Amy Hughes,

The University of Miami women’s basketball team has won 17 consecutive games, tied for the longest streak in the nation (with Duke) and the team moved up to No. 17 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

The ‘Canes (18-1) current 17-game winning streak is the second-best in program history and tied with No. 3 Duke for the nation’s longest current streak. The Hurricanes 4-0 start in conference play is its first since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004.

Head coach Ketie Meier’s team posted home victories over ACC foes Clemson and Boston College last week. The team was led by junior guards Riguna Williams and Shenise Johnson. The pair are the ACC’s top two scorers, averaging 20.9 and 19.1 points per game, respectively, and rank 12th and 25th nationally in points per game. Williams earned her third ACC Player of the Week honor of the season, scoring a combined 62 points in the wins over the Tigers and Eagles.

The Hurricanes’ No. 17 ranking is the highest since they held the same spot in the Jan. 26, 2004, poll. Statistically, they lead the country in steals per game (15.6) and rank second in turnover margin (10.0) through games of Jan. 16.

Need to Know 

• Division III’s top team, Amherst, lost its first game of the 2010-11 season. The Lord Jeffs fell to seventh-ranked Keane 85-82 in overtime Jan. 11. Amherst rebounded with dominant victories over Connecticut College and Wesleyan and are now 15-1 (2-0 NESCAC). No. 2 Hope (15-0) looks to take over the top spot when a new poll is released Tuesday.

• There will also be a new team atop the Division II poll as last week’s No. 1, Delta State, fell to unranked Harding by a 69-66 score on Saturday night in Searcy, Ark. Second-ranked Lander remained undefeated with wins against UNC Pembroke and North Georgia last week.

• Oral Roberts has topped the century mark three times this season, most recently with a 115-75 win against Southern Utah on Monday night in the Mabee Center in Tulsa. It was the 10th time in program history Oral Roberts had surpassed 110 points.

• A game-high 26 points by Pam Wilson helped the Northwood women’s basketball team to a 63-48 upset win at No. 13 Grand Valley State on Wednesday. Northwood forced 21 Grand Valley turnovers and converted them into 22 points. The Timberwolves shot 44 percent (22-of-50) from the field.

• Amy Heffner of Moravian led her team to a 2-0 weekend and was named the Landmark Conference Player of the Week after scoring 34 points with 12 rebounds in a win against Juniata. She had scored 23 points with 13 rebounds the previous night against Susquehanna, adding two blocks and a steal. She shot 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range over the two games.

• Army senior forward Erin Anthony broke the school’s career blocked shots record on Thursday, Jan. 13, in a Patriot League win at Holy Cross (50-47). Anthony, who played all 50 minutes, had five blocks in the game to break the career record of 174 set by Pam Pearson from 1982-85. Army is 8-8 this season, but 2-0 in Patriot League play.

Charleston Southern
Katie Tull

• Charleston Southern got its third Big South conference win on Monday against UNC Asheville, 85-74. Charleston Southern never trailed in the game and senior guard Katie Tull tied the Big South career record for 3-pointers made with 236. She led all scorers with 27 points.

• Penn State freshman Maggie Lucas earned her sixth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor as she led the Nittany Lions to wins against Minnesota and Illinois last week. She averaged 21 points and shot 61 percent from 3-point range to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Lucas had 20 points against Minnesota and 22 against Illinois with eight rebounds against the Illini.

• In a battle between two top-10 Division III teams, No. 11 Washington University (Mo.) topped No. 5 University of Rochester (N.Y.), 101-90 in a double-overtime tangle at the WU Field House in St. Louis. For the victorious Bears, Kathryn Berger and Alex Hoover combined for 50 points in the game with Berger scoring 26 and Hoover contributing 24. Jackie Walker led Rochester with 20 points in the game.

Quick Hits

• Dawn Evans of James Madison continues to lead Division I in scoring with 25.3 points per game through Jan. 16.

• Courtney Hurt of Virginia Commonwealth ranks second with 24.5 points per game and leads Division I with 13.3 rebounds/game.

• Alex Messacar of Lake Forest College was named the Midwest Conference Player of the Week. She made five 3-pointers in each of Lake Forest’s games as her team went 2-1 on the week.

• Stanford junior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 18.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, shooting 65.4 percent (17-for-26) from the floor as the Cardinal swept Washington and Washington State last week. 

• Blanche Alverson of Auburn was named the SEC Player of the Week. The Tigers went 2-0 last week as Alverson averaged 18 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. 

• A total of 17,853 fans attended Tennessee’s game against Vanderbilt last week, the largest Lady Vols crowd this season and largest since Feb. 24, 2008 (vs. Mississippi State).