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South Carolina keeps grip on No. 1 in AP women’s poll as top teams stumble; Kansas State up to No. 2

South Carolina remained the clear No. 1 team in the country and No. 2 Kansas State matched its best ranking ever after a chaotic week that saw nearly half of the AP Top 25 lose at least one game.

The Gamecocks received all 35 first-place votes in the latest Associated Press women’s basketball poll after their 76-70 road victory over then-No. 9 LSU.

While Dawn Staley’s team stayed unbeaten, many other top schools stumbled. LSU was one of five top 10 teams to lose a game last week. Overall, a dozen ranked teams had at least one defeat.

Kansas State now has its highest ranking since Nov. 25, 2002. The Wildcats have won 15 straight games, the last few without star center Ayoka Lee. She is sidelined for a few more weeks with an ankle injury. Kansas State has a tough stretch ahead with games at Oklahoma and Texas.

Iowa moved back up to third as Caitlin Clark moved closer to the all-time scoring record in women’s college basketball. She is in fourth place with 3,389 points and could pass Jackie Stiles (3,393) and Kelsey Mitchell (3,402) in the Hawkeyes’ next game at Northwestern. She is 138 points behind Kelsey Plum’s record mark of 3,527.

Stanford and North Carolina State followed Iowa in the poll. Colorado, which split a pair of games in Oregon, fell three spots to sixth. UCLA dropped five places to seventh after an overtime loss to Utah and a defeat at home to Washington State.

Ohio State vaulted up four spots to eighth while LSU stayed put at nine. Indiana was 10th.

UConn and Texas, which both were in the top 10 last week, lost to Notre Dame and Oklahoma, respectively. The Huskies dropped three places to 11 and Texas two spots to 12th.

RISING TIGERS

Princeton re-entered the poll at No. 25 while riding a 10-game winning streak. The Tigers, who were ranked for one week in November, are 15-3 on the season with losses to UCLA, Indiana and Rhode Island. Princeton plays at Yale and Brown this weekend. The Tigers replaced Florida State in the rankings. The Seminoles lost to Duke by 42 points.

CLIMBING BEAVERS

Oregon State jumped up seven spots to No. 18 after a stellar weekend with victories over Colorado and Utah. The Beavers, who had their first top-five win since 2019 in the victory over the then-No. 3 Buffaloes, have won five of their last six games. They play rival Oregon in their lone contest this week.