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St. John's 25th in AP women's poll, Baylor 1st

St. John's head coach Kim Barnes, right, talks

St. John's head coach Kim Barnes, right, talks with her players late in the second half of a 2011 game in Stanford, Calif. (Mar. 21, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

The writer's have spoken and Baylor is the No.1 team in women's basketball. The Bears, led by 6-8 junior center Brittney Griner, garnered 33 first-place votes. Notre Dame received six first-place votes and was ranked second, followed by Tennessee, Connecticut and Stanford. Reigning national champion Texas A&M came in at No.6 and received a first-place vote.

Locally, St. John's entered the poll at 24. It's the second straight season the Red Storm earned a place in the AP's preseason poll. And it's only the second time in school history. With three starters returning in Da'Shena Stevens, Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith and a talented transfer in Tesia Harris in the fold, the Red Storm is poised to make the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.

Although St. John's is the only local in the top 25, Hofstra figures to be impacted by the poll, too. Two of the Pride's non-conference opponents -St. John's and Gonzaga- are in the top 25. And several others, including Hartford and Marist, were NCAA Tournament teams last season.

A successful outing against those teams would increase the national profile fo the Pride, which returns nearly all of its top players from last season, including AP All-American honorable mention selection Shante Evans.

1. Baylor (33)
2. Notre Dame (6)
3. Tennessee
4. Connecticut
5. Stanford
6. Texas A&M (1)
7. Miami
8. Duke
9. Louisville
10. Georgetown
11. Maryland
12. Penn State
13. Georgia
14. Florida State
15. Oklahoma
16. Rutgers
17. Purdue
18. Kentucky
19. DePaul
20. North Carolina
21. LSU
22. UCLA
23. USC
24. Texas
25. St. John’s

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