By Carl Adamec
Beating No. 1 has allowed Stanford to take over the top spot in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday.
The Cardinal jumped from fourth after ending defending national champion Baylor’s 42-game winning streak with a 71-69 victory over the Bears in Hawaii Friday night. Baylor was first since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Stanford (5-0) received 21 first-place votes and 952 points from the 39 AP voters. UConn (2-0) got 17 first-place votes and 943 points. Baylor got the final first-place vote and 903 points.
It’s the Cardinal’s first time at No. 1 since the final poll of the 2004-05 season. UConn was looking to become No. 1 for the first time since the final poll of the 2010-11 season.
“I don’t think that kind of stuff matters to our team anymore,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Sunday after the Huskies’ 81-50 rout of Texas A&M in College Station. “We’ve got guys on our team that have been 1, they’ve been 2, they’ve been 3. We’ve been a little bit of everything. It doesn’t really matter.”
Duke was fourth and Notre Dame fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Penn State, Louisville, Georgia, Kentucky, and Maryland. Duke was the last team to jump from the fourth spot to No. 1, doing it in January 2004 after beating then-No. 1 UConn 68-67 on Jessica Foley’s 3-point basket at the buzzer.
In November 1998, Purdue jumped from fifth to first after ending then-No. 1 Tennessee’s 46-game winning streak. The Boilermakers edged out UConn by one point for the top spot. Purdue’s stay at No. 1 lasted only one week but it would
eventually go on to win the 1999 national championship.
Purdue is UConn’s third and final opponent in this week’s Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Boilermakers, who face the Huskies Saturday night were ranked 14th in the poll.
UConn forward Breanna Stewart was named the Big East Freshman of the Week Monday. Stewart averaged 16.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in wins over College of Charleston and Texas A&M.
Syracuse senior center Kayla Alexander was selected as Big East Player of the Week. She recorded three straight double-doubles, averaging 21.7 points and 11.7 rebounds, in wins over Fairleigh Dickinson, Maine, and Cornell.
UConn junior center Stefanie Dolson was placed on the Big East honor roll after averaging 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in the Huskies’ 2-0 week. She matched her career high with 24 points against Texas A&M Sunday. Rounding out the honor roll were Georgetown senior Sugar Rodgers, Notre Dame junior Kayla McBride, Pittsburgh junior Asia Logan, and St. John’s senior Shenneika Smith.