Women's AP Top 25 Round-Up: USC Shines In The Pacific Northwest

Women's AP Top 25 Round-Up: USC Shines In The Pacific Northwest

A win at Oregon State powered red-hot USC to its sixth straight win, and to No. 7 in the Feb. 19 edition of the Associated Press Top 25.

Feb 20, 2024 by Kyle Kensing
Women's AP Top 25 Round-Up: USC Shines In The Pacific Northwest

Aside from undefeated South Carolina, no team in college basketball was as hot as Oregon State. Emphasis on was. 

A physical, defensive showdown between the Beavers and USC, now establishing itself as among the nation's hottest teams, produced one of the best games of the past week. The Trojans outlasted Oregon State in Corvallis, 58-50, despite struggles from superstar freshman JuJu Watkins — who, even despite shooting 6-of-32 and committing five turnovers, still produced an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double. 

"I prefer it when it's pretty," USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb laughed during her postgame press conference. "But I really, really respect it when it's gritty." 

Grit is a must to come out of a road-trip weekend in the Pac-12 Conference unscathed. The Trojans need look no further than Los Angeles rival UCLA, which lost to Oregon State in the Beavers' previous game, 79-77. 

Dueling clutch buckets over the final eight seconds made for one of the wildest finishes seen anywhere in basketball this season. 

Angela Dugalic hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining to put UCLA ahead by a point, only for Talia Von Oelhoffen to answer with a bucket on the other end. 

Lauren Betts jumper with one second left put the Bruins back on top and seemingly in control — only for Von Oelhoffen to strike again, connecting from a few feet beyond the top of the key off the inbounds pass. 

The win over UCLA buoyed the Beavers into the top 10 for the first time this season, despite Sunday's loss to USC. At No. 9, Oregon State is the sixth different Pac-12 team to appear in the top 10 on the season. Half of them are still there this week, with Stanford at No. 3. 

The Big Ten, Big 12 and for the first time since November, the ACC, each have two top-10 teams as of Feb. 19. Among the highest risers in the new Associated Press Top 25 Poll is No. 8 Virginia Tech. 

The Hokies are winners of nine straight with a dominant showing against then-No. 18 Louisville. The loss was Louisville's first at home this season, and came on the strength of double-doubles from both Elizabeth Kitley (26 points, 13 rebounds) and Georgia Amoore 923 points, 10 assists). 

With its No. 8 ranking, Virginia Tech is in its best poll position since reaching No. 9 during its Cayman Islands Classic visit back in November. 


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Feb. 19 Women's AP Top 25

1. South Carolina

Record: 25-0 

Previous; No. 1 

2. Ohio State

Record: 22-3

Previous: No. 2

3. Stanford

Record: 23-3

Previous: No. 3

4. Iowa

Record: 23-3

Previous: No. 4

5. Texas

Record: 24-3

Previous: No. 5

6. North Carolina State

Record: 23-3

Previous: No. 6

7. USC

Record: 20-4

Previous: No. 10

8. Virginia Tech

Record: 23-4

Previous: No. 12

9. Oregon State

Record: 21-4

Previous: No. 11

10. Kansas State

Record: 22-4

Previous: No. 7

11. Colorado

Record: 20-5

Previous: No. 8

12. UCLA

Record: 20-5

Previous: No. 12

13. LSU

Record: 21-4

Previous: No. 13 

14. Indiana

Record: 21-3

Previous: No. 14

15. UConn 

Record: 23-5* (won Monday vs. Creighton) 

Previous: No. 11

16. Gonzaga

Record: 26-2

Previous: No. 17

17. Syracuse

Record: 22-4

Previous: No. 19

18. Utah

Record: 19-7

Previous: No. 22

19. Notre Dame

Record: 18-6

Previous: No. 16

20. Louisville

Record: 21-6

Previous: No. 18

21. Creighton

Record: 21-4* (lost Monday at UConn) 

Previous: No. 20

22. West Virginia

Record: 22-3

Previous: No. 25

23. Oklahoma

Record: 18-7

Previous: No. 23

24. Baylor

Record: 19-6

Previous: No. 21

25. Princeton

Record: 20-3

Previous: No. 25