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Wiley women's basketball enters NAIA Top 25 for the first time since 2008
Tue Jan 8, 2013 - 7:31pm    Print
Onnidan's HBCUSports | Wiley women's basketball enters NAIA Top 25 for the first time since 2008

Xavier (NO) remains 9th

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Wiley College Lady Wildcats made their season debut in the NAIA Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 poll Tuesday, coming in at No. 20, according to the latest poll released by the NAIA office.wiley college logo12

The Wildcats (13-1, 7-0 Red River Athletic Conference) knocked off previously unbeaten Our Lady of the Lake 90-87 on Saturday in a battle of conference unbeaten. OLLU had been ranked 19th, but fell to No. 24 after the loss.

Lubbock Christian (16-0) retained its place at the top of the poll, a position the Lady Chaparrals have held for the entirety of the 2012-13 season.

Xavier University of Louisiana remained ninth Tuesday in the Poll. This is the fourth poll of 2012-13, the third of the regular season and the first since Dec. 11.

The Gold Nuggets are in the top 10 for the third consecutive poll and in the top 25 for the 35th consecutive time dating to January 2010. The latter streak is the longest during Bo Browder's 14 seasons as head coach.

Voting was based on games through Sunday. Xavier lost 68-65 at Talladega the following day to fall to 11-3 overall and 1-1 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.

The Nuggets' most notable victory between polls was a 75-67 double-overtime victory against Bethel (Tenn.) on Jan. 2. Bethel is 14th in this week's poll.  The Gold Nuggets will play their next four games at XU's new Convocation Center, including Tougaloo at 3 p.m. Saturday and city rival SUNO at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Under second-year head coach Courtney Garrett-Pruitt, Wiley College is a perfect 12-0 against NAIA competition this season; the Wildcats’ only blemish was an eight-point setback at NCAA Division I Northwestern State. That loss came days after the ‘Cats defeated another Southland Conference opponent – Stephen F. Austin – in an exhibition contest.

The Wildcats have defeated two consecutive RRAC opponents ranked in the NAIA Top 25 poll. Wiley College went into the Christmas break having defeated then-No. 17 LSU-Shreveport on the road. The Pilots rounded out Tuesday’s poll at No. 25.

Wiley College also defeated NCAA Division II opponent Tuskegee (Ala.) earlier this season.

The Wildcats have been led this season by the inside play of senior forward Aliesha Carruthers. A transfer from Tyler Junior College in 2011, Carruthers is averaging 17.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest.

Fellow TJC product Latika Smith has dominated the backcourt for the Wildcats. The 5-foot-6 guard leads the nation with 4.3 steals per game and ranks fourth in the RRAC with 5.1 assists per contest.

The No. 20 ranking for the Wildcats is their first appearance in the NAIA Top 25 poll since March 5, 2008.

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Last Updated ( Tue Jan 8, 2013 - 10:13pm )