There are just a few regular season games left in the DII women’s basketball season before conference tournaments begin. The NCAA tournament fate of many teams will soon be decided, whether it's from big wins of their own or the red-hot play of an opponent.
In DII women’s basketball, there are two undefeated teams and seven more with just one loss. It goes without saying that you don’t want to play No. 1 Drury or No. 2 UC San Diego right now, or a No. 12 Southwestern Oklahoma State team that hasn’t lost since opening night. These five teams, however, are playing some of the hottest basketball in the country right now. Be sure to stay out of their way.
The Trojans had a tough out-of-conference opening to their season. They dropped a one-point heartbreaker on opening night to Clayton State and couldn’t overcome a 10-point first half deficit to Claflin a week later, even though they made it close.
They haven’t lost since.
Anderson has piled up 22 straight wins and sit at 24-2 atop the Southeast in the first regional poll of the season. This team is beyond red-hot. The Trojans are perfect in SAC play and should maintain that momentum right into the NCAA tournament.
Be on the 👀 for these seven women #D2Hoops student-athletes that could possibly DOMINATE on the court come conference and post-season play: https://t.co/QN5649hapW. #NCAAD2 / #MakeItYours 🏀 pic.twitter.com/W339NYeGeD— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) February 21, 2019
It’s not just that Bowie State has won six in a row. The Bulldogs avenged their January loss to No. 13 Virginia Union during this mini-streak by going on the road and beating the Panthers in their own house. Bowie State held the Panthers to just 46 points, their lowest output of the season.
If defense truly wins championships, Bowie State is in a great place. The Bulldogs allow a DII-best 48.1 points per game, thanks in large part to a 32.2 field-goal percentage defense that is second-best in DII, and have proven against the top teams in the CIAA that their defense can hold anyone.
The Seawolves haven’t lost in 2019. Their last loss was on Dec. 1 to Northwest Nazarene, the team they are tied with atop the GNAC. Alaska Anchorage has reeled off 18 straight wins since, winning by a margin of 24.7 points per game.
We’ll find out a lot more about the Seawolves in the final week of the season. They face off against two teams that have already locked up spots in the GNAC tournament, including a rematch with No. 7 Northwest Nazarene on Feb. 28 in a top 10 showdown.
The Pioneers hit a few speed bumps early in the season with losses to Fairmont State and Bellarmine. But this team has been on a rampage ever since, winners of 15 in a row and scoring an unthinkable 104 points per game.
Remember, we’re 26 games into the season. Hampton holds the record for points per game with 98.7 back in 1988 (Ashland came super close last season scoring 98.5 per game), and it accomplished the feat in 34 games. The Pioneers might eventually run into a defense they don't like, but they continue to put up points in a historic manner and could blow right past that record. You don’t want anything to do with them in the postseason.
On Jan. 10, the Argonauts lost 63-52 to Delta State to fall to 4-3 in the Gulf South. Now, they are rolling, winners of all 13 games since, and in second place in the GSC and third in the South region.
UNDEFEATED WATCH: What's left for Drury and UC San Diego
West Florida's defense is stout, allowing less than 60 points per game, but it has an exciting offensive attack as well. The Argos don't simply boast the GSC's leading scorer in Halee Nieman (17.9 points per game), but the second-leading scorer as well in Toni Brewer (17.7 points per game). When an opposing defense can't hone in on one player, that team becomes more dangerous, especially around tourney time.
Three more to watch:
Edinboro: The Fighting Scots are streaking, winners of five straight and No. 6 in the Atlantic. Michaela Barnes and Jontay Walton will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Tarleton State: Yes, the TexAnns recently lost to West Texas A&M, but they did take down the top team in the Lone Star earlier this year. Tarleton has won seven of its last eight, including two huge wins against Eastern New Mexico and Texas A&M-Commerce, both in the South Central Regional rankings.
Carson-Newman: Minus a loss to Anderson, the Eagles have been red-hot since the end of January. This is a team one year removed from the Elite Eight with plenty of familiar faces still in the lineup that got them there. With Haris Price running the show and Kayla Marosites becoming one of the more dominant players in the conference, Carson-Newman should be happy being a little under the radar for the time being.
And a dark horse:
Colorado Christian: The Cougars are just 13-14, but they have an impressive resume. They lost to Northwest Nazarene by just five points early in the season and have handed losses to nationally-ranked Black Hills State and Colorado Mesa, as well as a Westminster team that is second in the RMAC. This is the kind of team that can play the ultimate spoiler if it can just sneak into the conference tournament.