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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | January 12, 2022

Four top-10 losses leads to a shakeup in the latest DII women's basketball Power 10 rankings

Lubbock Christian wins DII women's basketball championship

Things have been a little wild in the second half of the DII women’s basketball season. Not only did Lubbock Christian end 2021 with a loss, dropping the Chaps in the Power 10 rankings, but four more teams in the top of the NCAA.com rankings fell this past week.

RANKINGS: Look back at last week's Power 10

As we’ve said all season long, the top teams have been so evenly matched that one slip up could flip the rankings on its head. That is the case this week, at least kind of: Drury and Fort Hays State cling to the top two spots, but every other spot has changed.

As always, here is the weekly disclaimer: These are my rankings, and mine alone. I pair the basic numbers — like overall record and statistical rankings — with insight from coaches and insiders, and when it gets too close to call, I turn to those analytics — such as strength of schedule, in-region record and RPI to name a few — that the selection committee uses come March. You can expect a new Power 10 every Wednesday until the DII women’s basketball tournament commences.

STARTING FIVE: The first DII women's basketball all-stats team of the season

The DII women’s basketball Power 10 — all games through Jan. 10

No. 1 Drury | Previous: 1

Yes, the mighty Panthers are rolling, winners of 12 in a row and 16-1 on the season. Alas, even the reigning No. 1 nearly stumbled this past week, trailing by 17 at the half at home against Lewis. This is exactly what makes Drury so special: There is simply no quit, as seen in the deciding 32-9 fourth quarter run to seal win No. 16. Kaylee DaMitz has come alive in 2022: The Pittsburg State transfer is averaging 21.0 points per game in four January games.

No. 2 Fort Hays State | Previous: 2

Fort Hays State Athletics Fort Hays State remains at No. 2 in the DII women's basketball Power 10 rankings

The Tigers seem to have put the loss to Nebraska-Kearney in the review mirror and are back on track. They have won the last six games by an average of 31.7 points per game, simply steamrolling the competition. All five starters are scorers with the ball in their hands, but Katie Wagner continues to play at a player-of-the-year level to lead this team. It won’t be easy the rest of January, so we will learn a lot about the Tigers in the next few weeks.

No. 3 Lubbock Christian | Previous: 5

The Chaps dropped a few spots after falling to Texas A&M-Kingsville on New Year’s Eve but have rebounded with two wins in which they allowed 82 points — that’s an average of 41 points per game for those not inclined to do math. This is a top-10 scoring defense, allowing just 50.9 points per game, and despite the two early season losses, they are still No. 1 or 2 in the South Central Region in the numbers the selection committee will be looking at come tournament time. A matchup with the former No. 3 team, Texas A&M-Commerce, awaits Thursday.

2021 STORYLINES: 10 things you missed from the fall of 2021

No. 4 Western Washington | Previous: 5

Of the four remaining undefeated teams in DII women’s basketball, Western Washington is the only one to have played a combined schedule with a plus-.500 winning percentage. That’s not to take anything away from the other three, undefeated is undefeated, but the Vikings deserve extra recognition for that. There isn’t much new to report as the Vikings haven’t played in January, but we’re hoping the Jan. 20 bout against Alaska Anchorage is a go.

No. 5 Glenville State | Previous: 7

Glenville State is also one of the four remaining undefeated teams in DII, and now you have a little insight as to why the Pioneers are right behind Western Washington. Still, this team is as steady as it comes the past few years and may be in the best position of the four to remain undefeated in the regular season. The Pioneers lead all levels of women’s basketball, scoring 100.8 points per game, which is more than both DI and DII men’s basketball as well.

HISTORY: The programs with the most titles

No. 6 Alaska Anchorage | Previous: First five out

Alaska-Anchorage Athletics Alaska Anchorage is back in the DII women's basketball Power 10 rankings.

This is the first of a couple spots I expect to be questioned on, so here’s why the Seawolves make such a huge jump. Last week, I said a return to action could mean a return to the top 10. Alaska Anchorage responded by winning a close one. So, with all the losses in the Power 10 this week, you must go to the details. The bottom line is the Seawolves have played the 28th-toughest schedule in DII, there are less than a handful of teams with a better RPI and their performance indicator is among the highest in the division. This team can flat out ball.

No. 7 Ashland | Previous: 9

Ashland keeps trucking along, and now sit at 12-1 on the year and a perfect 7-0 in the G-MAC. As in the past with the record-setting Ashland teams, this version has some exciting depth with four players in the starting five scoring more than 10 points per game. Ashland has the second-best scoring offense in its conference paired with a top scoring defense — which is fueled by the best turnover margin. This formula tends to be a pretty nice combo and typically results in many wins.

No. 8 North Georgia | Previous: First five out

The Nighthawks return to the top-10 thanks to a huge victory over then-No. 4 Lander. It was as tight as it could be between these two heavyweights, but North Georgia prevailed 69-68. The Nighthawks were led by none other than Julianne Sutton and Caroline Martin, two players that have been the spark plug for a couple of seasons now. With Lander still hot on their trail, the Nighthawks must keep winning to remain in the top 10.

No. 9 Lander | Previous: 4

The loss to North Georgia dropped the Bearcats five spots. However, with the Nighthawks being right outside the Power 10 combined with the loss coming by a mere point, it simply wasn’t enough to drop them much further. This team still has one of the best 1-2 punches in the land in Zamiya Passmore and Makaila Cange and, despite the loss, remains either No. 1 or 2 in most categories in the Southeast Region.

No. 10 Grand Valley State |Previous: First five out

Grand Valley State Athletics Grand Valley State is back in the DII women's basketball Power 10.

I bump the Lakers back in the top 10, and while I expect some to disagree, it is well deserved. This team is 12-1 and winners of seven straight, has played a schedule with a combined .536 winning percentage and is third in the Midwest Region in most of the selection criteria. That’s impressive when you consider Drury and Ashland are Nos. 1 and 2. The Lakers are a very good team in a tough region, so getting out to this start is valuable come selection time.

TOURNEY FAQ: The essential guide to the DII women's basketball championship

First six out (in alphabetical order):

Southwestern Oklahoma State Athletics Southwest Oklahoma State continues to climb the DII women's basketball rankings.

Due to a tie, the traditional “first five out” is a little heavier this week.

Azusa Pacific: Win, win and win some more. The Cougars lone blemish on their 9-1 record is Western Washington earlier this season, so they remain locked down in the "first five out" until someone can beat them.

Colorado School of Mines: The Orediggers eke out a spot past their RMAC rival Colorado Mesa simply because they have played more games against DII competition. Well, that and they have done it very well, sitting at 12-1.

Eckerd: The Tritons jumped into the Power 10 after a big victory over Tampa last week but slip back out this week after picking up their first loss of the season to Florida Southern. They are still arguably the best team in the South Region.

Nebraska-Kearney: The Lopers picked up their second loss of the season, dropping them from the top 10. The loss came to Central Missouri, who is very good, and it was also a battle to the finish. This team took down Fort Hays State and is still good enough to do it again.

Texas A&M-Commerce: The Lions lost its only official Lone Star Conference game to a West Texas A&M team that is surging in conference play. They now must try and get back in the win column against Lubbock Christian. That is no easy task.

Southwestern Oklahoma State: Too many people forgot about the Bulldogs after their 1-2 start, but those two losses were to Drury and West Texas A&M. They haven’t lost since, and with wins over Central Missouri, Washburn and Pittsburg State, they are not only perfect in GAC play, but the Central Region as well.

Five teams you better start paying attention to: Colorado Mesa, Kutztown, Savannah State, Shepherd, Wingate

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