Claremore Daily Progress

December 12, 2012

RSU men's basketball falls to No. 9 in NAIA poll


CLAREMORE — The Rogers State men’s basketball team slips five spots to No. 9 in the second regular-season edition of the 2012 - 13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office.

The Hillcats fall to No. 9 after a 1-1 week, earning an 88-78 overtime victory over Avila (Kan.) at the Claremore Expo but falling to Northwestern Okla. State 76-70 in Alva, Okla.

With eight first-place votes, Sooner Athletic Conference foe Oklahoma Baptist holds as the No. 1 team in the Top 25 Poll. The defending national runner-up collected 279 total points to be the top program for the second-straight week. The Bison are 10-1 on the season, with the only loss coming at the hands of then-No. 20 Cal State San Marcos on Nov. 30. SAC opponents Science and Arts holds steady at No. 14 while Oklahoma City University is tied at No.22 with Montana State-Northern.

No. 2 Cumberlands (Ky.) remains in the same position as last week with 274 points. The Patriots garner three first-place votes, two more than the last poll, to inch closer to the No. 1 ranking. The perfect 12-0 record puts Cumberlands in a tie with five other teams for the most wins in NAIA Division I.

No. 3 Lee (Tenn.) and fourth-ranked Pikeville (Ky.) also check in with the same ranking as the Dec. 4 edition. The Flames posted 263 points as they have started the season at 11-0. Pikeville is right behind with 250 points as the Bears have the second-highest scoring offense in the NAIA (98.0 ppg).

No. 5 Westmont (Calif.) records 242 points to round out the top five. The Warriors face a tough stretch with a battle against John Brown (Ark.), who is receiving votes this week, on Dec. 18 and then No. 15 Cal State San Marcos on Dec. 19.

No. 17 Bethel (Tenn.) made the best improvement within the poll with a seven-spot leap. The Wildcats are 12-1 overall and rank in the top-10 nationally in 11 statistical categories. Tumbling six spots to No. 15, Cal State San Marcos falls the farthest of teams within the poll.

Life (Ga.) (No. 18), SAGU (Texas) (No. 20) and SAC opponent John Brown (No. 25) all dropped out of the Top 25.

The Mid-South Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each place the most ranked teams of any conference or unaffiliated group with four. The Frontier Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference each boast a triplet of teams. Overall, all 11 conferences and unaffiliated groups are represented this week.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The third regular-season Top 25 will be announced on Jan. 8.