confident bunch right now,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “I wish we didn’t have to go home for the break. I wish we could go on and start some SEC play because that’s what builds a team.”

FEAST WEEK

There are some strong early week matchups with No. 3 Ohio State, No. 16 Oregon, No. 21 Arkansas and South Florida playing in a tournament in San Diego on Tuesday and Wednesday. No. 6 North Carolina plays No. 19 Michigan in the Jumpman Invitational on Tuesday.

HOLIDAY SEASON

It’s a short week with no teams playing Saturday or Sunday. There are only four games on Friday with Stanford-California the lone ranked game that day.

___

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

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