Gopher women ranked No. 13

A panel of Division I head coaches apparently wasn't won over by the Gopher women's basketball team's run to the Sweet 16 last season. They're rated No. 13 overall and third in the Big Ten in the season's first ESPN/USA Today poll.

Despite their first taste of postseason success last year – and despite the loss of only one full-time starter – coach Pam Borton's squad hasn't convinced national observers that they're for real. Penn State was ranked No. 8 and Purdue No. 9 in the poll, with Ohio State checking in at No. 15 and Michigan State receiving votes.

Penn State is the defending Big Ten champion, posting a 13-3 mark last year. Minnesota and Purdue tied for second place at 12-4. Penn State also reached the Sweet 16, losing 86-58 at Tennessee, while the Gophers lost to Texas, 73-60, in the West Region semifinals. Purdue reached the East Region final before dropping a 73-64 decision to eventual champion Connecticut.

Minnesota kicks off the 2003-04 season tonight with an exhibition match against Team Concept at 7 p.m. at Williams Arena.

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