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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Stanford passes first real test, stays atop women’s Top 25; Gonzaga remains No. 23

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 28, 2020

Stanford players celebrate during a timeout as they jump ahead of UCLA during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Los Angeles.  (Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Stanford players celebrate during a timeout as they jump ahead of UCLA during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Marcio Jose Sanchez)
By Doug Feinberg Associated Press

NEW YORK – Stanford faced its first real test of the season and passed to remain the top team in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll.

The Cardinal beat then-No. 10 UCLA 61-49 on Dec. 21, pulling away late in the only game between ranked opponents last week. Stanford again received 26 first-place votes Monday from a 30-member national media panel. Coach Tara VanDerveer’s team has another tough game ahead, visiting sixth-ranked Arizona on Friday.

The Gonzaga women (5-2), meanwhile, remained No. 23. The Bulldogs began West Coast Conference play on Monday night with a game at Loyola Marymount.

While Stanford stayed on top, there was a little movement among the next few teams. Louisville remained No. 2, while North Carolina State moved up to third, edging UConn by a point in the poll. South Carolina stayed fifth.

The Huskies won their lone game last week, routing Villanova, but lost two points in the voting.

Arizona remained sixth, followed by Baylor, Oregon and Texas A&M. Arkansas switched places with UCLA to move into the top 10 for the first time since Jan. 20, 2003.

It was a relatively quiet week because of Christmas, as women’s basketball teams took off Dec. 23-26. More than half of the Top 25 teams didn’t play a game over the past seven days.

Other poll tidbits:

Georgia on outside looking in

Georgia sits just outside the Top 25 and the Bulldogs have a shot to enter the rankings next week. They host No. 12 Mississippi State on Thursday.

Georgia (8-0) finished its nonconference schedule unbeaten for the fifth time in school history and the first since 2009. The team has won its first eight games for the first time since the 2014-15 season. That squad won its first 12 games.

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