Women's college hoops Top 25 poll: How Yahoo Sports voted after Thanksgiving tournaments

South Carolina guard Bree Hall drives past Mississippi Valley State forward Aaliyah Duranham during their game Friday in Columbia, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

The annual Feast Week of college games during Thanksgiving break featured losses by nine teams in the Associated Press Top 25. Two teams lost back-to-back games at their events.

The only teams in the top 10 to lose were then-No. 3 Colorado and then-No. 6 UConn, so the top of the rankings are somewhat similar to weeks past. I am an AP voter this season and will share my ballot weekly with team results and reasonings for movement in my rankings. (The full AP poll results are below.)

1. South Carolina (5-0)

The Gamecocks have had plenty of “no typo” games over the past couple of years, but none as wild as their 101-19 victory against Mississippi Valley State on Friday. They’re defeating opponents (which have included Notre Dame and Maryland) by a whopping 51.6 points on average, best in Division I. Utah is second in average margin, at a distant 44.7 points per game. South Carolina is averaging 100.4 points through five games (ranking third), allowing an average of 48.8 points.

2. UCLA (6-0)

The Bruins beat UConn 78-60 for their first win against the Huskies in program history. It easily cements their spot near the top of the rankings and pushes them above Stanford for keeping Paige Bueckers at bay enough to earn the victory. Kiki Rice had 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. The Bruins led by as many as 23 points.

3. Stanford (7-0)

Stanford earned a significant win against Florida State 100-88 with more massive outings from Cameron Brink (19 points, nine rebounds, six blocks) and Kiki Iriafen (30 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, two steals). Brink played 16 minutes while in foul trouble. The Cardinal also defeated Belmont 74-55 and Albany 79-35 this week.

4. Iowa (7-1)

It’s not often that teams play each other twice in November, but Iowa avenged its loss to Kansas State with a 77-70 win Sunday for the Gulf Coast Showcase title. Tournament MVP Caitlin Clark scored 32 points, going 10-of-25 (7-of-16 from 3). More notable for Iowa’s long-term hopes was a double-double by guard Kate Martin (11 points, 10 rebounds) and a full line by guard Molly Davis (13 points, 5-of-9, four rebounds, four assists). The Hawkeyes also defeated Purdue Fort Wayne 98-59 and Florida Gulf Coast 100-62.

5. NC State (7-0)

The Wolfpack added another top-five upset to their season with a 78-60 win over Colorado, which was ranked No. 3 last week. They are one of the nation’s best at cleaning up the defensive glass (35.4 defensive rebounds per game ranks third), and they limited Colorado center Aaronette Vonleh to five points on 2-of-7 shooting with five rebounds. She came into the game averaging 18.3 points on 70.8% shooting with 5.8 RPG.

NC State upset UConn already and did both in dominating fashion to move into the top five.

6. USC (5-0)

The Trojans swept their two games against Seton Hall and Penn State by a combined 11 points. It was freshman JuJu Watkins who saved the day against the Nittany Lions. Penn State led by four with 3:11 to play when Watkins ended the 6½-minute scoring drought with a layup and 3-pointer to put the Trojans back on top. It was the 15th lead change. She added 12 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double.

7. Colorado (6-1)

Colorado’s drop in the rankings comes by way of the Wolfpack. The Buffaloes handled Cincinnati 77-60 and Kentucky 96-53 but were tripped up by NC State in their third game in three days.

8. Virginia Tech (5-1)

Virginia Tech also had a tight go of it last week, with a 59-58 win against Kansas and a 76-70 win against Tulane. Elizabeth Kitley, a 2023 Naismith finalist, had 31 points and 18 rebounds against Kansas. Guard Georgia Amoore led against Tulane with 24 points, shooting 56.3% overall with seven assists and five rebounds.

9. LSU (7-1)

The Tigers remain without Angel Reese, who did not travel to the Cayman Islands. Final Four starting guard Kateri Poole also did not travel, and head coach Kim Mulkey said she would give an update on Poole when they returned to Louisiana. Sophomore forward Sa’Myah Smith, a bright spot in LSU’s first month, injured her right knee in the event’s first game against Niagara, a 99-65 win.

LSU held on to defeat Virginia 76-73, one of only three top-100 NET-ranked teams on its nonconference schedule. Aneesah Morrow had 65 points and 26 rebounds over two games. Next up is a Final Four rematch against Virginia Tech.

10. Utah (5-1)

The Utes played only one game, a 98-34 win over Merrimack. Their defense stepped up and held Merrimack to 15 points in the first half for a 55-15 lead. Head coach Lynne Roberts said afterward that she was impressed by the way the team shared the ball (28 assists on 33 made baskets) and spread around the 3-pointers, but their efficiency could and should be better. They were 17-of-45 (37.8%) but a sixth-best 41.2% on the year. Kennady McQueen’s six 3s tied a career high.

11. Texas (7-0)

Texas notched its largest winning margin of the season 101-39 against High Point on Friday and defeated South Florida 76-44 on Saturday. The defense has allowed fewer than 45 points in five of its seven games, though only South Florida (NET 39) finished 2022-23 ranked better than 113 in NET. I’d like to see them face more top competition before pushing the Longhorns up too high.

12. Connecticut (4-2)

The Huskies are already not having the season they'd hoped for. They were down to 10 healthy players for the Cayman Islands Classic, and a classic Bueckers 31-point scoring day couldn’t save them in a 78-67 loss to UCLA on Friday.

“You can’t beat a really good team with one player,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “It was disappointing that we didn’t get more contributions from more people. Our combinations are all screwed up right now, so that’s got to get sorted out.”

The program announced last week that Azzi Fudd would miss the season due to a knee injury, and Caroline Ducharme has been dealing with concussion issues. The team bounced back to grit out a 71-63 win over a Kansas team that could find itself in the rankings this season.

13. Baylor (5-0)

The Bears' offense scored 217 points in wins against McNeese (124-44) and Alcorn State (93-47). They rank top-10 in various offensive categories and share the ball well, with a 70.2% assist rate, ranking 12th in Division I. They can draw scoring from nearly anywhere on the roster. Four of five starters are averaging double digits (the fifth is at nine PPG), and the sixth player is also in double digits. Nearly all of them are shooting 50% or better.

14. Kansas State (6-1)

The Wildcats added another signature win at the Gulf Coast Showcase by defeating North Carolina 63-56 to set up the championship game rematch with Iowa. Center Ayoka Lee averaged 16 points in the tournament and played more than 30 minutes in each of the final two games as she gets back to full playing time. She had 14 points and 12 rebounds against North Carolina but only seven boards (all on defense) against Iowa.

15. Ohio State (5-1)

It was a three-win week for the Buckeyes against East Carolina (79-55), Oklahoma State (75-57) and Cornell (83-40). They’ve put up at least 10 steals in four of six games and four or more blocks in three games. The one time they shot worse than 40% was their season-opening loss to USC.

16. Notre Dame (5-1)

Even without Olivia Miles, Notre Dame’s offense is averaging a fifth-best 94.5 PPG on a 51.2 field-goal percentage that ranks seventh. They are also one of the best in steals. The Fighting Irish notched wins against Chicago State 113-35 and Ball State 90-59.

17. Florida State (5-1)

The Seminoles earned their largest win margin of the season, beating Northwestern by 38, but then lost their first game of the season. It was to Stanford, a quality team that outmatched Florida State and shouldn’t tank its ranking.

18. Indiana (5-1)

Indiana won both of its Fort Myers Tip-Off games. The Hoosiers beat then-No. 19 Tennessee 71-57 and Princeton 72-63 after the Tigers received votes in the poll last week. Mackenzie Holmes leads one of the nation’s heaviest-assist offenses.

19. Tennessee (4-2)

The Lady Vols split a tough week with a loss to then-No. 21 Indiana 71-57 and a win against then-No. 22 Oklahoma 76-73 in the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Tennessee continues to win the rebounding battle, doing so in five of six games, but forward Rickea Jackson remains out.

20. Mississippi State (8-0)

The Bulldogs won all three games: Clemson 81-78, AR Pine Bluff 77-68 and Tulsa 102-58. The 44-point victory against Tulsa broke a streak of three straight single-digit victories.

21. Ole Miss (6-1)

The Rebels added wins against Michigan 60-49 and Little Rock 58-45. They continue to outrebound opponents and give enough offense to win.

22. Louisville (6-1)

The Cardinals lost to Alabama by five to open their week and bounced back for wins against Liberty 72-63 and Gonzaga 81-70. The Zags are another team that could break into the rankings this season.

23. Washington State (7-1)

The Cougars were off to their best start since 1978-79 before the 59-48 loss to Green Bay in Mexico. They shot 35%, their worst of the season, and were kept to 29 points below their average.

24. Princeton (4-2)

Princeton remains in my rankings after winning against then-No. 22 Oklahoma 77-63 and coming close to upending Indiana but losing 72-63. The Tigers came within six twice in the fourth quarter but couldn’t muster quite enough offense or stop Sara Scalia (28 points) and Holmes (20 points). I still think this is a good team that has come close against top teams.

25. Green Bay (4-2)

Green Bay took down a ranked Creighton team earlier in the season and added a win against then-No. 23 Washington State on Saturday. The Phoenix also came within double digits against Maryland but gave up a 23-15 fourth quarter. Green Bay’s defense is one of the best at forcing turnovers, turning into wins.

Out: North Carolina and Oklahoma each lost back-to-back games last week.

Considered: Alabama (7-1), Gonzaga (6-2), Marquette (6-0).

AP Top 25 Poll (as of Nov. 27)

1. South Carolina (5-0)
2. UCLA (6-0)
3. Stanford (7-0)
4. Iowa (7-1)
5. NC State (7-0)
6. USC (5-0)
7t. LSU (7-1)
7t. Colorado (6-1)
9. Virginia Tech (5-1)
10. Texas (7-0)
11. UConn (4-2)
12. Utah (5-1)
13. Baylor (5-0)
14. Kansas State (6-1)
15. Florida State (5-1)
16. Ohio State (5-1)
17. Indiana (5-1)
18. Notre Dame (5-1)
19. Ole Miss (6-1)
20. Tennessee (4-2)
21. Mississippi State (8-0)
22. Louisville (6-1)
23. Marquette (6-0)
24. North Carolina (5-2)
25. Princeton (4-2)