The DII women's basketball regular season has come to its end. Just like last year, Drury ran the table while Ashland recorded its third perfect run through the regular season in the past four years. It should come as no surprise that they are atop the DII women's Power 10 rankings heading into conference tournament week.
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.
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DII women's basketball Power 10: March 2
(Note: All records and stats through games played Sunday, March 1)
No. 1 Drury | 29-0 | Previous: 1
What can I say about this team. For the second straight season, Molly Miller's squad romped through the regular season undefeated, this time leading DII women's basketball in scoring margin against the 11th-toughest schedule in the entire division. A few weeks back, we wrote how Panthers' star Hailey Diestelkamp was playing her basketball of the season after a record-setting 43-point performance. Well, she outdid herself, setting the new single-game Drury mark with 53 points in the regular-season finale.
No. 2 Ashland | 28-0 | Previous: 2
Three times in the past four years. That's how many undefeated regular seasons the Eagles have pulled off, a run of UConn-esque proportions. Just how balanced is this team? Six players are averaging double-digit points, Renee Stimpert leads DII women's basketball in assists and Hallie Heidmann leads the circuit in 3-point shooting percentage. There are weapons on weapons on weapons and the Eagles are soaring once again.
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No. 3 Hawaii Pacific | 25-1 | Previous: 4
The Sharks leapfrog Grand Valley State in large part thanks to a 23-game winning streak. That's exactly how many wins they had overall last season. Now, while the West may present one of the trickier regional gauntlets, the Sharks seem aptly stacked and prepared. Starr Rivera paces the offense with her 18.4 points per game, but four other Sharks are chipping in double digits a night. They have the same balance on the boards as well, so this is a team that can go far this March.
No. 4 Grand Valley State | 26-2 | Previous: 3
The Lakers senior class — arguably the greatest in program history — finished strong in a 71-46 victory showing why teams need to fear Grand Valley State. That defense is one of the best DII women's basketball has to offer, allowing a mere 49.5 points per game and showing it is for real against DII's best scoring teams. Cassidy Boensch remains the premier center in DII and concluded the regular season with monster numbers once again: 20.1 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game and 91 total blocks.
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No. 5 Lubbock Christian | 25-3 | Previous: 5
And here come the Lady Chaps once again, getting hot at the right moment. This team seems to shine come March, and entering the Lone Star Conference tournament on a nine-game winning streak is trouble for the South Central Region. A Texas A&M-Commerce loss could also put them at No. 1 in the region, giving them the extra momentum they need. Lubbock Christian is another team built on defense and controlling the tempo, something it has been doing extremely well the past few weeks.
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No. 6 Alaska Anchorage | 29-2 | Previous: 9 (tied)
All the Seawolves do is win. With one more, Alaska Anchorage will have its second-straight 30-win season and fourth in the past five years. Of course, the Seawolves are in that West Region that have four legitimate Elite Eight contenders. This is another Power 10 team that finds itself in the top 15 of scoring defense which will no doubt help in the Wild West. Safiyyah Yasin is the leading scorer, but watch for the experienced Yazmeen Goo in March to control the floor for the Seawolves and propel them to victory.
No. 7 Adelphi | 27-2 | Previous: 8
The Panthers continue their climb and continue the impressive turnaround season. They are now 12 wins better than their 2019 15-win campaign and are already semifinals bound in the Northeast-10 championship tournament that got a head start this past weekend. Leonie Edringer is the player to watch here, averaging nearly a double-double a game.
No. 8 Indiana (Pa) | 26-2 | Previous: 9 (tied)
Can the Crimson Hawks make it to the Elite Eight for a third straight season? I'm starting to believe this is a team deep enough to do so. Yet another top 10 scoring defense to make the Power 10, IUP keeps teams off the scoreboard with the second-best field-goal percentage in DII women's basketball. Justina Mascaro and Natalie Myers pace the offense while Myers, Lexi Griggs and Maura D'Anna are powerful presences off the boards. This team is fueled up for another run.
No. 9 Central Missouri | 24-4 | Previous: NR
Let's welcome the Jennies back into the mix. This team nearly swept its way through the MIAA, going 18-1 in conference. They also showed they are one of the few teams in the country that can hang with Drury, losing 57-54 way back in November. Central Missouri may have four losses, but I see it as they have 24 wins against the 10th-toughest schedule in DII women's basketball. Megan Skaggs and Morgan Fleming lead the team in scoring and both average more than five rebounds a game, but also bring that national championship experience that makes this team dangerous.
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10. Minnesota Duluth | 25-5 | Previous: NR
This will come with some debate, and I can understand that. I've dropped Lee and Texas A&M-Commerce from the Power 10 for the first time since December, but the Power 10 is more of a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately rankings. Commerce and Lee have both lost twice in the final weeks of the season and the Bulldogs? They have won 11 in a row playing against the 21st toughest schedule in the division. They too are heading to the semifinals of the NSIC tournament and are two games away from locking up an automatic bid to the NCAA DII tournament.