Rutgers is back in the AP women’s basketball poll for the first time since 2015.
The Scarlet Knights jumped into the AP Top 25 at No. 21, riding an 11-game winning streak. Rutgers (15-2) was last ranked on March 2, 2015.
With Rutgers’ return, the Big Ten has five teams in the Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 23, 2015. Ohio State is 10th, Maryland 11th, Iowa tied for 18th, Rutgers 21st and Michigan 23rd. The Wolverines (13-4) have lost two of three following their 78-71 overtime loss to No. 10 Ohio State on Sunday.
UConn remains a unanimous choice from the 32-member national media panel after cruised to two easy victories last week. The Huskies were followed in the rankings by Notre Dame, Louisville, Mississippi State and Baylor. Louisville hosts the Irish on Thursday.
South Carolina dropped from fourth to ninth after losing at Missouri on Sunday while the Tigers moved up three spots to 12th. It’s the Gamecocks’ worst ranking since Jan. 20, 2014.
Tennessee, Texas and Oregon are in front of the Gamecocks while Ohio State rounds out the top 10.
Pitts nets weekly honor
Minnesota guard Destiny Pitts, a former Detroit Country Day star, was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for women’s basketball after averaging 18 points and six rebounds and shooting 47.4 percent from 3-point range in two games last week.
It’s her second consecutive freshman of the week honor and fifth this season.