Here are the DII women's college basketball games to keep an eye on this weekend.
Ferris State at Ashland | 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 8
Our first game to watch features two teams making their season debut. Ashland and Ferris State were the GLIAC's two division winners in 2019-20 with the Eagles finishing the season as conference champions and perfect on the year with a 31-0 record. Ashland turns the page in 2021, looking to keep up winning ways minus four departed seniors while the Bulldogs attempt to snap one of the longest winning streaks in DII basketball.
For the Eagles, we'll see three new starters and a bevy of freshmen likely alongside Hallie Heidemann and Karlee Pireu. Both Heidemann and Pireu were double-digit scorers and are likely to take on bigger roles this season. Ferris State returns a backcourt of Adrienne Anderson and Mallory McCartney, who combined for 27 points per game last year.
We won't see a WBCA poll until the end of January. This two-game series could be a good indicator of where the Eagles might wind up in the rankings.
Nebraska-Kearney at Central Missouri | 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 9
Heading into the second week of January there are two unbeaten teams left in the MIAA. For now. Come Saturday afternoon, only one will remain and first place will belong to either Nebraska-Kearney or Central Missouri. These are the storylines you hope for at this point in the season, especially when the Lopers and Jennies have been dominant up to this point. Of their 14 total wins, just four are by single digits. And both have primarily established identities as defensive teams.
Central Missouri has been strong defensively, allowing just under 57 points per game. UNK has taken it to another level with a stifling unit that concedes a meager 48.7 points to opponents. The Lopers' leading scorer is Haley Simental at 9.5 points per game. Defense has been the motto in Kearney. But UCM boasts four double-digit scorers, including Gracyen Holden (14.5 points) and Nija Collier (14.4). Points will likely be a premium in this game, though the defensive intensity will be second to none in Warrensburg, MO.
Texas A&M Commerce at Lubbock Christian | Postponed
Editor's note: This game was postponed until Feb. 1 after this article was published. Here's more:
WBB| LCU women's basketball games against Texas A&M-Commerce (@Lion_Athletics) have been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The two involved programs and the Lone Star Conference have agreed to move one of the women's postponed games to February 1, 2021 (time is TBA). pic.twitter.com/SeUVAzZc5L— LCU Chaparrals (@LCUCHAPS) January 8, 2021