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Unbeaten Hilltoppers locked in at No. 1

January 22, 2014
Weirton Daily Times

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The West Liberty University men's basketball team easily retained the No. 1 spot in the National Association of Basketball Coaches NCAA Division II Top 25 poll for the seventh consecutive week on Tuesday.

Pulling in 14 first-place votes and 398 of a possible 400 points, Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (14-0) remained head and shoulders above the rest of the pack in a week that saw a pair of Top 5 teams knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Bellarmine, Ky. (13-1) dropped an 81-79 decision to No. 14-ranked Indianapolis to slip from No. 2 to No. 7 in this week's voting. Indiana, Pa. (14-2), last week's No. 5 squad, tumbled all the way to No. 15 on the heels of back-to-back losses to unranked Gannon (67-61) and California, Pa. (59-56).

West Liberty put its offense and defense on display with a pair of double-digit wins in Mountain East Conference play, outgunning Glenville State, 107-88, on Monday before holding Fairmont State to just 60 points - the Falcons' lowest offensive output in two seasons - en route to a 77-60 nod on Saturday.

This week's Top 25 poll includes games played through Sunday.

This is the 27th time West Liberty has been ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II Top 25, the third-highest total for any Division II school since NCAA Division II polling began during the 1960-61 season.

West Liberty's 34th consecutive Top 5 ranking is also the third-most in Division II history and the longest streak in nearly a half-century. The Hilltoppers' 60 consecutive Top 25 appearances is the longest active streak in the nation and ranks No. 7 on the all-time list.

West Liberty puts its undefeated record on the line Thursday night when the Hilltoppers visit Ohio County-rival Wheeling Jesuit. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the McDonough Center.

NCAA Division II Top 25

(Through games of Sunday, Jan. 19)

Team (FPV) Rec Pts Pvs

1. WEST LIBERTY (14) 14-0 398 1

2. Florida Southern (1) 17-0 381 3

3. Metro State, Colo. 14-1 363 4

4. Tarleton State, Texas 15-0 350 6

5. Drury, Mo. 14-1 322 7

6. East Stroudsburg, Pa. 16-0 319 8

7. Bellarmine, Ky. 13-1 295 2

8. Cal State-San Bernardino 13-1 293 9

9. Southern Indiana 13-1 283 10

10. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 13-1 245 11

11. Colorado School of Mines 14-1 220 13

12. California Baptist 15-0 217 18

13. USC-Aiken 14-2 206 15

14. Minnesota State 16-3 158 20

15. Indiana, Pa. 14-2 154 5

16. Indianapolis, Ind. 14-2 151 14

17. Montevallo, Ala. 13-2 126 21

18. Dixie State, Utah 13-2 118 12

19. Lewis, Ill. 13-1 111 23

20. Delta State, Miss. 14-2 105 24

21. Franklin Pierce, N.H. 13-2 100 22

22. Missouri Southern 13-2 78 NR

23. Lake Superior State, Mich. 16-2 54 17

24. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 15-4 33 NR

25. Georgia Regents 14-2 26 NR

Others receiving votes: Southern Connecticut State 16, Cal Poly-Pomona 16, Cal State-Stanislaus 9, Fort Hays State (Kan.) 9, Western Washington 8, Michigan Tech 7, NW Missouri State 7, Winona State (Minn.) 6, Hawaii Pacific 5, Georgia Southwestern 2, St. Mary's (Texas) 2, Cal State-L.A. 1.

 
 

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