Oh boy. This was the toughest week so far to project the DII women's basketball Power 10. One week after going a perfect 17-0, the top 10 teams combined to go 20-1, that one loss coming when Ashland defeated Grand Valley State in a top-5 matchup. The next five outside the top 10 last week combined to go 11-0, making things very difficult to separate the pack.
One thing we know: Lubbock Christian and Drury are locked in and don't look to be relinquishing the No. 1 or No. 2 spot anytime soon.
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.
ALL-STATS STARTING FIVE: Take a look at this lineup of box-score stuffers
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. 13
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Jan. 12)
No. 1 Lubbock Christian | 14-0 | Previous: 1
Not much has changed from last week. Actually, not much has changed since opening night. The Lady Chaps defense continues to hold its opponents down, having not allowed more than 52 points thus far in 2020. Keep your eyes on Ashton Duncan. The junior is having a breakout season, especially since joining the starting rotation. If she gives Maddi Chitsey and Allie Schulte a third scoring threat, this team is that much more dangerous.
This week: Jan. 16 at Eastern New Mexico; Jan. 18 at West Texas A&M
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No. 2 Drury | 14-0 | Previous: 2
Hailey Diestelkamp is on fire, and that's not good for the Great Lakes Valley Conference. She poured on 37 points with ten rebounds in the latest Panthers victory and hasn't been held below 13 points since Nov. 3. Drury continues to lay on the points, scoring more than 90 in three of its first four games of 2020, while playing solid defense. This team is 1B to Lubbock Christian's 1A.
This week: Jan. 16 at Maryville; Jan. 18 at Missouri S&T
No. 3 Ashland | 15-0 | Previous: 4
The Eagles followed up their huge victory against Grand Valley State with a 101-point outburst on Saturday. Ashland took control of the GLIAC, avenging its two losses to the Lakers with a 77-68 win on Thursday with an impressive 19-9 fourth quarter that sealed the victory. Jodi Johnson heated up with a pair of 20-point performances this past week. When she gets going, Ashland is seemingly unstoppable.
This week: Jan. 16 at Purdue Northwest; Jan. 18 at Parkside
No. 4 Texas A&M-Commerce | 15-0 | Previous: 5
The Lions remain perfect, winning games by 23 points a night and holding their opponents to 51.9 points per game, seventh-best in DII women's basketball. Chania Wright, Alexis Bryant and Dyani Robinson are a tricky Big Three all capable of scoring when the Lions need it most.
This week: Jan. 16 vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith; Jan. 18 vs. Oklahoma Christian
No. 5 Grand Valley State | 14-1 | Previous: 3
I may take some heat for not dropping the Lakers further after their first loss of the season, especially when an undefeated team is ranked lower. But this is still a very good basketball team with a top 25 scoring offense, top 10 scoring defense in No. 3 in scoring margin all while playing a schedule that has a combined .535 winning percentage. Yes, they lost, but Ashland is looking like national-title contenders, and the Lakers held the Eagles to their season-low in points.
This week: Jan.16 vs. Northwood; Jan. 18 at Saginaw Valley State
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No. 6 Virginia Union | 12-1 | Previous: 6
The Panthers had a 3-0 week, holding two of the three to fewer than 50 points. Remarkably, Virginia Union is 4-0 without DII women's basketball's leading scorer — Shareka McNeiil and her 32.1 points per game have yet to play a game in 2020 — which speaks about the depth this team has. It seems like someone else steps up offensively every night.
This week: Jan. 15 Lincoln (PA); Jan. 18 Virginia State
No. 7 Adelphi | 16-0 | Previous: 7
The fifth and final undefeated team on our list had to go to double-overtime in a tight 92-90 win over Southern New Hampshire to remain perfect. This is a huge stretch for Adelphi to prove any doubters wrong, facing off against three of the top four teams in the Northeast Division of the NE-10. The lineup continues to score, now six deep in players that score 9.5 points per game or more.
This week: Jan. 14 vs. Stonehill; Jan. 18 at Saint Anselm
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No. 8 Alaska Anchorage | 16-1 | Previous: 8
Two more double-digit wins for the Seawolves keep them in the Power 10 for yet another week. The defense is allowing just 52.0 points per game while Yazmeen Goo and Safiyyah Yasin pace the offense. They took control of the GNAC with a big win over Northwest Nazarene, handing the Nighthawks their first conference loss.
This week: Jan. 14 at Alaska Fairbanks; Jan. 18 vs. Montana State Billings
The next two spots came down to an almost unthinkable seven teams. It was the closest the Power 10 rankings have come all season. With the previous No. 9 and No. 10 winning all of their games, there was no change this week, but that could be very different come next Monday.
No. 9 Fort Hays State | 13-2 | Previous: 9
I'm certainly a little higher on the Tigers than some of the other polls, but after a three-win week, they aren't going anywhere for now. A huge matchup against Emporia State awaits Wednesday which could change things. The Tigers are led on offense by Belle Barbieri, Jaden Hobbs, Kacey Kennett, and Taylor Rolfs who are all capable of scoring in double digits when needed. This was a top 5 team to start the season, and they are looking the part once again.
This week: Jan. 16 vs. Emporia State; Jan. 18 vs. Washburn
No. 10 Lee | 15-1 | Previous: 10
Another 2-0 week for the Flames — behind a pair of big wins at that — keep Lee clinging to the final spot. Lee has taken advantage of a home-heavy schedule, a perfect 10-0 on their home hardwood, but play two games on the road this week. The Flames can't afford to slip up with five teams waiting to pounce into the top 10.
This week: Jan. 16 at Montevallo; Jan. 18 at West Alabama
Just missed (in alphabetical order):
All five of these teams can make as strong a case to be in the Power 10 as any not mentioned. This was the closest its been all year, and you shouldn't be surprised to see a few of these teams jump in the coming weeks.
- Emporia State: The Hornets have played the toughest schedule in DII women's basketball so far and have a 12-2 record to show for it. A win against Fort Hays State this week would shake things up on Monday.
- Hawaii Pacific: The Sharks have now won one in a row and already have two signature wins against UC San Diego and Azusa Pacific on their resume.
- Indiana (PA): If you yelled at me for not including the Crimson Hawks in the Power 10, I'd understand. This team just continues to win, but doing so against one of the weaker schedules amongst the top teams is the only thing that keeps them out of the top 10.
- North Georgia: The Nighthawks spent some time in the Power 10 and if they can sweep Columbus State (9-2) and Lander (10-3) this week, they will be back in come Monday.
- Sioux Falls: The 15-2 Cougars check some big boxes with a signature win against Hawaii Pacific and handling one of the toughest schedules so far. Another perfect win and it will be hard to ignore them.