BOWLING GREEN — WKU Lady Topper basketball is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Rankings, coming in at number 24 in the nation as the team continues an impressive streak that has seen the Lady Toppers win 13 straight and their last 11 games by double digits, all by at least 14 points.
WKU's 13-game winning streak is tied for the sixth longest streak in the nation entering Sunday's games. WKU will look for their first 14-game or better streak since the 2002-03 season when they return to the court on Thursday. WKU has just four streaks in program history of 14 consecutive wins or better. The school record is a 21-game streak during the 1990-91 season. WKU's 13 straight wins are tied for the eighth longest streak in Conference USA history.
WKU is now 16-2 or better through 18 games for the fourth time in program history and for the first time since 1994-95 when the Lady Toppers were 17-1. WKU is also 5-0 to begin conference play for the second time in three seasons and for the ninth time in program history.
The Lady Toppers returned to the poll after a one-week hiatus after a rare drop from the poll despite not losing a game. WKU's drop from the poll last week marked just the fifth time since 2000 that a team had dropped out of the rankings without losing. It also happened to Gonzaga earlier this season, Toledo in 2013, Arkansas in 2007 and Arkansas State in 2000, according to STATS.
Prior to their Jan. 5 ranking, WKU was last ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll during the final rankings of the 1997-98 season. The Lady Toppers have finished the season ranked in the AP Top 25 poll nine times, including two top 10 finishes. WKU's best finish came in 1985-86 when the Lady Toppers finished the season ranked fifth after a trip to the Final Four.
All-time, this week's appearance in the AP Top 25 poll is the Lady Toppers' 178th in program history. The Lady Toppers have climbed their way into the rankings this season after earning votes in each poll this season.
With an 80-43 win over Florida Atlantic and a 81-42 win over FIU last week, WKU won consecutive games and consecutive conference games by at least 30 points last week for the first time since the 2007-08 season. WKU is the first team from Conference USA to win multiple league games by 37 or more points in the same season since 2004-05 when DePaul won two games by at least 37 points each and is the third team in Conference USA history to win consecutive league games by at least 37 points and the first since the 2001-02 season when Cincinnati accomplished the feat.
WKU held a double-digit lead in both games before the opponent even scored, holding a 21-0 lead against Florida Atlantic and a 13-0 lead vs. FIU. In the end, WKU held opponents to 43 and 42 points this week.
The Lady Toppers return to the court on Thursday to begin a two-game Texas road swing, the first of two for the Lady Toppers this season. WKU faces UTEP on Thursday, Jan. 22, at p.m. in El Paso, Texas, before traveling to San Antonio, Texas, the hometown of Alexis Govan, to face UTSA on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m.
WKU's only past meeting with UTEP came during the 2007-08 season when the Miners were ranked No. 23 in the nation in the Associated Press poll.
Following the two-game road swing in the Lone Star State, WKU returns home for a pair of games with Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss. WKU faces the Lady Techsters for the first time in four years on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports through the Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network. WKU then hosts Southern Miss on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m.