Ore­gon women move up to No. 3

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By DOUG FEIN­BERG

Ore­gon moved up one spot in The As­so­ci­ated Press women’s bas­ket­ball poll to No. 3 af­ter beat­ing ri­val Ore­gon State twice in a 48-hour span. The Ducks jumped UConn to move be­hind South Carolina and Bay­lor in the Top 25 re­leased Mon­day. The Game­cocks re­ceived 26 first-place votes from the na­tional me­dia panel. Bay­lor gar­nered three and Louisville one.

NEW YORK — Ore­gon moved up one spot in The As­so­ci­ated Press women’s bas­ket­ball poll to No. 3 af­ter beat­ing ri­val Ore­gon State twice in a 48-hour span.

The Ducks jumped UConn to move be­hind South Carolina and Bay­lor in the Top 25 re­leased Mon­day. The Game­cocks re­ceived 26 first-place votes from the na­tional me­dia panel. Bay­lor gar­nered three and Louisville one.

Ore­gon was the pre­sea­son No. 1, led by star Sab­rina Ionescu. Ex­pec­ta­tions climbed af­ter the team shocked the U.S. na­tional team in an ex­hi­bi­tion game, but losses to Louisville and Ari­zona State moved the Ducks down the poll.

UConn, which beat Ten­nessee and East Carolina last week, was fourth and Louisville fifth in the lat­est poll. Stan­ford, N.C. State, UCLA, Mis­sis­sippi State and Ore­gon State round out the first 10 teams. The Beavers dropped three spots af­ter get­ting swept by Ore­gon.

Mis­souri State re-en­tered the Top 25 at No. 24, re­plac­ing West Vir­ginia, who fell out.

TIGHT AT THE TOP Mary­land, Iowa and North­west­ern are part of a log­jam at the top of the Big Ten stand­ings dur­ing one of the most com­pet­i­tive sea­sons in the league in years.

Mary­land was the unan­i­mous pre­sea­son pick to fin­ish first, but the Ter­rap­ins (16-4, 7-2) cur­rently find them­selves tied for se­cond with the Wild­cats (17-3, 7-2) be­hind sur­pris­ing Iowa (17-3, 8-1).

Mary­land coach Brenda Frese likes know­ing that her team has to be at its best to win, which is ex­actly how it is in the NCAA Tour­na­ment.

“It’s awe­some. Ev­ery game you play, you’re go­ing to be chal­lenged. You just can’t show up any­more,” Frese said. “I love the fact that with nine games left, you’re go­ing to be bat­tle tested.”

North­west­ern won five straight be­fore fall­ing at Mary­land on Sun­day. When the teams met on Dec. 31, the Wild­cats won 81-58.

“This is deep­est I’ve ever seen the Big Ten,” North­west­ern coach Joe McKe­own said. “One through 13 — even 14 some nights — can beat each other.”

TIP-INS

Only three points are the dif­fer­ence be­tween No. 12 Gon­zaga, No. 13 Ken­tucky and 14th-ranked Florida State . ... South Dakota climbed three places to No. 21 af­ter win­ning their two game by an av­er­age of 38.5 points this past week. The Coy­otes’ two losses this year came against South Carolina and Mis­souri State, which re­turned to the rank­ings this week at No. 24.

As­so­ci­ated Press

BACK AT 3 Ore­gon’s Minyon Moore (23) cel­e­brates with Jaz Shel­ley (4), Sab­rina Ionescu (20) and Sa­tou Sa­bally (0) fol­low­ing Ore­gon’s vic­tory over Ore­gon State in Cor­val­lis, Ore­gon, on Sun­day.

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