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Ole Miss Enters AP Women’s Top 25 for First Time in 15 Years

Unbeaten on the road this season, Mississippi entered The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the first time in 15 years on Monday, coming in at No. 24.

The Rebels (17–2) have won their first seven games away from home, including a victory over then-No. 23 Kentucky on Sunday. The last top 25 ranking for Ole Miss was January 2007.

“Fifteen years is crazy,” Mississippi coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said. “I told them before the Kentucky game that I had been downplaying the whole ranking deal and I apologized to them for that. I didn’t think it was fair of me. I said if you want to get ranked, go ahead and beat Kentucky and be ranked.”

Shakira Austin shoots

Shakira Austin is the Rebels’ leading scorer.

That unblemished mark will be put to the test Thursday when the Rebels visit No. 1 South Carolina in a rescheduled game. The Gamecocks received 29 of the 30 first-place votes from a national media panel to remain the top team in the poll.

Stanford, North Carolina State, Tennessee and Louisville round out the top five. The Wolfpack rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Cardinals last Thursday and take command of the ACC.

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Indiana remained sixth and was followed by Michigan, Arizona, Texas and UConn. The Longhorns jumped up six spots after beating then-No. 7 Iowa State on Sunday. The Cyclones fell to 13th.

The Huskies were supposed to play South Carolina on Thursday, but Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley says her team needs to complete its SEC schedule “to keep ourselves in the running for a conference title.” One of the few dates Ole Miss had open was Thursday.

Full top 25 rankings (as of Jan. 24):

1. South Carolina (29 first-place votes) 
2. Stanford 
3. NC State (1) 
4. Tennessee 
5. Louisville 
6. Indiana 
7. Michigan 
8. Arizona 
9. Texas 
10. UConn 
11. Baylor 
12. LSU 
13. Iowa State
14. Georgia Tech 
15. Georgia 
16. BYU 
17. Maryland 
18. Oklahoma 
19. Oregon 
20. Notre Dame 
21. Duke 
22. Ohio State
23. Iowa 
24. Mississippi 
25. Kansas State

Others receiving votes: Florida Gulf Coast 90, North Carolina 83, Virginia Tech 13, Florida 12, DePaul 4, Missouri 2, UCLA 2, Kansas 1.

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