The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: Midwest action delivered, as usual, on Wednesday night (1/26/23)

By Riley Zayas, @ZayasRiley

It was yet another action-packed Wednesday night in the world of D3 women’s hoops last evening, and before looking ahead to the weekend, I’m taking a look back on some of my biggest takeaways from the results we saw in yesterday’s contests…

Let me start with the rematch…the showdown…the battle between the MIAA’s best. Yes, Hope and Trine, the longtime rivals met for the second time this year, this time at Trine, and Hope made its presence known, taking the Thunder down, 83-69. Hope led 26-11 after the first quarter and seemed in rhythm all the way through. 11 turnovers isn’t terrible, especially when you have 19 assists, and Claire Baugley was fantastic all evening. The Hope forward played 32 minutes, scoring 22 points with five assists, four rebounds, and two steals, guiding the Flying Dutch on both ends of the floor. This might be the best performance I’ve seen out of Hope all year, bringing back memories of those games from years past, when you would be hyped to see Hope tested against a top-ranked opponent, only to see them prevail by 10 or more. Hope will move up for me in next week’s ballot…I don’t know how high, but they’ll move up.

UW-River Falls provided us our regular Wednesday WIAC upset, as interim head coach Shelby Lyman hed her team in perhaps the biggest home victory for the Falcons this season. Unranked UWRF took down #14 UW-Eau Claire by a sizable 81-70 margin, outscoring the Blugolds in each of the final three quarters after finishing the first tied at 23. UWEC shot above 40%, but struggled from three-point range (27%). The only statistic in which the Falcons really had an advantage, box-score wise, were in terms of shooting percentage (49%) and 3-point percentage (36%). Ultimately, those four more three-pointers could have been the difference, as watching, neither team truly “dominated” the other. In fact, the final score really doesn’t tell just how close this one was.

Speaking of close, I’d be remiss if not to mention the crazy finish in UW-Oshkosh’s battle at UW-Platteville. With under five seconds left in OT, the game tied at 59, UWO was still dribbling atop the key. But then Ava Douglas made a dash towards the rim, trying to get off the Titans’ last shot from closer range. Her shot did not fall in, but she was fouled, and with 0.2 seconds on the clock, went 1/2 from the line, winning the game, 60-59, for Oshkosh. We talk all the time about teams we “wouldn’t want to face in the tournament”…I’m convinced UW-Platteville could win in the NCAA Tournament. I know it might sound crazy, saying that about a sub-.500 team, but I really believe it. Platteville has continued showing up in the big moments (like the win at Whitewater) and has a number of playmakers who are really tough to defend. And for my second hot take, I really think it’s about time Oshkosh is ranked. The quality of the schedule, the wins in WIAC play…it’s all shaping into a great resume at this point in the season.

I mentioned #23 Washington & Jefferson as my dubious pick on Hoopsville last week, and Chatham nearly shocked W&J on its home court last night, with the Presidents narrowly escaping in a 69-66 win. Interestingly enough, Chatham shot just 29% from the field, compared to W&J’s 45%, though they connected on 11 three-pointer’s compared to W&J’s six. But the big number was the turnovers from W&J; 22 to be exact. That led to 24 points for Chatham, and made it a much closer game than anticipated down the stretch.

There was no better defensive performance last night than Whitewater’s, as the #24 Warhawks took it to UW-La Crosse in a game that was not very close at any point, much to my surprise. UWL’s defense had been tremendous through the year, but it was UWW’s defense that looked like the WIAC’s best, not allowing a single UWL player to score double figures in a 66-36 win. The Warhawks never allowed more than 10 points in any one quarter.

Carthage was #103 by Massey, Carroll was #32 entering last night’s CCIW duel at Carroll. Carthage nearly pulled off the upset, leading 69-66 with a few seconds left in regulation. But Brooke Foster came up with a huge three-pointer at the buzzer for Carroll, sending the game into OT. Three straight free throws late in OT allowed Carroll to gain a five-point lead, and hold on for an 82-75 win. There are several teams out there right now, including Whitewater, Chicago, and Millikin, who are rooting for Carroll to keep winning. If Carroll can stay in the win column and end up regionally ranked, it would add another RRO win to those teams’ resumes.

#18 Ohio Northern and #4 Scranton both had their Wednesday games postponed due to heavy winter weather in the region. ONU’s game at Wilmington has been rescheduled for 7 pm EST tonight, and Scranton’s home matchup against Moravian has also be rescheduled for 7 pm EST tonight as well.

Games to watch tonight…

  • ETBU at #22 UMHB (ASC): 6:30 pm EST: WATCH
  • #13 Hardin-Simmons at Sul Ross State (ASC): 6:30 p.m. EST: WATCH
  • Adrian at Calvin (MIAA): 7 pm EST: WATCH

That’s all for today. As for the news on Mary Hardin-Baylor head coach Mark Morefield, who was relieved of his position on Tuesday, I have been able to verify reports that his firing was at least in part due to a November practice incident in which a player went down with a season-ending injury after being rolled upon by a teammate. Morefield then used an expletive twice when addressing the team as to why the injury should not have occurred. That is all we have right now, as verified by sources, but will continue working this. I know several others are as well.

Anyway, hope you have a great day, and as always, feel free to reach out with any questions/comments/feedback you might have. Email is I always enjoy hearing from the readers.


The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: The Judges’ verdict? A massive upset!

January 21, 2023

By Riley Zayas, @ZayasRiley

We’re back after a Friday night that saw some interesting results in the UAA to say the least. You just never know what to expect from these leagues that are seven and eight teams deep. This was something Scott Peterson, Dave McHugh, and I discussed on Hoopsville Thursday night. If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch that yet, there was a lot of WBB represented throughout the entire show, with the D3 WBB Top 25 panel in addition to interviews with Trinity (TX) HC Cameron Hill and Smith HC Lynn Hersey.

Now let’s get into it!

  • Well if there was one surprise of Friday night I did not see coming it was undoubtedly the shocker that took place in a gym in Watham, Massachusetts. That’s where Brandeis, previously 0-3 in UAA play, and just 5-9 overall, took down the nation’s seventh-ranked squad, #7 Rochester, by a score of 77-71. The Judges played their most complete of the season against the Yellowjackets, 13-1 entering the matchup, shooting 53.35% from the field, and outscoring Rochester in the paint, 42-36. They led by as many as 15 with five seconds left in the second quarter, and never allowed Rochester to recclaim the advantage. It seems like sometimes the most pressure on the underdog in that type of an upset situation is when a significant lead is held, because now there is a lead to defend, while knowing the opponent can erase that in the blink of an eye if only given the chance. I’m not going to make a wild claim that Brandeis will go on a tear for the rest of UAA play or anything, but I do think performances like these will help the Judges stay competitive in the league, because they now have added confidence and a sense of “we beat a Top 10 team” every time they step on the floor. Emma Reavis had a team-high 19 points for Brandeis in the win.
  • Case Western Reserve had an upset of its own, taking down a WashU team that had beaten both Chicago and NYU in the past two weeks, 74-64. WashU, who had picked up both of those marquee wins at home, struggled a bit back on the road, though it was not a contest that every got out of hand. In fact, WashU took a 19-15 lead at the end of the opening quarter, and CWRU led by just two at the half. The Spartans extended their lead to five at the end of the third, but it wasn’t until WashU went nearly three minutes without scoring and CWRU took a nine-point lead that the game ever felt out of reach. Isabella Mills was the go-to offensive weapon for the Spartans pouring in 36 points and 11 rebounds. Nobody else on the team had more than nine points in the 10-point win.
  • SUNY New Paltz came away with a key win in the regional rankings conversation, taking down Cortland in Region 3 action, 71-67. Though New Paltz shot just 36.5% compared to Cortland’s 41.9%, the Hawks were 9-of-17 from beyond the arc, which helped greatly. In fact, in almsot every stat cateogry, Cortland ended up with the advantage. But New Paltz converted at the line when it counted, and pulled out its 10th straight win, moving to 9-0 in SUNYAC play. This was a critical contest, as Cortland is the main challenger for the league title right now.

Looking ahead to today…what game’s should you be paying attention to? Here’s a couple

  • #16 UW-Eau Claire at UW-La Crosse, 4 pm EST: UWL has a lot of height in the post, but so does UWEC. If UWL can contain the outside shooting of Jessie Ruden and others, this could be a key home win for the Eagles.
  • New Jersey City at TCNJ, 1 pm EST: The NJAC is anyone’s league to win right now, and despite a very rough start, NJCU seems to be on the right track, with five straight wins. Both NJCU and TCNJ are 7-3 in league play, trailing Ramapo by just a game in the standings. For that reason, both teams will be bringing their best this afternoon.
  • Augustana at Millikin, 3 pm EST: Millikin is 8-0 in CCIW play, and at home in this one, but Augustana has been somewhat unpredictable this year. They have played plenty of tough competition, and recently beat a solid Carroll team, 67-64. I think this could be closer than a lot of people expect. But as long as Millikin wins in this one, they will stay in my ballot for Week 8.
  • UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh, 4 pm EST: Maybe the most critical WIAC duel of the day, both of these teams have cases to be ranked, and more importantly, remain in the WIAC title fight. Even if neither wins the regular season league title, conference tournament seeding is on the line in matchups like these. Both young squads have shown improvement over the course of the year, and have come a long way since first taking the court back in November. This will be a close one, no doubt.
  • Hamilton at Amherst, 3 pm EST: This NESCAC duel could go either way, and I feel like Hamilton is right on the verge of picking up what would be considered a “notable win”. They’ve neatly beaten Baldwin-Wallace, Ithaca, and Babson, already beat Rochester and Tufts, and have a 9-7 record that doesn’t reveal how good they are. If they can take away some things from Williams, Chapman, and Concordia-Moorhead, who all recently beat Amherst, and find ways to score, this could end up as a pivotal win for Hamilton in the NESCAC race. Both Hamilton and Amherst are 2-2 in league play entering this one.

Kept it short on this Saturday morning, but hope you get the chance to watch some great basketball at some point today. There are so many contests playing out from coast-to-coast on this mid-January afternoon. In case you missed it, the Pre-Championship manual was released by the NCAA yesterday morning. I’ll link it below. Until tomorrow’s post, have a great day, God Bless.

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: The D3 WBB Pre-Championship Manual for 2022-23 is out!

Planning to put out a post later tonight/early tomorrow looking at the top games of the day and what we have on tap for Saturday’s slate, but sometimes news comes up that can’t wait. A few minutes ago, I found out that the Pre-Championship manual for 2022-2023 had been released by the NCAA, including some great information about strength of schedule calculations, important dates (including when each regional ranking will be posted), and future NCAA tournament dates.

One notable exclusion is the fact that unlike the men’s manual, there is no regional rankings section in this publication. The men’s manual broke down the number of eligible teams in each region and also noted how many teams from each region would be included in each edition of the rankings. If anyone reading this knows why that was excluded, it’d be much appreciated to have that info.

Still going through all of it now, but wanted to post the link here that way you all can go through it and have it on hand as we get closer and closer to NCAA Tournament selection time. Hope you’re having a great day!



The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: My Week 7 Top 25 ballot…with context

by Riley Zayas

I’m back with another Top 25 ballot breakdown as I look back on the week that was in D3 women’s hoops and prepare to file my ballot for This wasn’t easy, as usual, because of the sheer number of quality teams right now in the division. But here we go… (as always, feel free to comment below or email me at with questions/comments/feedback/thoughts).

  1. Trinity (TX): This is the only easy one of this ballot…Trinity took care of business on the road at Texas Lutheran and Southwestern this past week, putting 125 on the board in Georgetown on Saturday. They’ve been my #1 for the last three ballots and I expect the rest of the panel will join me (and the four others who had them #1 last week) in putting the Tigers in the top spot after NYU’s two losses in UAA play.
  2. Christopher Newport: CNU goes from third to second, and looked incredibly sharp in a 20-point win over a Mary Washington team that is 15-3 and has been receiving votes. The Captains had a close call at Washington & Lee two weeks ago, but by and large have a notable resume that puts them as one of the nation’s top squads. I’ve been impressed by the cohesion of this squad, and at 16-0, CNU has a very good shot to finish the regular season undefeated.
  3. Transylvania: With UT-Dallas now on the rise, having beaten ETBU, it is likely Transy will get at least one regionally-ranked win this season. The defense continues to be, in my opinion, the nation’s best, especially in terms of discipline. The Pioneers won at Mount St. Joseph and Anderson in HCAC action this past week, improving to 16-0.
  4. Scranton: Scranton cracks the top five after being #6 for a few weeks on my ballot. Hope’s loss certainly helped the Lady Royals move up, but the 20-point win over RV Elizabethtown on the 13th gave me a lot of confidence in Scranton’s ability to win in the big moments. Scranton has a nice resume, with a neutral court win over Wartburg, a road win at Catholic, and home victories over Ithaca, Tufts, and ETown.
  5. Smith: In all honesty, if NYU had managed to beat WashU, this is where the Violets would have ended up. But losing twice in the same week, and especially to a team not even in Massey’s Top 30 (WashU) makes it tough for me to drop them just three spots. But Smith, in its own right, has found its way back to the top of my ballot. They were a “dubious” pick for me early on…but now seeing some of the teams they beat, that weren’t considered great wins at the time but are now, really makes them rise in my rankings. Beating Trinity (CT) and Bowdoin back-to-back, not to mention the 16-point road win over a very competitive Hamilton team to lead off this past week, are all really solid wins. Going to have to take a “wait-and-see” approach to Smith in terms of leaving them at #5 for weeks to come, but I’m liking the product that’s being put on the floor.
  6. NYU: The Violets really struggled after entering the week undefeated and ranked No. 1. First came the loss at Chicago early in the week, in which the 14-point margin was the most surprising aspect, then Sunday’s defeat at WashU despite holding a nine-point halftime lead. The weird thing was there were no injuries (at least not any that were apparent). NYU had its regular starting five on the floor for both games. But for the second straight game, there was very little rebounding presence, and WashU did a great job defensively in the second half, winning 57-56.
  7. DeSales: DeSales slides up two spots, now 15-0. Another team I could see going the entire year undefeated, DeSales seems unfazed as MAC play progresses. An 81-37 win over Arcadia is the most recent, 40+ point win for the Bulldogs.
  8. Baldwin Wallace: Because of Hope and NYU’s losses, BW’s loss to an Ohio Northern team I have ranked in the Top 20 doesn’t end up affecting the Yellow Jackets’ ranking at all. I had BW at #8 last week and that’s where they will stay (though I still feel this is a little high). At 14-1, wins over Trine and Hamilton stand out, and while BW has looked a little shaky as of late, I can’t see a good reason to punish a loss that came by two points to a Top 25 team on the road.
  9. Trine: I have two MIAA rivals in consecutive order, as Hope follows at #10. First time this year that I’ve done that on my ballot, I believe. The Thunder were dominant in MIAA play this past week, including a Saturday performance that saw winless Kalamazoo manage just five first-half points and a total of 16 in an 84-16 win for Trine. At 13-3, Trine’s best win remains over Hope, as it came on the road, and saw the Thunder win by double digits.
  10. Hope: The Flying Dutch took their second loss of the year against Albion on Saturday in a pretty shocking result. Albion was clearly the better team on this particular day, winning 69-53. But with that said, I think Hope’s experience level on the roster and overall resume (wins over Calvin, Carnegie Mellon, UW-Eau Claire, losses to Trine, Albion) is enough to keep them in the Top 10 for the time being.
  11. UW-Eau Claire: UWEC doesn’t move in my ballot, though I expect the Blugolds will rise a bit in the overall poll, as they entered this past week ranked #14. At 14-3, UWEC has had its hiccups, losing to Hope, Loras, and UW-Whitewater. But not one of those would be classified as a “bad loss”. Losses are going to happen. It’s a long season. Wins over Trine, UW-Oshkosh and UW-La Crosse stick out to me.
  12. Chicago: The Maroons make a jump of three spots for me, after taking down the nation’s #1 in NYU on Wednesday. It was a very strong effort, especially on the boards, from Chicago, who won 71-57. At 13-1, and playing in a strong UAA, it won’t surprise me if Chicago breaks into the Top 10 at some point down the road.
  13. UW-Whitewater: Whitewater slides back a few spots for me after losing a tight game at UW-Stout on Saturday, but overall, I still really like the Warhawks’ Final Four chances. With nine Massey Top 100 wins, Whitewater belongs in the national conversation. Felt that UWEC and Chicago were more deserving based on what I’ve visually seen, but I still have a lot of confidence in what Whitewater can do come tournament time.
  14. Rochester: Led by Katie Titus, Rochester was dominant in UAA play against Case Western Reserve and Carnegie Mellon in the week that was, winning both by 20+ point margins. A 13-1 team, I’m still waiting to see Rochester face the UAA’s best (NYU, Chicago, WashU), but overall, I’m fairly convinced this is a team that can make a run past the first weekend in March.
  15. Babson: Babson, also a one-loss team, is looking good atop the NEWMAC right now. In the Beavers’ lone game of the week, they took down RV Springfield 75-55 in a convincing victory. Since the loss to Loras just before Christmas, Babson has won its last five. They face Hamilton today in non-conference action in what should be a competitive matchup.
  16. Ohio Northern: ONU took down Baldwin Wallace in a massive victory (not their first) in OAC play early in the week, edging the Yellow Jackets 53-51. 53 is ONU’s lucky number apparently, as the Polar Bears also scored 53 in the upset of Trine back on Nov. 26. As long as ONU keeps winning, it’s very possible the Polar Bears end up winning the OAC regular season title. Kristen Luersman is a fun player to watch, and a matchup issue for opposing post players. She leads the league in rebounds and is second in FG percentage.
  17. Trinity (CT): The last remaining undefeated team in NESCAC play, Trinity has been consistent all season, in my opinion. The only loss in the Bantams’ 15 games came to Smith by three points in overtime, and though a 56-51 win in their only game of the week against Connecticut College wasn’t a significant margin, I continue to be impressed by the defensive effort, allowing just 49.3 points per game.
  18. Puget Sound: The Loggers played a key NWC game that probably didn’t get enough attention against RV Pacific on Friday, winning on the road, 63-51. I can’t say it enough. No matter how highly ranked you are, it’s so hard to win on the road in conference play. PS is deep and has clearly found a rhythm since the loss to Wheaton back in November.
  19. Hardin-Simmons: I got the chance to see HSU up close in Belton in Thursday’s Top 25 matchup against Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Cowgirls showed an ability to adapt, getting to the rim against the UMHB defense, while also maintaining a threat from beyond the three-point arc. Paris Kiser has been an impact transfer, coming from UT-Dallas, and runs the offense so well. This is the team to beat in the ASC right now. Head coach Kendra Whitehead has her squad playing with an enormous amount of poise and confidence.
  20. Loras: The Duhawks’ loss to Luther a week ago doesn’t look all that good, as all three of their losses have come against teams who aren’t ranked above No. 50 by Massey. But the quality of wins Loras has accumulated is outstanding; UW-Eau Claire, Babson, Calvin, UW-Stevens Point, are the top four right now. They took care of business against Dubuque and Neb. Wesleyan this past week, winning by sizable margins in each, warranting a two-spot jump.
  21. UW-Oshkosh: The Titans struggled in the first half of Wednesday’s matchup at UW-Whitewater, but came back to cut the margin somewhat close in the second half, falling by just 10, 66-56. The win I really liked was the 61-53 victory over UW-La Crosse on Saturday at home. UWO might be young, but hung in well against the WIAC’s top defense (statistically speaking). UWL had been very good in taking away scoring opportunities, with a strong post group, but UWO scored 12 more points than the average of UWL’s previous opponents and limited the rebounding margin to +8 in favor of UWL. I thought it was a complete performance from the Titans on both ends of the floor, and they stay comfortably in my Top 25.
  22. Millikin: I said it for a while and it is starting to become evident: with Bailey Coffman on the floor, this is a different Millikin team. They haven’t lost since Nov. 19 (a credit to the maturity and cohesion of this group) and took down a quality Illinois Wesleyan (#41 in Massey) team on the 11th. It seems likely that with the strong SOS and recent play, Millikin will be hosting on the first weekend of the tournament if they keep up the pace.
  23. UW-Stout: Stout surprised many with its exceptional home win over UW-Whitewater on Saturday, and the depth of this squad, composed of several sophomores including do-it-all guard Raegan Sorensen, continues to be evident. I had debated on ranking Stout last week in my Top 25, but ultimately put them at #26. Despite a tough loss to UW-La Crosse earlier in the week, the Whitewater win more than convinced me of Stout’s national standing. The Blue Devils will need to remain consistent in the WIAC, but as of now, I can only see their stock rising, with six Massey Top 100 wins, and several more opportunities to follow.
  24. UW-La Crosse: Yep, back-to-back WIAC teams here at the bottom of my ballot. And yes, UWL did beat Stout on Wednesday. But the Eagles also fell to UW-Oshkosh on Saturday. Sometimes you just can’t figure the WIAC out. I ultimately moved them up one spot after the Stout win, and at 14-3, the record speaks for itself. Outside of the Stout win. La Crosse also has wins over UWSP (#42 Massey) and Carroll (#32 Massey). As I said before, the defense of this team is exceptional in most instances, and in almost every matchup, they’ll be winning the battle on the boards.
  25. Gustavus Adolphus: The Gusties’ resume is tough to figure out. They have some very quality wins (UW-Stout, St. Benedict to name two), and both losses (Bethel and Concordia-Moorhead) actually look pretty good when compared with other teams in that 20-30 range. Ultimately, watching them live, the consistent level of play on both ends of the court impresses me most. They are the MIAC’s top offense and top defense, shooting a league-best 46.1% from the field. Rather than relying on one or two scorers, the ball distribution is excellent, and often spreads out the opposing defense.
  26. Calvin: The Knights were 24th in last week’s poll, and are at the top of my watch list of teams I’m not currently voting for. Gabby Timmer is a tough matchup for any opponent, but Calvin has plenty of other reliable scoring options as well, in Leah Harris (12.7 PPG) and Sydney Cleary (10.9 PPG), just to name two. They’ll get another shot at Hope and Trine on Feb. 8 and 11, respectively. Those will be pivotal contests, because the remainder of Calvin’s Pool C resume will be largely dependent on those two results.
  27. Mary Hardin-Baylor: Yes, for the first time this year, I do not have UMHB on my ballot. As many of you know, I cover UMHB athletics as the managing editor of True To The Cru, and while I do not approach my ballot with bias, it is still tough to leave the Cru out of the Top 25. But the simple fact is that there were teams with better resumes this week, bumping the Crusaders down to #27. They have all the parts and pieces to be a talented team on the national scale, but it’s a matter of putting those pieces together that I am looking to see from UMHB. They have played seven Massey Top 100 opponents this year, and gone 3-4 in those games (UPDATED numbers…apologies for the mistake in the first draft). They’ve been battle tested, and watching them in person so many times, they’re incredibly talented in the backcourt and deep at every position. ASC contender for sure…UMHB still has home games with Massey Top 100 teams in UT-Dallas and ETBU, as well as a road trip to HSU.
  28. Ithaca: With the long break in December, Ithaca went unnoticed as the Bombers resumed play in early January. At 12-2, with wins over Hamilton, Catholic and Cortland St., Ithaca is undoubtedly Region 3’s top team. Will continue to be high on my watch list this coming week.
  29. WashU: The Bears took some losses early on that makes it hard for me to vote them in over another team that has a stronger overall resume, but there isn’t another team in the nation who has done what WashU has in the last two weeks. On Jan. 7, the Bears shocked Chicago, then #10, and yesterday, they roared back from a halftime deficit to beat #1 NYU, 57-56. They head on the road this week to Case Western Reserve and Carnegie Mellon. I’ll be interested to see how they fare away from St. Louis, where they are 2-1 this season.
  30. Emory: Playing in the UAA, there are quite a few opportunities for high-quality (and RRO) wins. Emory is 10-2 right now, 2-1 in the UAA, and battles NYU and Brandeis later this week, followed by Chicago and WashU the next. These will be two huge weeks for Emory, who is #27 by Massey.

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: January 15, 2023: Surprises in the MIAA, WIAC, and NESCAC

By Riley Zayas

Welcome back to this Sunday morning edition of The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops. Wow, is it tough to remember the last time Hope lost to a team not named Trine. But here we are…let’s get into it and what unfolded in yesterday’s action!

  • I tend to always lead off the most surprising result of the day (in my opinion of course), and yesterday it seemed there was no bigger upset than Albion’s 69-53 win over fifth-ranked Hope. What gets me is the margin of victory…16 points! Albion has been near the top of the MIAA with a 6-1 record, but certainly wasn’t on my radar when I looked through yesterday’s slate of games. The defense was outstanding for Abion, holding Hope to just six points in the second quarter and a shooting percentage of 27.3% for the game. Hope did all it could to pull back into it as the second half progressed, but the damage had been done. Another stat that is notable is the assist numbers for both teams; Hope had just six, while Abion had 14. Albion seemed to be moving the ball better, which created higher-percentage shots as the first half progressed, allowing the Britons to gain a massive 31-18 lead at the half. I think Hope stays in the Top 10, though maybe ends up at #9 or #10. They’ll take a hit for sure in the Top 25 tomorrow.
  • But that wasn’t the only surprise yesterday. In the ever-competitive WIAC, UW-Stout took down #13 UW-Whitewater in a thriller, 72-65. It was a one-possession game for all but the final minute of the fourth quarter, and turned out to be perhaps the most competitive game of the afternoon. Stout came up with points on the offensive end time and time again, as the opponents exchanged scores. Stout raced out of the gates in their most impressive quarter, taking a 21-10 lead after the first. Whitewater outscored the Blue Devils by five in each of the next two quarters, before Stout pulled it out in the fourth. I was most impressed by the level of intensity shown from Stout, as there was no panic, and only confidence coming from that entire sideline, even as Whitewater hung in the game, taking the lead midway through the final quarter. The final team stats were relatively even, and Whitewater even shot 92% at the FT line. But Stout came up with a few more shots and a handful of key stops in the final minutes, not to mention going 6-for-6 at the FT line in the final minute. Miss one or two of those and it could’ve been a completely different result with the number of shooters the Warhawks have. Amanda Giesen was fantastic for Stout, scoring 19 points.
  • Sticking with the topic of the WIAC, UW-Oshkosh pulled out a massive 61-53 win over UW-La Crosse, a team I voted at #25 in this past week’s poll. I was responsible for 7 of UWO’s 10 points received in the poll (I had them at #19), and this is why. Though the sub-.500 WIAC record has turned some people off, I believe UWO is just as battle-tested as anyone in the conference (maybe minus Whitewater), and yesterday displayed that, with the Titans fending off the Eagles, even when the lead got down to three midway through the fourth. Oshkosh was so balanced offensively, and the three-point shooting made up for any size disadvantage in the post. UWO was 10-of-26 from beyond the arc, while UWL won the rebounding battle, 31-23. We’ll see where both go from here. Oshkosh, believe it or not, is likely still in the Pool C conversation, but every game is key at this point. UWO travels to UWSP on Wednesday while UWL hosts UWRF.
  • Yesterday I focused a lot on the NESCAC…and I can’t help but bring up the NESCAC again. Because two of the league’s three undefeated teams fell on Saturday, leaving Trinity (CT) alone atop the standings.
  •      Middlebury, after shocking Amherst and Bowdoin in consecutive games, fell by four, 63-59, at Colby, a sub-.500 team. Colby was much better offensively, and frankly, I wonder if Middlebury was just tired from having run up and down with Bowdoin less than 24 hours before. That NESCAC schedule can be rough on your stamina, especially when you have a small rotation.
  •     Tufts was the other one to fall, previously 2-0 in the league, as Hamilton, a team I’ve been high on for a good part of this season, won 59-43. Talk about stamina. Hamilton beat Bates in OT Friday, then came back with a huge home win yesterday. Hamilton is in the midst of one of the toughest stretches of the season for any team in the nation, having played at Ithaca, at Middlebury, at Williams, vs Smith before this weekend. And the Continentals travel to Babson tomorrow. Hamilton dominated Tufts defensively, holding Tufts before 10 points in each of the first two quarters, and Maggie Russell to just six points. Four Hamilton players finished above 10 points in scoring, but the key was getting it done on the defensive end. Hamilton has played so many high quality offenses already that the Continentals were already well prepared for the offensive threat Tufts posed.
  • S/O to my #1, Trinity (TX), who set a program record for points in a quarter, beating Southwestern, 125-89, in Georgetown. Yes, the game was over before it even began as the Tigers put 42 on the board in the opening quarter, shooting 69.6% from the field. Trinity connected on 20 three-pointers, and continues to be a very impressive shooting team. The Tigers are so deep, and play incredibly hard. The national championship game is in Dallas this year, just sayin’…it’d be pretty cool for an in-state team to make it, as Wabash did making the men’s final four last year.
  • Also, S/O to Luther, who could very well be one of those “deep dive” teams we typically talk about on Hoopsville. Sure, the Norse probably won’t end up ranked, but after beating Loras, are certainly in the A-R-C title race at this point. The blowout losses to Simpson and Gustavus Adolphus don’t look great, but they played Stout close early in the year, and have beaten both UW-Platteville and Loras. Luther pulled out an 94-89 double-overtime win in an offensive-dominated duel. Each team had a 32-point scorer, with Kailey Jones putting 32 on the board for Luther, and Kelsea Hurley scoring 32 for Central. Both teams shot above 40% and Jones’ jumper made it a three-point game with 24 seconds left. After missing on the other end, Central was forced to foul and that just about sealed the win for Luther, now 5-2 in the A-R-C.
  • Schreiner won its fourth straight game on the road on Saturday, beating Texas Lutheran in a tight one, 78-71. I’ve said it before, but Schreiner has something special going, and while nobody in the SCAC is competing to the level Trinity is right now, Schreiner is an up-and-coming team that could get the SCAC two tournament bids, maybe not this year, but next. DeMauria Miles had one of the best offensive performances of the day, putting 33 points on the board on 11-of-20 shooting. Also pay attention to TLU. They gave Trinity a bit of a run in the second half of Friday’s game. Another up-and-coming program that isn’t quite there, but on its way.

Alright, going to shift my attention to the UAA and my Top 25 ballot, which I hope to have out much earlier tomorrow than I did last week (we’ll see…). I can tell you Trinity (TX) will stay as my #1 (I know, no big surprise there), but after that, it will be interesting. Until tomorrow’s post, have a great rest of your weekend, enjoy the NFL playoffs, and God Bless.