NC State women’s hoops ascends to No.4 in latest AP Top 25 rankings

NC State

NEW YORK (AP) — Coach Tara VanDerveer and Stanford are the new No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll.

The Cardinal ascended to the top spot Monday after previous No. 1 South Carolina lost at home to then-No. 8 North Carolina State. Stanford received 24 of the 30 first-place votes from a national media panel.

The eighth-ranked Wolfpack had four starters score in double figures. Kayla Jones (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Jakia Brown-Turner (11 points, 12 rebounds) each had a double-double in the win.

N.C. State did well to limit long-range looks as the Gamecocks were 2-of-12 from 3-point range.

The Cardinal moved up to No. 1 at nearly the same time last year and held on to that spot for three weeks, the team’s first appearance there in seven years.

VanDerveer downplayed the significance of her team moving to No. 1 in Week 3 of the season.

“Rankings are important in March,” she said. “Let’s hope we’re playing in March.”

Louisville moved up three spots to No. 2 — matching the highest ranking in school history — and received two first-place votes. UConn, which has yet to play a game because the Huskies were on pause due to coronavirus concerns, stayed at No. 3, also receiving two first-place votes.

The Wolfpack, who got the other two first-place ballots, jumped four places to No. 4 after the 54-46 victory over the Gamecocks. South Carolina fell to fifth.

Monday’s placement for N.C. State tied its season high from the 2019-20 campaign when it was also ranked No. 4 the week of Feb. 10. That was the program’s best ranking since Jan. 10, 2000 when the Wolfpack was listed third to cap off six-straight weeks spent in the national top five.

Arizona, Baylor, Oregon, Kentucky and Texas A&M round out the top 10. No. 6 is the highest ranking in Arizona’s history.

VanDerveer is poised to make history of her own: With her next victory, she will tie Pat Summitt’s all-time record of 1,098 wins. Where and when that might happen, however, is still up in the air.

The Cardinal had to shift their Pac-12 opener over the weekend to Las Vegas due to Santa Clara County’s ban on sporting events and practices for three weeks. They were supposed to play Washington State on Tuesday in Las Vegas, but the Cougars don’t have enough scholarship players available due to coronavirus protocols.

The next game listed on the Cardinal’s schedule is Friday against UC Davis at home, then a game at Cal on Sunday.

“The pandemic, the situation we’re in, it really makes you appreciate each game,” VanDerveer said. “Each game is so precious, and we’re so excited to be playing. We’re here in Vegas, we don’t know what our schedule is. We’re working the phones, trying to get games.”

Here are other tidbits from this week’s poll.

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