San Antonio – The St. Mary’s University women’s basketball team received another honor this week when they were ranked first in the NCAA Division II South Central Region poll, which was released on Thursday. The rankings are determined by the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Committee, which is made up of coaches and administrators in the South Central Region.
The Rattlers received the ranking after winning 16 of its first 18 games and winning 13 of 15 Division II In-Region games, which is the best mark in the region to this point in the season. West Texas A&M University, a member of the Lone Star Conference, is ranked second. They are 14-3 overall and 14-3 in the South Central Region. The Buffaloes are one of six Lone Star Conference schools in the rankings. The Rattlers are the only Heartland Conference school represented. The Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association has three schools in the rankings.
The Rattlers are 16-2 overall and 5-0 in Heartland Conference play this season after a 60-38 win over the University of the Incarnate Word on Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena. The 16-2 start to the season is the second best 18-game record in school history. The Rattlers have won five straight games overall heading into this week’s play. They have also won 19 straight Heartland Conference games, dating back to the start of the 2007-2008 season.
St. Mary’s appeared in the regional rankings late last season, but moved up to fifth in the final rankings to earn a trip to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament. The top eight teams in the final regional rankings advance to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament on March 13-16 at a site to be selected by the NCAA. The winners of the three conferences in the region receive automatic berths, with five at-large selections.
St. Mary’s will return to today when they travel to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin for a Heartland Conference matchup, starting at 5:30 p.m. The Rattlers next home game will be on Thursday, Feb. 12, when they host Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 5:30 p.m.
NCAA South Central Region Rankings
Team, Overall Record, In-Region Record
1. St. Mary’s, 15-2, 13-2
2. West Texas A&M, 14-3, 14-3
3. Texas A&M-Kingsville, 12-5, 12-5
4. Emporia State, 12-2, 12-2
5. Central Oklahoma, 12-3, 12-3
6. Central Missouri, 12-3, 10-3
7. Missouri Southern, 11-4, 11-4
8. Northeastern State, 10-6, 10-6
9. Southeastern Okla. St., 8-6, 8-6
10. Texas A&M-Commerce, 10-6, 10-6