Bentley ascends to top spot in USA Today Top 25; Ashland falls to No. 3
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Undefeated Bentley ascended to the No. 1 spot in this week's USA Today Coaches' Poll after being ranked second since the preseason.
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Bentley (23-0) is one of two remaining unbeatens in Division II. The Falcons took over the top ranking from Ashland, which was upset by Findlay on Thursday for its first loss since last year's national championship game.
Bentley received 24 of 32 first-place votes and a total of 792 points. Clayton State jumped one spot to become No. 2 and Ashland slipped to third.
This is the second time in the Falcons' history that they have topped the poll. The first number one ranking came Nov. 29, 2011 and coach Barbara Stevens' team maintained the top position in the next two polls.
This year's Bentley team has clinched a tie for a third consecutive Northeast-10 Conference regular-season title and can wrap up the championship outright with a win in any of its three remaining games, or if Stonehill loses. The Falcons own victories against three teams currently ranked in the top 15: No. 6 Holy Family (78-64), 14th-ranked Stonehill (66-50) and 15th-ranked Dowling (59-54).
Bentley is making its 28th consecutive appearance in the top 10, the longest current streak in DII.