Tampa rises, 4 teams debut in a new-look DII women’s Power 10 rankings

It’s been a wild two weeks since the last DII women’s basketball Power 10 rankings. Ashland and Drury have cemented themselves atop the rankings amid torrid winning streaks. Everyone else? Well, all but Tampa lost at least one game.

LOOK BACK: Check out the previous Power 10 rankings

With so much up and down over the past two weeks, we certainly have some changes. Three teams make their all-time Power 10 debut this week while another makes its season debut. It was easily the most difficult Power 10 I have ever had to contend with in my years of doing this. I’m sure there will be plenty of (welcome) debate.

Before we jump into the rankings, I need to give a quick shoutout to West Virginia State. The Yellow Jackets, who finished a respectable 18-11 last year, are off to an impressive 15-2 start. They locked down a pair of huge conference wins this past week, downing defending champion and nationally ranked Glenville State and No. 20 Charleston (WV) in a three-day span. Their efforts see them jump from out of nowhere to the “First five out” this week.

The fourth DII women’s Power 10 rankings of the regular season (Note: All games through Jan. 22)

No. 1 Ashland | Previous: 1: There are two undefeated teams in DII women’s basketball, and Ashland is one of them (more on the other in a bit). They have played a pretty tough schedule at that, defeating a strength of schedule with a combined .555 winning percentage. Ashland is fueled by the third-best scoring offense, averaging 86.6 points per game, leading to the second-best average margin of victory at a whopping 26.6 points per game. This team is checking off all the boxes.

No. 2 Drury | Previous: 2: The Panthers are also checking those same boxes, now winners of 14 in a row since their November loss to Ashland. They’ve really only played one close game since that loss, winning games by more than 20 points a contest. The Big Three of Kaylee DaMitz-Holt, Alana Findley and Terrion Moore are an absolute matchup nightmare and give the Panthers a monster advantage in GLVC play.

No. 3 Tampa | Previous: 7: The Spartans did two things no one else ahead of them in the previous Power 10 did: Not lose a game and downed a fellow Power 10 team. It may have been by a mere two points, but defeating Eckerd was a big victory and adds to an already impressive resume. They are one basket away from a 19-0 record dropping that three-point stunner to Palm Beach Atlantic in overtime to close out 2022. With wins over Eckerd, then-nationally ranked West Texas A&M, and a 17-2 Nova Southeastern team that has been receiving votes in national polls, Tampa has the resume to back the big jump this week.

No. 4 Cal State Dominguez Hills | Previous: First five out: The Toros make their DII women’s basketball Power 10 debut, sitting at an impressive 18-0 against a strength of schedule well above .500. Their most recent one-point victory over nationally ranked conference foe Cal State San Marcos was tremendous, giving this team its second win over a top-25 team since Dec. 18. Just 13-12 a year ago, this turnaround has come from both ends of the court, as the Toros are winning games by 20.6 points per game, a top-10 mark in the division.

No. 5 Central Missouri | Previous 3: The Jennies did lose but benefit from several things. For one, they have played a really tough schedule. Secondly, the first loss was against a Missouri Western team that is much better than its record and I had ranked in the top 15 this preseason. Finally, almost every other top team lost, so there isn’t very far to fall. Look, basketball isn’t football. Undefeated runs are fun, but the MIAA is stacked; teams are going to lose. The Jennies are hardly any worse for it.

No. 6 Western Washington | Previous: 5: Much in the same vein as Central Missouri, yes, the Vikings did lose, but with many others losing, their resume is still a very good one. They have played the 28th-toughest schedule in DII women’s basketball, so a 14-2 record is nothing to scoff at. There is plenty of basketball left, meaningful basketball at that, and this is the time of year that Western Washington turns it on.

No. 7 Glenville State | Previous: 4: I already mentioned the Pioneers dropped a loss to the surging West Virginia State Yellow Jackets, but it was by a mere point, so all is not lost. It is somewhat worrisome that Glenville State’s two losses have come to the two teams it must contend with in the MEC, but this team is the defending champs for a reason: fast defense and great coaching. The Pioneers are already back in the win column, but the Feb. 22 showdown against Charleston (WV) will be huge.

No. 8 Minnesota Duluth | Previous: Not ranked: This is the Bulldogs first appearance in the Power 10 this season, but not all the time. Minnesota Duluth was considered for the preseason Power 10, but a slow start saw it slip a bit. Thirteen straight wins later in a deep region and the Bulldogs are cooking once again. Perhaps most impressive is that they are rolling against the seventh-toughest strength of schedule in DII women’s basketball. Brooke Olson is putting up a player-of-the-year campaign, scoring 20.3 points and ripping down 7.2 rebounds per game.

ALL-STATS TEAM: A dream starting five of the best stats through December

No. 9 Michigan Tech | Previous: Not ranked: The Midwest is once again incredibly strong and deep. The Huskies were handed a massive loss to Ashland at the end of December and Michigan Tech has responded with six straight wins, five of which were pretty decisive and the most recent was downing Grand Valley State in a tightly contested basketball game and knocking the Lakers from the Power 10. Keep an eye on Alex Rondorf who is averaging nearly a double-double per game and will be key down the stretch. We won’t have to wait too long for the rematch as the Huskies head to Grand Valley State on Feb. 9.

No. 10 Texas Woman’s | Previous: Not ranked: One of the teams making their all-time Power 10 debut, the Pioneers are now 17-1. They are coming off a game in which they went 19-for-19 from the free throw line to down three-time national champion Lubbock Christian. That’s one game after defeating nationally ranked West Texas A&M by 10. Now, Texas Woman’s hasn’t played the toughest schedule yet, but now that it is in the heart of it, the Pioneers are really showing what they are made of.

DII WOMEN’S HOOPS CENTRAL: News, stats, history and scores

First five out (in alphabetical order)

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Eckerd
  • Georgia Southwestern
  • Grand Valley State
  • West Virginia State

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