Hilltoppers move up to No. 2 in poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. After opening the season with a trio of impressive wins, the West Liberty University men’s basketball team moved up to No. 2 on Tuesday in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) first weekly NCAA Division II Top 25 poll of the 2013-14 season.
The poll includes games played through Sunday, Nov. 17.
The Hilltoppers (3-0), who have led the nation in scoring seven of the past eight seasons, have hit the century mark in each of their first three games and are coming off a 141-105 thrashing of Point Park (Pa.) on Monday night that saw Coach Jim Crutchfield’s team drain a school-record 29 3-point field goals.
Metro State, Colo. (2-0) – which knocked off West Liberty in last year’s national semifinals – received 14 of the 16 first-place votes to hang onto the No. 1 spot. The Hilltoppers picked up the other two first-place votes and moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 as Seattle Pacific (4-1), ranked No. 2 in the preseason, suffered an overtime loss to No. 15 Dixie State, Utah and fell all the way to No. 9.
Bellarmine, Ky. (1-0), defending national champion Drury, Mo. (2-0) and Florida Southern (3-0) round out the top five, followed by Midwestern State, Texas (4-0), Western Washington (1-0), Findlay, Ohio (2-0), Seattle Pacific and Northeastern State, Okla. (4-0). Fairmont State and Wheeling Jesuit were the only other Mountain East Conference members receiving votes this week.
West Liberty has been ranked in 52 consecutive NABC Top 25s dating back to the 2009-10 season the longest active streak in the nation and has been ranked in the top 5 for 26 straight polls over the past three years.
Crutchfield and his Hilltoppers put their unbeaten record on the line Saturday afternoon when they take on unbeaten Charleston (3-0) in a mutual MEC opener. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Golden Eagles’ Eddie King Gym the site of West Liberty’s lone regular-season loss a year ago.
NCAA Division II Top 25
(Through games of Sunday, Nov. 17)
1. Metro State, Colo. (14)2-03981
2. WEST LIBERTY (2)2-03833
3. Bellarmine, Ky.1-03714
4. Drury, Mo.2-03358
5. Florida Southern3-03149
6. Midwestern State, Texas4-028813
7. Western Washington1-028010
8. Findlay, Ohio2-026511
9. Seattle Pacific, Wash.4-12562
10. Northeastern State, Okla.3-025417
11. Indiana, Pa.2-024014
12. Minnesota State4-11875
13. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn.2-017715
14. North Alabama3-017523
15. Dixie State, Utah3-0174NR
16. Carson-Newman, Tenn. 2-015022
17. Southern Indiana0-012818
19. Livingstone, N.C.3-011124
20. Fort Lewis, Colo.2-084NR
22. Montevallo, Ala.2-061NR
23. Franklin Pierce, N.H.5-052NR
24. Tarleton State, Texas3-051NR
25. Fort Hays State, Kan.3-045NR
Others receiving votes: East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 31, Colorado School of Mines 27, Benedict (S.C.) 25, Florida Tech 24, Anderson (S.C.) 19, Harding (Ark.) 13, Cal State-San Bernardino 12, Winona State (Minn.) 11, FAIRMONT STATE 10, Lake Erie (Ohio) 8, Cal Poly-Pomona 6, Georgia Southwestern 6, Christian Brothers (Tenn.) 5, St. Cloud State (Minn.) 4, Bentley (Mass.) 3, Cal State-Stanislaus 3, Central Missouri 3, Winston-Salem State (N.C.) 3, Washburn (Kan.) 2, Alabama-Huntsville 1, Dominican (Calif.) 1, Texas A&M-Commerce 1, WHEELING JESUIT 1.