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SEC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS- 9 JANUARY

Conference play is now well underway and the SEC teams are jockeying for position at the top of the league.

Here are the rankings for games up to and including Tuesday, 9 January 2018.

1: 17-0 Mississippi State (1)

Mississippi State continues to run riot over the bottom half of the league. The first of their two wins this week was their conference home opener where they put on an offensive clinic in routing Arkansas 111-69. The game at Tennessee on January 21 will tell us a lot about the Lady Bulldogs.

2: 15-0 Tennessee (2)

Tennessee kept pace with Mississippi State and remained undefeated with expected wins over Auburn and Vanderbilt at home. They rarely look as dominant as the Bulldogs, but Tennessee also has that January 21 date circled as a battle for first place in the league is upcoming.

3: 14-2 Mizzou (4)

It would be much easier to just Missouri over South Carolina if the Tigers had taken care of business against LSU earlier in the week. Their 83-74 win over the Gamecocks was the most impressive scalp of the SEC season so far, but Missouri cannot afford to have potentially bad losses like the one they took at home to LSU. Clearly junior guard Sophie Cunningham – missing from the LSU game – is the key component of this squad.

4: 13-2 South Carolina (3)

An 88-62 win over Ole Miss in Oxford was supposed to set up South Carolina to hit the road and take down Missouri. Sophie Cunningham though had other ideas and the junior guard scored a game-high 27 points as the usually dominant A’ja Wilson was held to eight points and six rebounds.

5: 13-4 Texas A&M (5)

The Aggies did enough without being outstanding this week as they held home court against an ailing Kentucky team but four points on Thursday. They then traveled to Auburn and beat the Tigers on their home floor 82-73. Khaalia Hillsman was the dominant player in both games, scoring a career-high 31 points at Auburn Arena.

6: 14-2 Georgia (6)

Georgia is another squad that is traveling along nicely, though they were thrown a couple of softballs this week with games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Georgia held those two SEC cellar dwellers to an average of 47 points as their size and strength in the paint is just too much for most teams to handle.

7: 12-4 Alabama (11)

It was a more than solid week for Alabama as they had the best week of any team in the conference outside of the established six. The Crimson Tide took down both Florida and Arkansas on the road, with the 83-76 win over the Hogs in Fayetteville showcasing the toughness that this team can play with when the players are motivated to do so.

8: 10-4 LSU (10)

Faced with playing the No. 5 (South Carolina) and No. 10 (Missouri) teams in the country this week, the Lady Tigers can’t have been expecting much. Then they went on the road to Columbia and outscored Missouri by 15 points in the second quarter on their way to a 69-65 win. This is easily the most confusing win of the SEC season and it is one that the Tigers must build on over the next couple of weeks.

9: 11-5 Ole Miss (7)

The Rebels split their games this week but they will be happy that they at least picked up their first SEC win of the season against Florida. After losing by 26 to South Carolina, being taken to double-overtime by the Gators was a less than ideal Sunday. Winning though was key and the Rebels escaped with the 78=75 victory.

10: 10-5 Auburn (9)

The first of five teams that lost both their games this week is Auburn. The Tigers had to play at No. 7 Tennessee (losing by 11) before hosting No. 19 Texas A&M (losing by nine). Neither game was a blowout, but in neither game did Auburn ever look like they were going to trouble their ranked opponents.

11: 10-6 Arkansas (8)

Arkansas drops back below Auburn because their two losses were not of the “good defeat” variety. Losing to Mississippi State is not something to be ashamed of, but losing by 42 does make it look much, much worse. This was followed by a home loss (83-76) against Alabama in a game that the Razorbacks would expect to win.

12: 8-8 Florida (12)

The Gators have started SEC play 0-3, but their performance in Oxford against Ole Miss at least showed signs of positivity. After outscoring Ole Miss in the fourth quarter 22-12, the Gators eventually fell 78-75 in double overtime. Bouncing back won’t be easy, but the improvement during the game was real.

13: 8-9 Kentucky (13)

It was another week of weirdness for Kentucky as the Lady Wildcats turned in two dramatically different performances. After scoring 70 in a four-point loss to Texas A&M, Kentucky scored a season low 42 points as their offense was completely shut down in a home clash with Georgia.

14: 4-13 Vanderbilt (14)

The Commodores actually put in a better than expected performance on Sunday night in Knoxville against Tennessee. Maybe it was the rivalry game atmosphere, but it took the Lady Vols until the final quarter to finally pull away in their 86-73 win. If Vanderbilt can play like this against the bottom half of the league then there are wins to be had.

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