Feb. 24, 2010

By Amy Farnum

Gannon University took over the No. 1 spot in the latest USA Today ESPN Division II Top 25 as the Lady Knights after previously top-ranked Franklin Pierce suffered its first loss of the season last week.

It is the first time in program history that Gannon has earned a No. 1 ranking in women’s basketball.   At 28-0, the Lady Knights boast the second-longest winning streak in all divisions, behind only Division I Connecticut’s 66-game stretch.  They are the only remaining unbeaten in Division II basketball, and have already clinched Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division regular season title.

Gannon will put its’ No. 1 ranking to the test and undefeated record against Mercyhurst on Feb. 24.  The Lady Knights have won 11 straight on their home court. Gannon ranks third in the nation with a 21.6 scoring margin, and fifth in Division II with a 48.4 field goal percentage.

  Caldwell College looks to keep its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference playoff hopes alive as the Cougars host Bloomfield University on Feb. 27 in the nationally-televised Division II Game of the Week on CBS College Sports Network at 12 p.m. ET.

The top four teams in both the North and South Divisions of the CACC earn berths in the league tournament beginning March 2.  Bloomfield sits in second place in the North, while Caldwell is in a three-way tie for third.

Caldwell has won four of its last five games with the help of junior guard Kirsty Leedam, who posted a 26.5 scoring average last week for the Cougars.  Leedham, the younger sister of Franklin Pierce’s Johannah Leedman – the nation’s leading scorer at 26.8 ppg, was named ECAC Player of the Week for her contributions.  Kirsty leads the Cougars with 19.3 points per game.

Fans can watch the Caldwell-Bloomfield match-up live on NCAA.com here:

GOTTA HAVE HOPE:  Washburn University’s Hope Gregory garnered Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Player of the Week honors for her outstanding play in two league victories that gave the Lady Blues a half-game lead in the conference standings.

The junior from Cheney, Kan., averaged 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, tallying game-high totals of 18 and 16 points, respectively, in wins over Missouri Southern State and Pittsburg State last week.  

Gregory and the No. 11 Lady Blues travel to Emporia State on Feb. 24 for the 80th Turnpike Tussle against the No. 9 Hornets.  The winner will be rewarded with the MIAA regular season title and No. 1 seed in the league tournament.

CLIMBING THE HILL: Seton Hill stretched its winning streak to 11 games with a 69-62 victory over Shepherd on Feb. 22 while remaining in contention for the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season title.  

The Griffins, who are receiving votes in the USA Today ESPN Division II Top 25 poll, will conclude their schedule against Fairmont State on Feb. 27.  Seton Hill and Fairmont State are the league’s top two schools in scoring defense, allowing 60.7 and 60.9 points per game, respectively.
West Virginia Wesleyan currently has the lead in the WVIAC standings, but has two games remaining on its’ schedule against Ohio Valley and Glenville State.