Wednesday, February 16, 2005

LSU reigns supreme; Lady Vols slip to No. 6

With the end of the regular season in sight, The Associated Press women's basketball top 25 is showing something rarely seen so far: stability.

No. 1 LSU led a top four that was unchanged Monday, nine of the top 10 teams were the same as last week, and the poll had no newcomers for the second time in three weeks.

Tennessee, however, slipped from No. 5 to No. 6.

LSU (23-1) has kept a tight grip on No. 1 since returning there Jan. 31 and was unanimous for the second consecutive week. The Lady Tigers received all 45 first-place votes from a national media panel after beating Tennessee and South Carolina to take sole possession of first place in the SEC.

Big East leader Notre Dame moved up one spot to fifth, replacing the Lady Vols. No. 7 Baylor, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 9 Michigan State all held the same positions as last week. Rutgers climbed one place to 10th after beating Connecticut, which fell from 10th to 11th.

Parker Update: Tennessee freshman Candace Parker came out of Monday's practice during half-court defensive drills.

"I think she had some irritation,'' UT coach Pat Summitt said. "We pulled her.''

Summitt said Sunday that a decision on whether Parker would play this season would come this week. She is recovering from multiple surgeries on her left knee. After Monday's development, Summitt said, "That's not a good sign.''

Ouch: Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood's teammates were a little too helpful in ushering her across the baseline to finish a sprint drill on Monday. The extra momentum resulted in the UT freshman guard accidentally banging her left knee against the basket standard.

The collision aggravated the patella tendinitis Wiley-Gatewood has been dealing with all season. She said that the initial jolt of pain shot down her leg.

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