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UAA ascends to No. 1 spot in Division II women's basketball

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published January 19, 2016

The Seawolves are back on top of the basketball world.

The UAA women's basketball team, winners of eight straight games, vaulted to the No. 1 spot in the NCAA Division II national rankings Tuesday.

The nation's No. 2 team in recent weeks, the Seawolves (20-1) grabbed the top spot when the previous top-ranked team, West Texas A&M, lost for the first time this season.

"I just texted the team 'No. 1' and they knew what I was talking about," UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said at a press conference Tuesday.

"It feels good," he said. "Anytime that you get recognized nationally for anything, whether it's academics or athletics or whatever it is, to be able represent the school in that way, to put UAA in a situation where it's recognized as an elite institution, makes us feel good."

The Seawolves have been here before. They were the nation's top-ranked team for four weeks last season and for four weeks during the 2008-09 season.

And so they know that being No. 1 in a poll doesn't come with any guarantees. The Seawolves were ranked No. 1 heading into last season's NCAA Tournament, where they suffered a stunning first-round loss to Point Loma of Hawaii.

"We know our ultimate goal is not to be the No. 1 ranked team in the country in the middle of the season, it's to win championships," McCarthy said.

UAA drew 11 out of 24 first-place votes and 560 points in the weekly Women's Basketball Coaches Association/USA Today poll.

The No. 2 ranking went to Lubbock Christian (15-0), a Texas team that drew nine first-place votes and 550 points.

UAA is the only Great Northwest Athletic Conference team in the top 25. In their only meeting this season with a team currently in the top 25, the Seawolves in December eked out a 76-72 home-court win over No. 21 Cal-San Diego (14-2).

The Seawolves will put their ranking on the line in two home games this week. They face Seattle Pacific at 7 p.m. Thursday and Saint Martin's at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center.

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