PIKEVILLE – Consecutive losses within the Mid-South Conference last week cost the University of Pikeville 10 places in this week’s national ratings.
The Bears dropped to 17th in the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll.
It is the first time all season the Bears, 19-5, have been out of the Top 10. The previous low rating came in the preseason poll when they were No. 9. UPIKE got as high as No. 2 this season.
Pikeville lost 83-76 on Thursday night at Georgetown and then dropped a 93-90 decision at St. Catharine on Saturday afternoon.
The road gets no easier for the Bears this week. The final home weekend of league play begins Thursday night when No. 3 Lindsey Wilson College brings its 23-2 worksheet to the East Kentucky Expo Center for an 8 p.m. opening tip.
That game will be followed on Saturday by a Senior Day contest against Campbellsville University, which is one of nine teams outside the Top 25 but getting votes in this week’s poll. That game is set for a 4 p.m. tipoff.
After that, the Bears close out the regular season with three road games in five days beginning next Thursday when they visit the University of Rio Grande.
The six teams ranked above the Bears last week all stayed the course. Columbia, Mo., remains the only unbeaten team at 25-0 and is atop the poll. Lee, Tenn., is ahead of Lindsey Wilson, which is followed by John Brown, Ark., Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and Westmont (Calif.).
Cal State San Marcos replaces the Bears in seventh place and is followed by two teams bolting up the poll: No. 8 SAGU (Texas) is up five places while ninth-ranked Faulkner (Ala.) is up from No. 16. Oklahoma Baptist remains 10th.
Georgetown again joins Pikeville and Lindsey Wilson in the poll and used its win over the Bears to catapult nine places to No. 13.
Outside the poll, Campbellsville is joined by Pikeville’s opponent a week from Saturday as Shawnee State continues to get voter support.