Lady Eagles edge back into NCCAA basketball top 10 in final week

Talor Ward and the OC Lady Eagles jumped back into the NCCAA top 10 this week.
Talor Ward and the OC Lady Eagles jumped back into the NCCAA top 10 this week.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 5, 2014) – After two weeks outside the National Christian College Athletic Association top 10, Oklahoma Christian ended the regular season by climbing back into the rankings at No. 10.

The NCCAA released its final rankings of the season on Wednesday. The rankings are strictly based on the Burbridge Power Rating, a formula used by the NCCAA to seed regional and national tournaments. OC’s rating this week is 7.154, up from 7.146 the week before.

OC (15-11) lost 50-49 at Newman (Kan.) last Thursday before winning 84-75 at Oklahoma Panhandle State on Saturday. A scheduled home game Sunday against St. Edward’s (Texas) – which could have boosted OC’s rating significantly – wasn’t played because of an approaching winter storm that began impacting the Oklahoma City area late Saturday.

The Lady Eagles had spent the last two weeks just outside the NCCAA top 10 after rising as high as No. 7 earlier this season. Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.), which was in the top 10 last week, fell out of the rankings.

At No. 9, with a Burbridge Rating of 7.173, Southern Nazarene is the highest-ranked team in the NCCAA Central Region, but SNU (12-14) will not play in the regional tournament, which is set for March 13-15 in Bartlesville. OC is the defending regional champion.

Had OC, which went 10-1 at home this season, beaten St. Edward’s, the Lady Eagles would have moved up in the national rankings and positioned themselves better for a potential at-large berth to the NCCAA Championships, should they not win the region title.

This week’s NCCAA top 10 consisted of Lee (Tenn.) at No. 1, followed by Campbellsville (Ky.), Union (Tenn.), Indiana Wesleyan, Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.), Azusa Pacific (Calif.), Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), Hope International (Calif.), Southern Nazarene and OC.

Two other Central Region squads, Colorado Christian (14th) and Mid-America Christian (16th), are bubbling under the top 10. Although the rankings won’t change entering the postseason, the Burbridge ratings could still be adjusted for teams who report regular-season results this week.