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Wayne Cavadi | | February 17, 2023

7 DII women's basketball teams that can shake things up down the stretch

Glenville State wins DII Women's Basketball Championship

March is quickly approaching and that means the madness of the DII women's basketball championship is right around the corner. Thanks to the bi-weekly Power 10 rankings, we all know that the chances of advancing far in the tournament are much better if Ashland, Drury and Texas Woman's aren't standing in your way. 

Even so, there are other teams that aren't currently getting top-20 attention but are also red hot and maybe due to slow starts, are still flying under the radar. Some may finally be getting some of the national attention they deserve, while others are hardly in the regional rankings conversation... but could quickly make a mess of things if they continue to forget how to lose. 

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: 7 teams that surprised us with scorching hot starts 

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Francis Marion

The Patriots came out of the gates very slowly. They were swept at the Conference Carolinas/South Atlantic Conference Challenge, and after eight games were a measly 2-6. The problem for Conference Carolinas is they haven't lost since. Winners of 16 in a row — and with a huge win over conference leader and nationally ranked Belmont Abbey to start February — this team is suddenly taking care of business, with only Ashland, Drury and Texas Woman's having longer win streaks. Teams better figure out how to slow down Lauryn Taylor (pictured) who took down her third-straight CC player of the week.

Southern Nazarene

Southern Nazarene is another team that got off to a slow start, opening the season with consecutive losses against nationally ranked powers Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hays State. By Nov. 18, the Storm was under .500, sitting at 2-3. Since then, they have gone 19-1, and perhaps more impressively, they have done it against the 52nd toughest schedule in DII women's basketball. Georgia Adams leads the scoring attack, but Hannah Giddy has been a welcomed addition: The forward is posting averages of 11.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.8 blocks per game. 

Le Moyne

Le Moyne was projected to be the third-best team in the NE10, so that put them roughly in the middle of the pack for the East Region. Now, amid a 10-game winning streak — which includes a last-minute basket victory over nationally ranked Assumption — Le Moyne is atop the conference and likely the region. This team doesn't score a ton, but has five players that contribute offensively and play solid defense that allows just 56.2 points per game. Why is all this important? Three of the last four East Region champions have come out of the NE10.


This isn't incredibly surprising. The Golden Tigers were a solid squad entering the season, but they are on fire right now. How hot, you ask? Well, they haven't lost in 2023, so that says something. Tuskegee lost its 2022 finale and has been on a 12-game tear ever since, pretty much dominating opponents to a 17.3-scoring margin. Ashiala Jackson is one to watch, averaging just short of a double-double (14.9 points, 9.7 rebounds) per game. The Golden Tigers are now inside the top 25, and with three winnable games heading into the SIAC tournament, they are a formidable force.

West Chester

You have to go back a bit for the last time the Golden Rams were in the NCAA DII tournament. West Chester hasn't danced in March since 2018, so its current 11-game winning streak is certainly the momentum it needs for a chance to propel itself into the bracket. The Golden Rams have played a pretty tough schedule (with a combined opponent winning percentage of .545) so this charge is quite impressive. Also impressive is the fact that they have four scorers averaging at least 13.7 points per game. The Atlantic Region is home to the defending champion Glenville State Pioneers, so March will be no easy task. But West Chester is on a run that could get it the chance it has been waiting for. 


The Bulldogs came out hot with two key regional wins against Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke in the CC/SAC Conference Challenge. However, they hit a rough patch losing five of eight games from mid-December to mid-January. Now, the Bulldogs are back on track and winners of seven in a row, including big victories over rival Lenoir-Rhyne and Mountain Division leader Carson-Newman. Not to mention, all that has happened against the 21st toughest schedule in DII women's basketball. With the newfound momentum, the Bulldogs look to return to the tournament for the second-straight year and the third time in the past four. 

Cal State LA

Cal State LA is a combined 26-29 over the past two seasons and has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2011-12. The Golden Eagles are hoping that changes this year, and are building steam to make it happen. They did recently see their seven-game winning streak snapped (with each win coming by at least 10 points), but do sit at 17-7 a vast improvement from the past two years. Nicole Flennaugh and Lily Buggs lead the way on both sides of the court, but there is no denying this team will have its hands full in the CCAA tournament. A Feb. 18 matchup against Cal State Dominguez Hills will be a good test.

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