Last week, the three undefeated teams in DII women's basketball stayed that way and in doing so remain locked atop our latest Power 10 rankings. The two schools that made their surprise debuts — No. 9 Central Missouri and No. 10 West Texas A&M — went a combined 4-0 last week. Will they be on the rise?
This week, we continue to also look at how those first regional rankings may unfold come Wednesday, Feb. 19. I'll take a guess each week at who the top seed could be in each of those regions. So, how did we get to these rankings?
In case you are new to the DII women's basketball Power 10, here's what you need to know. These are my 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: Feb. 3
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, Feb. 2.)
No. 1 Drury | 21-0| Previous: 1
What more can we say about head coach Molly Miller's special bunch? The Panthers are 56-1 over the past two seasons, are perfect through January while playing the third-toughest schedule in DII women's basketball, and are winning games by more than 23 points per night. Ok, well, how about this? Senior superstar Hailey Diestelkamp joined the illustrious 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound club this week, the first Panther to ever do so.
This week: Feb. 6 vs. Lewis; Feb. 8 vs. Illinois-Springfield
ALL-STATS STARTING FIVE: Take a look at this lineup of box-score stuffers
No. 2 Ashland | 21-0 | Previous: 2
Another DII powerhouse, the Eagles are up for a big test this week. They'll put their undefeated record on the line against No. 4 Grand Valley State in Allendale, Michigan. And speaking of 2,000-point scorers, Ashland's Jodi Johnson also joined the club this past week adding another accolade to an already impressive career. Ashland is one of the best in the land, scoring 91.7 points per game while holding teams to just 62.4 per night.
This week: Feb. 6 at Davenport; Feb. 8 at Grand Valley State
No. 3 Texas A&M-Commerce | 21-0 | Previous: 3
The Lions kept winning this past week, eclipsing their 2019 win total. They picked up a signature win against Lubbock Christian, using that smothering defense to hold the defending champs to just 54 points. That's been the key to Commerce's perfect run, holding opponents to just 53.4 points per game. When you pair that with the Lone Star Conference's top scoring offense, you can see why the Lions have had so much success this season. We'll see how this team closes out the year, playing more games on the road over their final seven.
This week: Feb. 8 at UT-Tyler
UNDEFEATED TRACKER: Follow the remaining undefeated teams
No. 4 Grand Valley State | 20-1 | Previous: 4
This was a pretty special week for the Lakers. Seniors Cassidy Boensch, Maddie Dailey, Jenn DeBoer, Victoria Hedemark and Jenai LaPorte won their 99th game together setting the program mark for most wins by a single class. They did it in true-Laker style, their No. 3 scoring defense holding Parkside to just 49 points. This is the biggest week of GVSU's season having a chance to avenge their lone loss of the season when No. 2 Ashland comes to town.
This week: Feb. 6 vs. Wayne State (MI); Feb. 8 vs. Ashland
DII BASKETBALL SHOWCASE: The complete schedule and how to watch
No. 5 Lee | 20-1 | Previous: 5
The Flames just keep winning, playing solid offense and sound defense. Lee leads the Gulf South Conference allowing just 54.9 points per game with a plus-19 scoring margin that ranks as the second-best in the conference. This isn't a flashy team by any means, but a balanced one who makes it very tough to score on: their 34.1 percent field-goal defense and 26.9 percent 3-point defense is tops in the conference.
This week: Feb. 6 vs. Montevallo; Feb. 8 vs. West Alabama
No. 6 Indiana (Pa) | 20-1 | Previous: 6
The Crimson Hawks are now 15-0 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and have won 18 in a row since an early-season loss to Glenville State. They are fueled by the PSAC's best scoring defense, which is a huge advantage in a conference full of DII women's basketball's most prolific scorers. To show how dominant IUP has been in conference play, its plus-19 scoring margin is tops in the conference...by nearly 10 points per game.
This week: Feb. 8 vs. Slippery Rock
No. 7 Hawaii Pacific | 20-1 | Previous: 8
The Sharks climb for the third-straight week, thanks to a signature win against Concordia (CA) by nine points. Hawaii Pacific has a week off to refocus for its run through the PacWest. The Sharks have the top scoring team in the conference, dropping in 83.3 points per night. Starr Rivera leads the way with 17.8 points per game, but Abbey Noblett, Amy Baum, Alysha Marcucci and Ally Bates all contribute more than 10 points per game.
This week: None
TOURNAMENT PREP: How the DII women's basketball championship works
No. 8 Central Missouri | 17-3 | Previous: 9
The Jennies have now won 14 in a row and have yet to lose in the MIAA, so it's safe to assume the early-season cobwebs are gone. This past week, they eked out a close four-point victory against an Emporia State team receiving votes before beating Washburn while celebrating 50 years as a program. The Jennies allowed a season-high 68 points this past weekend, which is pretty remarkable if you think about it. No one has scored 70 points on the MIAA's second-best defense this season.
This week: Feb. 6 at Northwest Missouri State; Feb. 8 at Missouri Western
No. 9 West Texas A&M | 20-3 | Previous: 10
Another team we have ranked reasonably higher than in the polls, the Lady Buffs added two more wins this past week, extending their winning streak to 12. Despite Lubbock Christian dropping out of our Power 10 this week, a win against the Lady Chaps this week would put the division well in hand for West Texas A&M who has yet to lose in Lone Star Conference play this season. For all the talk about Texas A&M-Commerce's defense, it's actually the Lady Buffs D that is the best in the conference, allowing just 49.8 points per game. That's tough for anyone to beat.
This week: Feb. 6 at Lubbock Christian; Feb. 8 at Angelo State
No. 10 Benedict | 19-2 | Previous: NR
Welcome to the top-10 party, Tigers. Benedict came into the season as one of our sleepers thanks to superstar Ay'Anna Bey. Well, both have delivered: Benedict has won 14 in a row and Bey is leading her team in scoring (16.6 ppg) while pulling down 9.5 rebounds with a team-high 26 blocks. The Tigers are scoring 75 points per game while allowing just 57.5 per game – both rank second-best in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
This week: Feb. 3 vs. Fort Valley State; Feb. 8 at Fort Valley State
In the conversation (in alphabetical order):
- Alaska Anchorage
- Azusa Pacific
- Lubbock Christian
- Sioux Falls
- Virginia Union
DII women's basketball regional rankings: Who's No. 1?
If the regional rankings were released today, here's who I think would be the No. 1 team in each of the eight regions.
- Atlantic: Indiana (Pa). Virginia Union dropped another game this past week, giving the Crimson Hawks a little more of a cushion up top.
- Central: Central Missouri. The Jennies take the top spot thanks to playing an opposing schedule with a .575 winning percentage, the 29th toughest in DII women's basketball. Sioux Falls is right there, so a loss by Central Missouri will shake this region up quickly.
- East: Adelphi. Much like last week, there are a lot of teams — USciences, Saint Anselm, Bentley, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and even Daemen — in the mix, but Adelphi is 20-2 against a pretty tough schedule.
- Midwest: Drury. The Ashland/Grand Valley State matchup will decide who's No. 2 after this weekend, but this is Panthers country...for now.
- South Central: Texas A&M-Commerce. A stacked conference, but the Lions are the only team that's 21-0.
- South: Lee. Benedict is inching closer, but Lee has been doing it all year long. This is the Flames region for the time being.
- Southeast: Anderson (SC). I had them right behind North Georgia last week, and the Nighthawks split their two games while the Trojans won both. This should go back and forth a few times.
- West: Hawaii Pacific. Ah, the wild west. This is going to be a fun one down the stretch with Azusa Pacific and Alaska Anchorage hot on the Sharks tail, but right now, thanks to a slightly tougher schedule, the Sharks hold the top spot.