Queens ranked No. 1 in Division II basketball poll

The Royals won twice last week to improve to 15-0 for the second straight season

Queens University's Todd Withers scores two of his 16 points in the Royals' 76-74 exhibition loss to Wake Forest on Nov. 3 (Queensathletics.com photo)

For the first time in school history, the Queens University basketball team is ranked No. 1 in the nation among Division II schools.

  The Royals received 13 of a possible 16 first place votes in the NABC/Division II national poll that was released on Tuesday. The Charlotte-based school won twice last week, beating Wingate and Mars Hill to improve to 15-0 for the second straight season.

  Queens moved up one spot from last week when defending national champion Northwest Missouri State suffered its first loss of the season. Bellarmine, which received the other three first place votes, West Liberty, Northwest Missouri State and Lincoln Memorial make up the rest of the top five.

  The Royals showed how formidable they can be by outscoring Wake Forest by 10 in the second half before losing a narrow 76-74 decision in an exhibition game at Joel Coliseum on Nov. 3. They are one of five remaining unbeaten teams in Division II and 10 left in all NCAA divisions and are outscoring their opponents by an average of 17.2 points per game. Twelve of their 15 wins have come by double figures.

  Senior forward Todd Withers leds the team in scoring and rebounding at 14.4 points and 8.3 boards per game. Three other players, senior forward Mike Davis (12.1 ppg), senior point guard Ike Augusti (10.9) and senior guard Jalin Alexander (10.9) are also averaging in double figures.

  Queens returns to action Wednesday at Newberry (8-6, 3-4 SAC) before returning home for a showdown against No. 5 Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.