With Lubbock Christian seeing its perfect start to the season come to an end to Eastern New Mexico last week, Drury climbs into the No. 1 spot in the DII women’s basketball Power 10 for the first time since the preseason. In fact, there’s a new look to this week’s rankings as several top 10 teams fell.
In case you are new to the DII women’s basketball Power 10, here’s what you need to know. These are my top 10 rankings, and mine alone. I used some of the same criteria the selection committee uses come NCAA DII tournament time: toughest schedules, wins against ranked opponents and average margin of victory, just to name a few.
Be sure to check back every Monday through the end of the season to see how the Power 10 unfolds.
DII women’s basketball Power 10: Jan. 20
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Jan. 19)
No. 1 Drury | 16-0 | Previous: 2
Drury ran the table in the regular season last year, and at 16-0, it is starting to look like deja vu all over again. The Panthers are stomping their opponents, winning by 22.4 points per game all while playing what has been the seventh-toughest schedule in DII women’s basketball. This starting five is gelling and understands their roles, whether it’s scoring and rebounding like Hailey Diestelkamp does so well or controlling the offensive and defensive tempo that Daejah Bernard adds.
This week: Jan. 20 at Southwest Baptist; Jan. 23 at Indianapolis; Jan. 25 at Bellarmine
ALL-STATS STARTING FIVE: Take a look at this lineup of box-score stuffers
No. 2 Ashland | 17-0 | Previous: 3
The Eagles climb yet another spot, remaining undefeated for another week. Ashland has the third-best scoring average per game scoring 90.6 points per game and hasn’t played many close ones with the third-best scoring margin in DII women’s basketball. When this team’s offense is going like it is, it’s one of the toughest to stop in the Division. Their three seniors — Jodi Johnson, Sara Loomis, and Renee Stimpert — bring plenty of postseason experience to the table as well.
This week: Jan. 23 vs. Northwood, Jan. 25 vs. Saginaw Valley
No. 3 Texas A&M-Commerce | 17-0 | Previous: 4
The Lions are the last of the three remaining perfect teams in DII women’s basketball. Their most recent win was the 500th in program history. Commerce has one of the best defenses in the Division, allowing just 52.2 points per game. Get freshman Dyani Robinson on your radar. She’s second on the team in scoring in a bench role showing how deep this rotation is.
This week: Jan. 23 at Western New Mexico; Jan. 25 at Texas-Permian Basin
UNDEFEATED TRACKER: Follow the remaining undefeated teams
No. 4 Grand Valley State | 14-1 | Previous: 5
The Lakers rebounded from their first loss of the season with three monster wins in a row. That’s what Grand Valley State does, defeating opponents by 26.8 points per game thanks to a defense that allows just 50.6 points per night. Cassidy Boensch continues to pace the Lakers in points and rebounds, but she has a supporting cast that can all score when needed.
This week: Jan. 23 vs. Michigan Tech; Jan. 25 vs. Michigan State
DII BASKETBALL SHOWCASE: The complete schedule and how to watch
No. 5 Alaska Anchorage | 18-1 | Previous: 8
The Seawolves jump three spots this week thanks to big losses inside the Power 10. A DII-best 18 wins will certainly help that rise as well. This defense showed what it was capable of Saturday night in a program-record 47-point victory in which they held Montana State Billings scoreless in the third period. Seniors Safiyyah Yasin and Yazmeen Goo continue to lead the charge.
This week: Jan. 23 at Western Washington; Jan. 2 at Simon Fraser
No. 6 Fort Hays State | 15-2 | Previous: 9
I was higher than most on the Tigers last week and a 32-point victory over then-No. 15 Emporia State keeps them on the rise. Fort Hays State dropped two early games in a row, one of which was a four-point battle against Emporia State, so that loss was clearly avenged. This team is balanced, allowing just 54.7 points per game and beating opponents by 23.7 points per game. Now winners of nine in a row, the Tigers are making a run for the MIAA title.
This week: Jan. 23 at Missouri Western; Jan. 25 at Northwest Missouri State
No. 7 Indiana (Pa) | 16-1 | Previous: NR
The Crimson Hawks are back in the Power 10 winners of the last 14 in a row. The most recent victory was a big one, defeating nationally-ranked, PSAC rival California (Pa) 76-61. Justina Mascaro, Natalie Myers and Lexi Griggs are a dangerous scoring trio, but IUP is another team that is simply tough to score on, surrendering just 52.7 points per game.
This week: Jan. 22 at Pitt-Johnstown; Jan. 25 vs. Seton Hill
PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCHLIST: Keep an eye on these 21 players
No. 8 Lee | 17-1 | Previous: 10
The Flames don’t score a ton of points behind an electric offense, nor do they have high-profile, stat-sheet stuffing DII women’s basketball stat leaders. But all they do is continue to win. Lee has now won six in a row since its stumble against Valdosta State and is all alone atop of the Gulf South, already with one big win over Union, its closest competition atop the standings. A big matchup with Delta State awaits Saturday at home, where the Flames are 10-0 this season.
This week: Jan. 23 vs. Mississippi College; Jan. 25 vs. Delta State
No. 9 Lubbock Christian | 14-2 | Previous: 1
The Lady Chaps dropped two in a row for the first time since Dec. 3 and 8 of 2018. It is a rarity that Lubbock Christian loses twice in a row, so don’t expect it to happen again. In fact, the Lady Chaps only lost once in between those two aberrations. The loss to West Texas A&M hurts — both as a nationally-ranked and Lone Star Conference foe — but they’ll have to regroup quickly: Texas A&M-Commerce awaits on Jan. 30.
This week: Jan. 23 vs. St. Mary’s; Jan. 25 vs. St. Edward’s
TOURNAMENT PREP: How the DII women’s basketball championship works
No. 10 Hawaii Pacific | 16-1 | Previous: NR
The Sharks make their 2019-20 debut in the Power 10, and deservingly so. Their lone loss came to a very solid Sioux Falls team, and they’ve won 12 in a row since. Hawaii Pacific is in firm control of the PacWest for now, fueled by the conference’s best scoring offense. Starr Rivera leads the attack (17.0 points per game, shooting an impressive 48.1 percent from 3) but five Sharks are scoring double-digits a night.
This week: Jan. 21 at Fresno Pacific; Jan. 25 at Holy Names
Sioux Falls was the first out and has as strong a case as any to be in the top 10. If any of the top 10 slips and Sioux Falls keeps reeling off wins, they’ll be back. North Georgia dropped a game this week, preventing their re-entry into the Power 10 but sitting at 14-2 this team is still very dangerous.
Here are the teams to watch (in alphabetical order):
- Anderson (SC)
- North Georgia
- Sioux Falls