LILBURN, Ga – The Women's Basketball Coaches Association released its final poll of 2017 Thursday afternoon as Carson-Newman, ranked fifth, achieved its highest ranking as a Division II member and became the fourth South Atlantic Conference school to be ranked in the top five.
"I've been around Carson-Newman for several years now," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey stated. "I've been a part of some really good teams. The things that are going right now – sometimes I walk into the gym and I jokingly say 'I have to pinch myself' to think that we have all of the players that we have. They're really talented and the way that they have bought in. It's nice to see things come together the way that they have. As a coach I have been telling recruits for years that this is what we want to do. To see it come to fruition in my seventh year is nice to see."
In the history of the SAC, Presbyterian reached the highest mark in February 2000 when it was ranked fourth for two weeks. Tusculum earned a No. 5 ranking in January 2009 and Lincoln Memorial was fifth for a week in late January and early February 2017.
Mincey's unit is one of eight remaining undefeated teams in the nation holding a flawless 13-0 record, more wins than any other Division II club – tied with Azuza Pacific (13-2). It is the third time in program history that C-N has started 13-0 in a season. In 2009-10, the Lady Eagles rattled off 16 straight wins to open the season rising to eighth in the country in the poll.
The No. 5 ranking surpasses the previous record mark as a member of Division II set last week as sixth. According to the record book, the highest ranking the program has ever reached was third during its NAIA days. The school finished the year with the No. 3 ranking during a 27-8 season in 1981-82 and following a 32-3 campaign in 1984-85.
It has been a steady rise for Mike Mincey's unit starting with a No. 19 ranking in the poll released on Nov. 21. Since that, Carson-Newman has been ranked 15th, eighth, sixth and now fifth.
Of the 32 statistical areas listed in the official NCAA records, C-N is in the top 10 in 13 separate areas and in the top five in eight categories. The Lady Eagles are third in the country in scoring at 96.6 with the fourth-best scoring margin at 28.5.
Following Christmas, Carson-Newman will play a home game against King (Tenn.) on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.. The Lady Eagles beat the Tornado in Bristol, Tenn. 80-52 on Nov. 15. Broadcast coverage starts at 1:45 p.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off" on the Eagle Sports Network. Radio action can be found on 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) with video and audio streams available on cneagles.com/live.
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