Seton Hall enters AP women’s basketball poll for first time since 1995

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Tony Bozzella has had Seton Hall on the rise since he took over the program last season.

Now he’s got the Pirates back in the Top 25 for the first time in nearly 20 years after a convincing 19-point win against then-No. 14 Georgia on Sunday.

Seton Hall came into The Associated Press poll Monday at No. 23 and has matched its best start at 12-1.

The Pirates are riding an 11-game winning streak — the school’s longest since the 1980-81 season.

“That’s fantastic,” Bozzella said when he heard the news of the team making the poll. “It’s a big jump and I hope we play like a Top 25 team on Tuesday night against Butler.”

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The Pirates open conference play against the Bulldogs before a key Big East matchup at St. John’s (N.Y.) on Friday night.

Georgia coach Andy Landers thought the Pirates were a Top 25 team before Monday.

“I think they should have been ranked,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “They got quality wins, no bad losses, beat who they are supposed to beat.”

While Seton Hall moved into the poll, there wasn’t much change up top with most teams taking a break for the holidays. The first 10 teams remained the same with South Carolina leading the way for the sixth consecutive week.

UConn, Texas, Notre Dame and Texas A&M followed the Gamecocks, who had the week off. Baylor, Louisville, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon State and Duke were next. The Blue Devils visit Connecticut on Monday night.

With Georgia losing, there are five unbeaten teams left in women’s basketball led by No. 1 South Carolina. Third-ranked Texas and No. 17 Mississippi State also haven’t lost. Princeton and Akron are the other two undefeated squads.

On the other end of the spectrum, Alabama A&M, Saint Peter’s, UC Santa Barbara and Illinois State are all winless.

While Seton Hall made its first appearance in the Top 25 since Jan. 31, 1995, DePaul came back into the poll this week after falling out seven days ago. It gives the Big East two ranked teams for the first time since the conference split apart two years ago.

Green Bay and West Virginia fell out.

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