Oregon out of top 10 of women’s Top 25 after loss to UCLA

Sports

Stanford head coach Tara Vanderveer talks to her team as they play Arizona State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan 3, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Oregon’s run in the top 10 of The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll is over after 64 consecutive appearances.

The Ducks fell to No. 11 in the AP Top 25 released a day after the team’s 27-game winning streak ended with a two-point loss to then-No. 11 UCLA.

Oregon entered the Top 25 at No. 11 in the 2017-18 preseason poll and moved up a spot in the first regular-season poll that year. The Ducks hadn’t fallen below 10th until Monday, climbing as high No. 1 for a few weeks last year.

It was the fourth longest active streak behind UConn, Baylor and Louisville. The Huskies have been in the top 10 of every poll since March 7, 2005. The Lady Bears have done it since Dec. 8, 2014, and Louisville started its run in the preseason poll of 2017-18.

It doesn’t get much easier for Oregon, with a trip to No. 1 Stanford on Friday. The Cardinal remained the top choice in the poll this week after sweeping a road trip in Arizona, with victories over the Wildcats and Sun Devils. The Cardinal were followed by Louisville, UConn, North Carolina State and South Carolina in the poll. The Huskies and Wolfpack were tied for third.

Stanford, which received 27 of 30 first-place votes from a national media panel, has not played a home game since its season opener on Nov. 25, playing — and winning — two games apiece in Las Vegas; Berkeley, California; Los Angeles and Arizona.

“This is our life right now, and we are trying to make the absolute best of it,” said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, whose team was heading to California on Sunday night.

Stanford has been forced out of its home because of Santa Clara County’s ban on contact sports to address the rise of COVID-19 cases.

“This is the hardest time in our lives for all of us. We’re so fortunate. We have our health. Have a job. I’m not going to act like things are so tough,” VanDerveer said. “Really proud of our team, how mature they’ve been and how focused they have been. This is what it is right now. If you want to play, you have to do it.”

Here are a few other tidbits from the Top 25:

CONSISTENCY

For the third consecutive week the Big Ten has six ranked teams. Maryland is 12th, Michigan 15th, Ohio State 16th, Indiana 19th, Northwestern 22nd and Michigan State 23rd. Before this season the conference had six teams in the Top 25 in the same week only twice — on Nov. 17, 2014, and Jan. 14, 2019. The Big Ten isn’t the first conference to do it recently, with the ACC accomplishing the feat for nine consecutive weeks spanning the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. The Pac-12 did it for the final 10 weeks last season.

GAME OF THE WEEK

UConn at Baylor, Thursday. The Huskies visit the Lady Bears for their first real test of the season. UConn had games wiped out against Louisville and Mississippi State because of the coronavirus. Baylor split a pair of games early in the season against No. 18 South Florida and 13th-ranked Arkansas. The teams have split their eight meetings.

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