February 14, 2023: The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: My Week 11 Top 25 ballot…with context

It’s that time of the week! The Week 11 Top 25 Poll is out and I submitted by ballot yesterday afternoon, which I posted to Twitter. It is crazy to believe we only have two ballots left to submit this year…this season has flown by. A few conference tournaments are starting this week, the rest coming next week. Before postseason action begins, here’s how I saw the Week 11 Top 25, with the ranking for each team in the poll listed in parentheses next to the ranking I gave that team in my ballot. As always, drop your thoughts in the comments section below. Also feel free to shoot me a DM on Twitter (@ZayasRiley) or an email at Always appreciate insight from readers! All the info listed below should be spot-on, but apologies in advance for any flaws. This is not a perfect perspective on the Top 25 by any means. Just one voter’s view of things. As we’ve said so many times this season, there is such a vast number of top quality D3 WBB programs that several great teams will be left off ballots each week.

Side Note: Your D3 hoops viewing schedule tonight should include the rematch between DeSales and Stevens, as DeSales seeks to avenge its only loss of the year. 8 pm EST tip-off in that one. Additionally, Hoopsville had yet another phenomenal show last night with a number of great MBB & WBB interviews that you should certainly check out. Link to that archive is here: And Dave will be on air again Thursday, as Hoopsville is the home of the Top 16 reveal from the MBB and WBB national tournament selection committees. These Top 16 are ideally the 16 who would host in the first weekend of the national tournament if the season ended today. Link to that show will be put out in my Thursday morning post.

Getting to the poll…

The Week 11 Top 25 Poll

Biggest risers: Gustavus Adolphus (+7), Baldwin Wallace (+7)

Biggest drops: Trinity CT (-7), Puget Sound (-5)

ADDITIONS: Loras (#24), Millikin (#25)

SUBTRACTIONS: La Verne (#23), Rochester (#25)

I really liked…that Gustavus Adolphus broke into the Top 15. This is a team that will really do some damage in the NCAA Tournament, and currently has a .913 win percentage and a .529 SOS. Not enough for one of those Top 16 seeds probably, but still pretty exceptional. They continue to separate themselves in the MIAC.

I didn’t like…Messiah sliding all the way up to #13. I will say that middle part of the ballot is a challenge at times, with no good options for a team in that 12-15 range. But Messiah seems to be a team relying on its win percentage rather than the quality of opponents played. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good team, I’ve seen them play. But #13 good? I don’t know about that. Most of their “quality” wins came before Dec. 10, so in late February, that’s a hard argument to make, sliding a team up two spots.

My Ballot

1-Christopher Newport (#1)- The Captains rolled past Salisbury on the road in their lone game of the week. They’re at that No. 1 caliber and likely won’t move out of this spot for me, unless a loss makes me reconsider.

2-Trinity TX (#4)- Trinity bounced back from the loss to Colorado College by trouncing Dallas 109-47, and Austin, 84-40. The Tigers play at home from here on out, with two regular season games left (both at home), then the SCAC Tournament on their campus in the week to follow.

3- -NYU #6)- The Violets made a statement this week, and moved up two spots in my ballot. I debated whether or not to mvoe NYU higher than 5th, but with a statement win over Chicago and another over WashU this weekend, I couldn’t keep them that low.

4-Scranton (#3)- The Lady Royals pulled out a road win at Elizabethtown in overtime in a solid effort and also beat Drew, 54-42, this past week. Two nice wins there. These top 8 or so are very close in margin for me. They could honestly be put in any order, and I’d probably agree, somewhat.

5- Smith (#5)- Smith had a really strong week of its own, winning by a somewhat surprising 74-56 winning margin at Springfield, along with an exceptional 80-67 win over Babson. Smith is now 22-1 and watching them multiple times recently, they appear to be a squad that will make a tournament run.

6-Transylvania (#2)-Transy held Mount St. Joseph and Anderson each below 40 points in two more dominant defensive efforts this past week. I really like the way the Pioneers are playing right now, with an experienced roster, and I expect they will be in the Top 16 on Thursday, despite many of the numbers (such as SOS and results v/RROs) being lower than most of the teams in that conversation.

7-Hope (#7)- Hope took down Calvin in a great game on Wednesday, and held Olivet to just 18 points in Saturday’s win. 18 points! The bottom half of the MIAA is really weak, so from a numbers standpoint, that game actually hurts Hope’s SOS a bit. But what can you do? Overall, the Flying Dutch have a very solid resume, and more than pass the eye test for me. Hope is a national title contender, and I like the depth on the roster as well. That depth will help them tremendously come tournament time.

8-UW-Whitewater (#16)- The Warhawks pick up two more high-quality WIAC wins, taking down Oshkosh and Stout, and after having their struggles throughout the course of the conference schedule, became the first WIAC team to clinch at least a share of the conference title.

9-DeSales (#9)- DeSales dominated against Immaculata and Delaware Valley this past week, and should be in the Top 16 despite a very low SOS. I didn’t move DeSales up or down this week.

10-Hardin-Simmons (#8)- The Cowgirls slide up to 10th after putting 120 points on McMurry in their only game of the week. Kendra Whitehead has her team at top level right now, already locked in to host the final two rounds of the ASC Tournament, along with receiving a quarterfinal round bye.

11-Trine (#15)- I had the Thunder four spots higher than where they ended up in the poll. The win at Calvin on Saturday did it for me. Trine looked composed and played very well in a tough road atmosphere against an experienced and talented Calvin squad. That’s a big win there in addition to the other notable victories they have on their resume currently. However, I think #15 is fair…Massey has them #17.

12-Gustavus Adolphus (#14)- This is a team that continues to impress, and it was nice to see them rewarded with a Top 15 ranking this week. I had them 12th as I came away convinced in the Gusties’ standing as one of the nation’s top squads after Wednesday’s dominant 82-56 win over Concordia-Moorhead, who is in the Pool C conversation and Gustavus’ main challenger in the MIAC. Nobody has been able to slow the Gusties in MIAC play.

13- WashU (#22)- You can’t really fault the loss at NYU. That’s a tough place to play and an even tougher team to beat. They end up sliding down two spots for me, but part of that is me putting Gusty higher, rather than purposely dropping WashU lower. It’s somewhat of a mute point, but for the record, NYU certainly didn’t dominate WashU. The stats were fairly similar and WashU actually led by a solid margin throughout the first half and into the third quarter before NYU closed the gap and won by five. WashU also beat Brandeis this past week, moving to 16-6 overall.

14-Trinity CT (#19)- Trinity knew how tough the end of the NESCAC schedule was, but I’m not sure that many people anticipated Trinity going 1-3 to end the regular season. The Bantams were 0-2 against Bates and Tufts this past weekend, and though both games were competitive, Trinity was unable to get the job done on the road. Naturally, that hurts their ranking ability a little bit, especially as the three losses in their final four games moved them out of first place in the league standings. But I still think this is a team equipped for a deep run. Teams will key in on Reilly Campbell so it’ll be about who can step up around her in that post unit that will have an effect on Trinity’s postseason success. Just my $0.02.

15-Ithaca (#10)- Ithaca hasn’t played many top notch opponents within the last month and a half, but a 21-2 record can’t be easily ignored. I just don’t know how good the Bombers are. Outside of Skidmore (#96 Massey), Ithaca hasn’t played a Massey Top 150 team in their last 10 games. Looking forward to seeing them in a high-quality battle come tournament time.

16-Chicago (#18)- Chicago’s loss at NYU bothered me a little bit. I can understand a 10-point loss, even a 20-point loss. After all, NYU is stellar, and you’re on the road. But Chicago losing 80-44 definitely surprised me on Friday evening. Of course that’s not the only reason I dropped them two spots. Part of it was also Gustavus Adolphus playing really well and Ithaca jumping up in my ballot. Chicago is certainly in the Pool C conversation, but it appears that it’ll be a two-way battle between NYU and WashU for the UAA crown.

17-UW-Oshkosh (RV)- Maybe my most controversial (or questionable) selection of the week. I’ll admit, #17 is somewhat high. By my calculations, all eight points UWO received came from me. That’s ok. The Titans went 0-2 this past week, so I didn’t anticipate they would show up on a lot of ballots. But looking at the total body of work, UWO has an outstanding resume. Wins over Wartburg, DePauw, and Ripon are great in non-conference, and in the WIAC, they’ve beaten La Crosse, Stout, and Eau Claire all at least once. Their Pool C chances seem fairly favorable right now as well.

18-Millikin (#25)-Millikin broke back into the Top 25, though seven spots lower than where I had them. The CCIW’s leader is in a tough Region 8, with WashU, Transylvania, and Chicago all in there. But I don’t think Millikin will be contending for a Pool C on Selection Monday (or “Matchup Monday”, I’ve heard both terms used). They won twice on the road at IWU and Carthage this past week, looking very sharp in both. Head coach Olivia Lett has her squad ready for a tournament run.

19-UW-Eau Claire (RV)- The Blugolds aren’t ranked for the second straight week, and like UWO, I can see why. But applying my similar line of thinking and approach to this ballot, UWEC’s SOS and total body of work cannot be overlooked. Massey has the Blugolds #2 nationally in SOS and while I thought the last five games from UWEC were decent but not outstanding by any means, overall, when I compare UWEC to the rest of the teams in competition for these final six spots in my ballot, I don’t see a better resume or a more dangerous tournament team.

20-Puget Sound (#21)- The tough part about teams with resumes like Puget Sound’s is that one loss can cause some significant ramifications. Though the Loggers had been frequently trailing NWC opponents in the first half of games only to dominate in the second half, Pacific found a way to maintain its lead and shock PS on the Loggers’ home court this past week. I had no choice but to drop them five spots, mostly because other teams were just more deserving. I’m more interested to see how much the loss affects regional rankings in Region 10. It shouldn’t be too much, though R10 has been a roller coaster this year.

21-Wartburg (#20)- Wartburg enters my ballot after yet another 2-0 week, with wins over Central and Buena Vista. The Knights will have a challenge on their hands against the next team in my ballot, Loras, in Saturday’s regular season finale, but haven’t lost since Dec. 20. I’ve watched a bit more of them since they broke into the poll last week and this definitely appears to be a team that will be dangerous in March. They’ll almost certainly have a tough first weekend draw, though, so a tournament run will not come easily.

22-Loras (#24)- The Duhawks, also out of the ARC remain in my ballot, and are back in the poll as well. That’s good to see. Loras has taken a pair of losses in conference action, but since losing to Wartburg on Jan. 18, the Duhawks have rattled off six straight victories. It’s a two-way battle between Wartburg and Loras atop the ARC standings and right now, there isn’t a clear favorite.

23-Babson (#17)- Babson slides down five spots in my ballot, in part due to Wartburg and Loras rising and PS and UWEC sliding further down, but still deserving a higher ranking than Babson from perspective. The Beavers were 1-1 this past week, losing by 13 at Smith, while beating Wellesley. I need to see a bit more of Babson if I’m going to rank the Beavers ahead of a team like UWEC or Puget Sound.

24-Baldwin Wallace (#12)- The Yellow Jackets prevailed in a big way on Wednesday night, taking down ONU in overtime, 66-62. It was a well-executed performance from BW, and though I’m not yet sold on the Yellow Jackets, they have the resume of a Top 25 team in my opinion. I will say it feels a bit too high to have BW at #12 in the poll; Massey has them #24 and Scott Peterson’s model has them #31.

25- Ohio Northern (#11)- I wasn’t sure what to do with ONU. They have an .850 win percentage and .585 SOS but at the same time struggled at times against Capital and John Carroll. I thought they were decent against BW, despite coming away with the loss. Maybe I’m being too harsh on ONU, I don’t know. This is the largest point of difference between my ballot and the poll, with a difference of 14 spots. I’ll reevaluate next week, but it’s really difficult with these teams who have been inconsistent in their last 8-10 games and aren’t generally favored as a Top 25 team by computers, but still have some quality wins and a resume worthy to be in the Top 4 of their region.



28-Mary Hardin-Baylor


30-Rhode Island College

Fell Out: Rochester, Calvin

Back In: Wartburg, Baldwin Wallace

Biggest risers: Gustavus Adolphus (+7), Ithaca (+5), Hardin-Simmons (+3), Millikin (+3)

Biggest drops: Puget Sound (-6), Babson (-5), ONU (-3)

I’ll end it here. Some good games tonight that you’ll want to tune into…livestream/live stat links are always on

And while you’re at it, be sure to share The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops if you, whether it be with a fellow D3 fan, coach, student-athlete or someone else who enjoys D3 WBB. Really trying to bring more attention to this level of women’s college hoops with tournament time literally two weeks away. Have a great day! Subscribe to The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops on Substack:


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

January 10, 2023

By Riley Zayas, @ZayasRiley

Back with another ballot breakdown…this time for Week 6 after a wild week in D3 women’s hoops! Here is how I’m seeing the Top 25 right now…

Trinity (TX): I went back on forth with whether to keep the Tigers #1 or put NYU back in the top spot, but at the end of the day, Trinity’s resume remains stronger at this point in my opinion, with four Massey Top 70 wins compared to just two for NYU. Not to mention, the experience and depth Trinity has continues to make them a very dangerous matchup for any opponent.

NYU: The Violets are still very close to Trinity in a lot of ways, and there’s not a clear No. 1 at this point. Still, Trinity has more quality wins based on Massey’s ratings, and just going on the eye test, I think the Tigers are the better team right now. Will they be next week? Who knows…but right now, that’s how I’m seeing it. NYU has looked good in its key games against Bowdoin and Tufts and there is a very likely chance the Violets will stay No. 1 in the poll this week.

Christopher Newport: I’m sure you’ll be able to find video of this somewhere (or even just on demand on the W&L website), but CNU’s game against W&L yesterday went into double OT with the Captains winning 104-102. But after the first OT it seemed the game was all but over, as CNU went up 93-91 in the final seconds, but a technical foul AFTER the final buzzer against the CNU bench kept W&L alive. Hanna Malik hit back-to-back free throws with no time on the clock, sending it into a second OT. It was one of the more thrilling finishes of the weekend, no doubt. That said, W&L did expose some areas, and because W&L was careful with the ball, it limited CNU’s opportunities to generate turnovers. That will be something to keep an eye on moving forwards.

Transylvania: The defense continues to reign supreme for the Pioneers, who held Defiance to just 40 points on Saturday. Transy has allowed 50 points or more in just two of its 14 games this season. That’s enough for me to slide them up two spots.

Hope: Hope looked good on the road against Olivet and Alma, though neither opponent has more than four wins this season. The Flying Dutch are 13-1, on a four-game win streak, and though Carlee Crabtree is no longer on the roster, freshman Sydney Vis has really stepped up, with 11 points against Olivet. Karsen Karlblom is another freshman who has seen some more minutes as of late.

Scranton: The Lady Royals continue to impress me under the leadership of new head coach Ben O’Brien, winning by 10 on the road at Catholic, who is 10-3, on Saturday. Though Scranton hasn’t played the toughest schedule out there, the Lady Royals have risen to the challenge every time they’ve been faced with a top-quality opponent (ex. Ithaca, Catholic, Wartburg).

Smith: Springfield might not be in its top form right now, having lost two of its last three, but still, for Smith to win against Springfield by 14 on Saturday is an impressive result to me. Watching that one live, I liked how well Smith attacked the boards with 11 offensive rebounds. This is a team that seems to have made great strides over the course of the year, starting out with some unconvincing wins but is playing at a high level right now, on a six-game win streak.

Baldwin-Wallace: BW drops down in my ballot a little bit, after narrowly surviving an overtime upset bid from Mount Union earlier in the week. The Yellowjackets are still 13-0, and have some notable victories, but have now been taken down to the wire twice in the last two weeks against Hamilton and Mount Union. This is a clear Top 10 team, and the margin between Smith and BW seems very thin.

DeSales: DeSales is another undefeated team in my top 10, at 13-0, though I haven’t seen them challenged much yet, which makes it hard to rank them. Their last two results have been 82-18 and 72-30. Talk about playing in one-sided games…

UW-Whitewater: To go to UW-Eau Claire and win with points to spare is very impressive to me, considering the Warhawks barely beat UW-Stevens Point this past Wednesday at home. Having a positive mentality on the road is so key, as Whitewater has now won at UC Santa Cruz and UW-Eau Claire in two quality victories. The defense from UWW was very good against the WIAC’s top shooting team, and puts them back in my top 10.

UW-Eau Claire: Whitewater is now the higher-ranked of the two WIAC teams in my ballot, but not by much. UWEC and UWW have very similar resumes now, though UWEC’s loss on Saturday doesn’t drop the Blugolds a whole lot in my ranking. Keep in mind they still have wins over Trine, Wartburg and UW-La Crosse.

Trine: The Thunder took care of business against St. Mary’s this past week, in a dominant 86-52 win. Their resume remains solid, highlighted by the victory at Hope last month, and I now have three three-loss teams in a row.

Rochester: I really like the 75-66 win at Emory, which came on Saturday. We saw how tough it was to play in Atlanta after Tufts fell to the Eagles by 15 a month ago, and Rochester is now 11-1 after winning there. Katie Titus is on pace to become the nation’s leading scorer, with another 20-plus point performance (26).

Babson: Babson gets bumped up three spots in my ballot after finding a way to down Tufts in a wild finish on the road Sunday. It was quite a game, and came down to the final shot, as the Beavers are now 11-1, having responded well to the Loras loss a couple weeks ago. The 60-51 win on Dec. 30 over Middlebury looks pretty good now after Middlebury beat Amherst on Saturday.

Chicago: WashU, despite battling some injuries, shocked Chicago in St. Louis on Saturday with perhaps the upset of the day. It is the Maroons’ first loss of the year, and I’m only dropping them three spots, despite falling to an unranked opponent (I’m confident there will be voters dropping them five or six spots). Had they played a tougher non-conference slate, the slide may not have been as great as it likely will be, but they also have a big-time win over Whitewater, that remains their only Massey Top 50 victory.

Trinity (CT): I should’ve ranked Trinity last week…there’s no other way to say it. The Bantams were #26 for me last week, but have now jumped into the middle of my ballot. At 13-1, Trinity is one of just two NESCAC teams who are 2-0 in conference play, having edged Bowdoin in a Top 25 matchup on Saturday, 49-43, in an incredible defensive effort.

Puget Sound: PS drops one spot, after struggling majorly in the first half against Willamette, but it was more due to Trinity’s big win over Bowdoin than anything the Loggers did. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from PS throughout the last four weeks or so, and have been impressed by the offensive depth on the roster, with several players who can easily go for 15 or 20 points on any given night.

Ohio Northern: ONU is 12-1, and hasn’t lost since Nov. 22. But it’s not all about just the results. Those are a factor, but not the only factor. Watching ONU live, I really like the grit on the defensive end seen from the Polar Bears. An overtime win over Otterbein was closer than I’d anticipated earlier this week. Once again, it is really hard to win on the road.

UW-Oshkosh: The Titans are another team that goes from unranked to in my Top 20. That’s what happens when you have the amount of parity we have in the division this season, and that’s a good problem for voters to have! Oshkosh has six Top 70 Massey wins right now, a statement only two other programs (UW-Eau Claire and Loras) can make. With a young roster, the Titans started out with a few tough defeats, but have weathered the storm and emerged on the other side, as much in the WIAC title race as anyone.

Hardin-Simmons: The Cowgirls took down McMurry this weekend in a crosstown showdown between the only two schools in the ASC located in the same city. HSU’s offense has been solid throughout its non-conference schedule and into ASC play, at 75.6 PPG and 44.6% shooting from the field (both No. 1 in the ASC). They still have the two losses to Trinity, but have won all the rest. They embark on a five-game road trip over the next three weeks, which will certainly test them.

Loras: After jumping into the Top 20 after being unranked for the entire year last week, the Duhawks dropped their next game to Luther, in a surprising upset. Again, it’s tough to win on the road, no matter who you are. Loras has a super impressive resume, and that game was one of the only times I’ve seen the Duhawks play poorly. They fell back just two spots, and it was more because of Oshkosh moving into my ballot than anything else.

Mary Hardin-Baylor: Another road test…another close result. That’s becoming the theme as I write this ballot breakdown. The Cru trailed by three at UT-Dallas on Saturday with three minutes left, but went on a 7-0 run to close it out, winning 53-49. The defensive effort was top-notch and though they did not score much, UMHB is improving as a collective unit coming off those two losses in San Antonio just before Christmas. We may look back and see that as the turning point of the year come March.

Millikin: Millkin was a team I voted for Week 1 and like Oshkosh, quickly fell out of my ballot. But the Big Blue is back in. Bailey Coffman has recovered from her jaw injury and is contributing off the bench at this point, scoring in double figures despite limited minutes as she works back into the rotation. Coffman, along with Elyse Knudsen, form a 1-2 punch that could end up winning Millikin the CCIW title. Millikin is 11-3, 3-0 in CCIW play at this point. The rough start is far in the rearview mirror for Olivia Lett’s squad.

Gustavus Adolphus: Losing to Bethel, 70-66, hurts the Gusties a fair amount in my ballot, especially as other teams continue to add quality wins. But Gusty is my favorite to win the MIAC title, and somewhat of a dark horse in my opinion. They don’t have any “earth-shattering” victories, but no bad losses either.

UW-La Crosse: This final spot came down to two WIAC programs with very similar resumes: UWL or UW-Stout. At the end of the day, I’m taking UWL, a program that has won its last five. Watching them play, the Eagles can win a bunch of different ways, which is very valuable in a team; they played fast at Chapman and won 74-48, this past Saturday, a defensive battle played out at Stevens Point, and they won 47-45. The defense is very good too, as the only WIAC team with over 100 blocked shots this season and the only team in the league allowing under 50 points per game (49.6).

Going beyond the ballot…here’s who my next five would be




UC Santa Cruz


Bottom line:

-Trinity (TX) stays No. 1 for the third straight week (second with an official ballot)

-Newcomers are: Millikin, UW-Oshkosh, Trinity (CT), UW-La Crosse

-Dropped out: Springfield, UC Santa Cruz, Amherst, Tufts

-Trinity (CT) makes the biggest jump, going from unranked to #16

-Oshkosh also goes from unranked to #19

-Whitewater has reentered the Top 10

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: My Week 5 Top 25 ballot…with context

It’s that time of the week! The new Top 25 poll is set to drop sometime this evening, and though several teams were not in action at all over the last seven days, I do expect some slight changes as voters shuffle their ballot around. Though I don’t anticipate many new teams, if any, we should see the order of teams changed from last week’s poll after a handful of notable results, particularly Trine’s win at Hope and Chicago’s win at Whitewater. As I do every week, for the sake of transparency, and for fun, I have broken down my ballot. So here we go…

  1. NYU: Hope’s home loss to Trine on Saturday wasn’t terrible at all, but it was enough for me to move undefeated NYU into the #1 spot. NYU has played a relatively weak schedule thus far, though the Violets looked really good in their win over Tufts on the road, which gives me confidence in them moving into UAA play. 
  2. Hope: While the loss to Trine is disappointing, let us not forget that Hope still has wins over UW-Eau Claire and Calvin. Wins over IWU and Wisconsin Lutheran were notable early on, but with neither of those teams looking very sharp at this point, the strength of those wins diminishes a bit. 
  3. Transylvania: Transylvania stays #3 in my ballot and took care of business on the road at John Carroll on Saturday. We still haven’t seen the Pioneers truly tested in my opinion, and probably won’t until we reach NCAA Tournament time. 
  4. Trinity (TX): The Tigers have a showdown with #15 Mary Hardin-Baylor tonight in San Antonio in a game that will have concluded before this poll is released. But the game will be played after our voting deadline, so that result will factor into next week’s poll. Regardless, Trinity has looked strong throughout this entire year, and has two notable wins over Hardin-Simmons, one of which came on the road. I don’t see anyone, except maybe Schreiner, challenging Trinity all that much in SCAC play. 
  5. Christopher Newport: CNU dominated against Colorado College in Puerto Rico on Sunday, forcing 30 turnovers. CNU looks sharp once again this year, and with UCSC playing great basketball, and Mary Washington also in the mix, the C2C Tournament should be fairly exciting later this year. CNU hasn’t wavered yet, though we will see how the Captains fare against Cortland today on a neutral court. 
  6. Baldwin-Wallace: The 2OT win over Trine is looking especially good now that Trine beat Hope, and that win, along with victories over Wilmington and at Marietta, boost BW’s resume. The Yellow Jackets stay at No. 6 for me. 
  7. Scranton: Scranton’s win over Ithaca seems to be the one that really jumps out, though we’ll see them play Wartburg later today. Again, a lot of key games will be played late today, so we may see some movement come next week as a result of the results from today and tomorrow. Overall, Scranton has looked sharp to me, despite playing a relatively weak non-conference schedule. 
  8. Amherst: The Top 10 didn’t change much for me, as there were few results to go on. Amherst is looking true to its typical form, playing suffocating defense and relying on that to win games. So far, it’s led to a 7-0 record, though the SOS is lacking. Amherst holds just one notable win over Springfield, and that came by four points back on Nov, 15. 
  9. Babson: Babson gets a really nice test against an underrated Loras team tomorrow in Florida, but didn’t play at all this past week. Still, Babson stays at #9 for me this week, still undefeated, with a 7-0 record. 
  10. UW-Eau Claire: I brought UWEC back to No. 10 as I evaluated them further. The SOS number of the Blugolds of UWEC is a lot better (#8 in Massey SOS) compared to a lot of other Top 15 teams. Now, two losses are on their resume, but those were against Hope and Loras, both on the road. Not to mention wins over Wartburg, River Falls and La Crosse, all Top 40 Massey teams (Wartburg and La Crosse are both Top 20). I’ve seen enough to convince me that UWEC is still the WIAC’s best team right now. 
  11. Trine: Taking down #1 on its home court is huge. And that win for the Thunder will be well-rewarded in this poll. I moved them from #18 to #11, and if they continue playing to the level that they did Saturday, they’ll crack the Top 10 soon enough for me. Why aren’t they Top 10 right now? As I mentioned above, I look at this ballot more from a “total body of work” standpoint than a week-to-week standpoint, if that makes sense. Trine’s win over Hope is super impressive, considering I’ve had Hope at #1 this entire year. But, you can’t forget about the losses to Baldwin-Wallace and Ohio Northern, neither of which are bad losses at all, but in my opinion, are worse losses than UWEC’s. Again, this is one voter’s approach, so I have no problem if you don’t agree with my opinion on this. You could make a case for either UWEC or Trine at #10. 
  12. Springfield: At 9-1, Springfield’s only loss remains to Amherst. The Pride took down a solid Albertus Magnus team by 14 this past week, and I like the direction they are headed. Key matchup to look ahead to will be the Dec. 30 duel with Trinity (CT). Very excited for that one. 
  13. DeSales: Still undefeated, but with only one win on a Massey Top 50 team, DeSales is a program I’m paying close attention to. They looked sharp against Messiah back on Nov. 28, but I don’t know when we’ll see them really tested again. I’m a big believer in rewarding strong SOS as compared to just the W/L record, so putting DeSales 13 makes me somewhat uneasy. Time will tell. 
  14. Smith: Smith has the loss to Framingham State, but wins over Trinity (CT) and Bowdoin that look really good on their resume. I slid them up on spot from last week in my ballot, though I figure they’ll likely be ranked a couple spots higher. 
  15. UW-Whitewater: I went back and forth on putting Whitewater ahead of Chicago or not because Whitewater and Chicago have such similar resumes, though Chicago beat UWW on Wednesday behind a fourth quarter comeback. I tend to avoid placing too much emphasis on the head-to-head wins, because I feel you get a better perspective of a team by looking at their complete resume, rather than just one or two games when they really found a rhythm. Still, it helps a lot in these kinds of situations. Chicago’s best wins have come over Carroll (#42), Wheaton (#50), Whitewater (#11), and Wisconsin Lutheran (#86). Whitewater’s best wins are over Millikin (#21), IL Wesleyan (#30), UW-La Crosse (#16), and Augustana (#51). I don’t think the margin between the two is that large, but for now, Whitewater’s best wins more than make up for the two losses in my opinion. 
  16. Chicago: Reference my thoughts above…
  17. Mary Hardin-Baylor: As some of you know, I run the website True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics, so I’m essentially a beat writer for Crusader sports, and have had several opportunities to see this team in action. I really think they are a Top 15 team, but felt Chicago deserved to move up which bumped UMHB down. However, a good showing in San Antonio tonight and tomorrow, and UMHB might just leap four or five spots up in my ballot since Trinity and Puget Sound are both Top 20 teams. For now, though, SOS-wise, and all things considering with the other teams in my ballot, UMHB is #17. 
  18. Rochester: With Chicago moving up, Rochester, like UMHB, slides back a little bit. I am excited for UAA play to begin, because I think we will have more clarity on both Rochester and Emory by that point. Rochester has some solid wins, having beat Messiah, St. John Fisher, and Ithaca, which gives me a lot of confidence as to how they will perform in a very deep UAA this season. They’re a clear Top 20 team for me.
  19. Puget Sound: The only blemish to Puget Sound’s record is a home loss to Wheaton, who is proving to be a very good team, and the more I watch them play, the more I am convinced PS can win in the NCAA Tournament. They lack strong defense, but can score in bunches and beat Coast Guard by 20 in their lone game of this past week. 
  20. UC Santa Cruz: UCSC moves up three spots in my ballot after shooting the ball very well against Cal Lutheran yesterday in a 75-54 win. The Banana Slugs are set to battle UW-Whitewater tomorrow in what will be a pivotal matchup for us as voters. For now, UCSC is No. 20, but a win tomorrow will put them much higher in my ballot. 
  21. Tufts: Let me make this clear: sliding Tufts down this far won’t be something every voter is doing. Tufts is certainly a quality team. But here’s what concerns me. When Maggie Russell is not on the floor, Tufts tends to struggle in a big way. But from a resume standpoint, I just don’t know. They’ve beaten three Massey Top 100 teams, but zero Top 50 teams, and didn’t look good against Emory or NYU. 
  22. Ithaca: Not much of an update on Ithaca. They don’t play again until January 2. Slightly concerning as that is a long break from their most recent game on Dec. 7. For now, Ithaca stays in my Top 25. We’ll see what the new year brings. 
  23. Hardin-Simmons: HSU drops a little bit in my poll, but not a lot, as the Cowgirls have rolled through their American Southwest Conference schedule. They’ll play Bates on Dec. 29 in Puerto Rico which should be a good resume boost and as I’ve said before, the consecutive losses to Trinity (TX) don’t look great, but I applaud Coach Kendra Whitehead for scheduling that. Her team is certainly better because of it and with PG Paris Kiser back on the floor, HSU is looking sharp. 
  24. Gustavus Adolphus: The Gusties have risen to #6 in Massey’s Ratings, but did not make last week’s Top 25. I’m keeping them at #24, and while Simpson’s continued fall hurts the SOS number a bit, wins over Augsburg, UW-Stout, and St. Benedict look really good right now. I honestly don’t know who in the MIAC will contend with Gustavus Adolphus this season. They’re playing great basketball right now. 
  25. Calvin: Calvin stays in my ballot at #25, though this was a tough one since Millikin, Bowdoin, and even UW-La Crosse are all knocking on the door. But considering Calvin’s two losses are to Hope and Trine, and the Knights have wins over Whitewater and Wisconsin Lutheran (though the latter result isn’t as good now as it was a month ago), there is reason enough for me to say Calvin most certainly deserves a spot in my ballot. 

So there you have it. Some great basketball has been played so far, with a handful of upsets already. And the day is far from over, with a solid slate tonight. Plus, stay tuned for the release of the new Top 25 on As always, send your thoughts/comments/questions in, either by commenting below or emailing me at

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: My Week 3 Top 25 ballot…with context

Coming to you with an evening edition of the blog, breaking down my Top 25 ballot as I do each week. By no means is it a representation of the entire panel of 25 voters…where I have one team may be very different from where another voter has that same team. This is simply my ballot, 1 of 25, and my thoughts on each particular team that I’ve decided to rank. This week was super hard, as I had to leave a couple teams off my ballot that certainly have Top 25 resumes, but for the most part, I’m feeling pretty good about where I have everyone.

We’ll find out the new rankings from here in a couple hours. Until then, here’s my Week 3 ballot…with context…

#1 Hope: Hope picked up a pair of wins over winless teams and continues to find plenty of success despite a number of returners having stepped into new roles. The Flying Dutch stay #1 for me.

#2 NYU: I was unsure about whether to put NYU ahead of Transylvania entering this week. But after watching NYU dominate on both ends of the floor in the second half against #11 Tufts yesterday afternoon, keeping the Violets at #2 makes more sense.

#3 Transylvania: Transy has rolled through a weak schedule as per usual, but just added a game at John Carroll, set for Dec. 17, so that is welcome news to voters. As for this last week, a 28-point win over Bluffton keeps the Pioneers at #3 for me.

#4 Trinity (TX): The Tigers remain 9-0, but will not play their next game until Dec. 19, likely due to the university’s finals schedule. But I’ve seen enough to keep Trinity at #4 in my ballot for the third straight week.

#5 Christopher Newport: CNU pushed the scoreboard to triple digits in Sunday’s 110-57 win over N.C. Wesleyan in its only game of the week. The Captains are also 9-0, and haven’t had much trouble assembling that unblemished mark. Games against Colorado College and Cortland should provide quality tests for CNU coming up next week.

#6 Baldwin-Wallace: A three-point win at Marietta on Saturday puts BW up to #6 in my ballot, as the Yellowjackets now have notable wins over both Trine and Marietta. I’ve liked what I’ve seen defensively from BW, who continues to be my pick to win the OAC. They’ve held teams below 50 points on four occasions this season.

#7 Scranton: A convincing performance against 7-3 Misericordia on Wednesday in a 64-46 win solidifies Scranton at #7 in my ballot for the second straight week. That win, along with the victory over Ithaca at the end of November are Scranton’s most impressive results. Like a handful of other Top 10 teams, Scranton will not play this coming week.

#8 Amherst: The Mammoths’ best win remains the four-point victory at home over Springfield back in November, and outside of that, Amherst does not have a great resume. However, despite playing lower-caliber teams, Amherst has continued adding to the win total, now 7-0.

#9 Babson: Head coach Judy Blinstrub won her 700th career game on Tuesday, becoming just the 11th coach in D-III WBB history to do so. The 71-63 defeat of Framingham State moves Babson to 7-0 and into the Top 10, as both that one and the victory over Roger Williams were fairly impressive to me. My colleague and friend Scott Peterson, who often joins us on the Hoopsville WBB panel segment, has a model that measures the “average Massey ranking of all wins”, in other words, it is an average of where all the opponents a particular team has beat were ranked according to the Massey Ratings, a widely regarded computer model. Babson is No. 3 on that list, with the average ranking being around 94. They are one of only three teams who are below an average of 100 according to that model.

#10 UW-Eau Claire: Yes, a nine-point loss to Loras is not going to do UWEC any favors, but Loras is a team I’ve liked since the early weeks of the season, so neither of the Blugolds’ losses are particularly “bad”, considering the other came to Hope, and both were suffered on the road. The victories over La Crosse and River Falls give UWEC a boost in my assessment, as does the win over Wartburg, who is now 6-2.

#11 UW-Whitewater: Another two-loss WIAC team that is fairly high on my ballot. The WIAC will be deep this year, so even the best teams will suffer a few losses. But strength of schedule-wise, Whitewater’s numbers are very notable, including the average Massey ranking of wins being 59.71, far and away the best resume according to that metric. Victories over Millikin, Illinois Wesleyan, Augustana, and @ La Crosse are solid resume-builders. Whitewater gets a big test visiting Chicago Wednesday night.

#12 Mary Hardin-Baylor: UMHB suffered its first loss of the year at ETBU on Saturday, falling 66-59 in a game where they forced 28 turnovers, but shot poorly. The loss does not help the Cru’s case, but a 5-1 record, with all six games coming on the road (yes you read that right…can’t think of another Top 25 team that did that this season) is notable. Plus, the season-opening four-point win at Emory really helps strengthen their resume.

#13 Springfield: The Pride continues to rise in my ballot, now 8-1, with a number of strong performances. Their lone loss came at Amherst in the second game of the season, but since that point, Springfield has won seven straight. An 81-72 win over Emmanuel on the road along with double-digit victories over Middlebury and Williams remain as their “best wins” in my mind. They play undefeated Albertus Magnus on Dec. 14. Sam Hourihan is playing well right now, averaging 16.6 pts, and 8.8 reb per game.

#14 DeSales: Now 9-0, DeSales hasn’t played an especially tough schedule, but holding Misericordia (who is 7-3) to just 29 points in a win on Saturday gives DeSales a boost in my mind. I like the product they’re putting on the floor, playing with the intensity of a tournament team in December.

#15 Tufts: Tufts looked good for a half on Sunday, but completely lost all momentum on their home floor in the second against NYU. One notable thing there, though…the Jumbos were without All-American Maggie Russell. Having her on the floor changes the game for Tufts, which gives me some concerns about the Jumbos’ scoring depth. The 15-point loss at Emory isn’t great either, but both came to good teams, which remains my rationale for keeping two-loss teams in the Top 15. The Jumbos are #17 in Massey’s ratings, and have wins over Roger Williams and WPI, both of whom are Massey Top 80 teams.

#16 Smith: After losing to Framingham State, Smith goes 2-0 on the week with low-tier wins. At 8-1, they still have victories over Trinity (CT) and Bowdoin. Though they weren’t especially great in either of those two performances, they still found a way to win against high-quality opponents. That’s worth a lot, even if the stats aren’t always there.

#17 Rochester: A dominant 83-66 win over #17 Ithaca on Wednesday moved Rochester back into my Top 20. They are 8-1 and Katie Titus continues to step up in big moments for the Yellowjackets. A D-II transfer, Titus is certainly on my watch list as the potential UAA Player of the Year.

#18 Trine: I only moved Trine down in my ballot to allow for Rochester to move up, but Trine plays Hope on Friday in what should be an excellent opportunity to gauge where the Thunder are at, having won three straight after the loss to Ohio Northern. The win over Calvin remains Trine’s best win in my opinion, considering it was by a 15-point margin.

#19 Chicago: Chicago jumps into my ballot as an 8-0 team that has potential for a big year, playing several Massey Top 100 teams in a stacked UAA conference. They also host Whitewater this week as previously mentioned in what could be a big-time resume builder. Chicago has great point, turnover, and rebounding differential, partially due to play some weaker opponents, but nonetheless, watching them on film, it’s clear they belong in the Top 25. Best win is probably on the road against Wheaton.

#20 Puget Sound: Like the rest of the west coast teams, Puget Sound didn’t play this past week, but I’m moving them up regardless.The home loss to Wheaton still hurts the resume, but they have won four straight since then, including wins over Whitworth and Whitman. Neither are ranked in my ballot, but both will be competitive in the NWC.

#21 Hardin-Simmons: The Cowgirls don’t move in my ballot after a 2-0 week with wins over Howard Payne and Sul Ross State in ASC play. The 81-65 win over ETBU is looking better now after the Tigers took down UMHB.

#22 Ithaca: Ithaca has lost to Rochester and Scranton by significant margins, but remains a quality team in my opinion due to their road wins over Catholic and SUNY-Geneseo. Still, I was expecting a little bit more against Rochester this past Wednesday. You have to win in the big games (or keep is closer than 17) to stay high in the rankings.

#23 UC Santa Cruz: Still waiting to see UCSC’s games against Whitewater and UMHB to get a better look at the Banana Slugs, but overall, Todd Kent’s team remains undefeated against D-III opponents. In my opinion, UCSC is two good wins away from being a Top 15 team. They’ll have plenty of opportunities coming up in the second half of the regular season.

#24 Gustavus Adolphus: The Gusties have a sneaky-good resume, with no especially impressive wins, but also no bad losses. The only loss came by a point to Concordia-Moorehead, but they have three wins over Top 50 Massey teams in Augsburg, St. Benedict, and UW-Stout. The Stout win was on the road, and the Gusties won by 19, which says a lot with Stout putting together a strong start to WIAC play.

#25 Calvin: Losses to Hope and Trine aren’t bad at all, considering the margin in the Hope game ended up being just six points. The Knights beat St. Mary’s (Ind.) 83-58 in their only game of the week, and remain on my ballot still holding wins over Colorado College and Whitewater.

Next 5: Bowdoin, Ohio Northern, Trinity (CT), UW-Oshkosh, Mary Washington, Cortland

Dropped out: Ohio Northern (#25), Whitman (#22)

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be back to doing daily posts on this blog. So be sure to follow along on Substack or, wherever you find The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops. Enjoy the evening!

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: My Week 2 Top 25 ballot…with context

It’s Monday. And you what time that is! The Top 25 poll from will be released tonight. As a voter for, this is a day that is both a lot of fun, and a bit challenging. Getting up to No. 20 wasn’t all that hard, but filling those final five spots is always a real challenge. Bob Quillman, a D3hoops men’s voter, made a comment yesterday that voters will have to vote for teams they are not 100% sure on yet. That’s where I’m at in my Week 2 ballot. With six Top 25 teams falling to unranked opponents on Saturday alone, putting together this one was a little tougher than last week’s.

Anyway, here’s a look at how I’m putting together my Top 25 ballot…with context (though for the sake of time and word count, I did not put my full thinking on paper when writing up this post).

#1 Hope: Hope looked like a national title team at Calvin Wednesday night, making good in-game adjustments and putting tremendous pressure on the ball defensively. It resulted in a 62-56 win for the Flying Dutch over the nation’s #15 team, and makes No. 1 the easiest spot to fill in my ballot. An 86-64 win over Wittenberg improves Hope to 7-0.

#2 NYU: NYU slides up to No. 2 on my ballot after a week in which the Violets dominated in duels with Brooklyn and Connecticut College. They have continued to look sharp, and are playing all-around near-perfect basketball. Once they get into UAA play, that will be the real test, but for the time being, NYU is looking very unstoppable.

#3 Transylvania: No. 2 was really a 50-50 between NYU and Transylvania, though I felt (and the computer rankings backed this up) that NYU has been more complete in their contests up to this point. With that said, I would say Transy has faced slightly better competition early in this season (though they also just beat a Rose-Hulman team on Saturday that soon after canceled its season) and proven itself to be one of the nation’s best. Don’t want to take anything away from Transy here. Really not sure when we’ll see them actually tested…likely best possibility will be Dec. 29 against Wisconsin Lutheran.

#4 Trinity (TX): Against two opponents a combined 1-19 this season, the Tigers rolled to a pair of victories, including a 100-point performance at Centenary. They’ve met every challenge thus far, and for now, it appears the SCAC title is theirs to lose.

#5 Christopher Newport: Against a 6-1 Bridgewater team on Wednesday, CNU won by 28, and picked up another road win over Greensboro days later. CNU is playing very well on the offensive end right now, and remains at No. 5 in this week’s ballot.

#6 Scranton: I was interested to see how Scranton would fare against its first Top 25 opponent of the season in #14 Ithaca on Tuesday. The Lady Royals left little doubt in a 74-53 win, at least for me as a voter. Say what you want about the weak non-conference schedule for any of these highly-rated teams, but when they show up and play the way Scranton did against Ithaca, that’s what gives me confidence to slide them up to No. 6.

#7 Amherst: Amherst also moves up, having taken care of business against an NJCU team that I still can’t quite figure out. Amherst controlled the game for the larger part of three quarters, though NJCU did make a run in the closing minutes, but to no avail. The Mammoths are 5-0, and despite a close five-point win over Emmanuel earlier in the week, they’re still the favorite to win the NESCAC in my opinion.

#8 Baldwin-Wallace: At 7-0, Baldwin Wallace continues to impress, and I see no reason not to slide the Yellow Jackets up to No. 8. They came up with a solid victory over Wilmington (who is 5-2) in OAC play on Saturday, winning by nine, and added a 54-41 win over Heidelberg to open conference action on Wednesday.

#9 UW-Eau Claire: The only WIAC Top 25 team that did not lose on Saturday, UWEC instead came up with what I’d rate as its best win of the year, beating an 8-2 UW-La Crosse team 68-56. To add to that, the Blugolds edged UW-River Falls on Wednesday, winning 74-71, which is notable considering UWRF rebounded by beating #9 Whitewater on Saturday.

#10 UW-Whitewater: Before you say anything, I get it, Whitewater has two losses. But this poll is about grading the top 25 best teams, not the top 25 best records. The Warhawks have dropped two games by a combined margin of five points to two teams that I value somewhat highly (Calvin, UW-River Falls). Plus, they were impressive in a 64-56 win over UW-La Crosse, who was unbeaten entering Wednesday’s matchup. So while Whitewater does slide down four spots in my ballot, I am going to keep them in the Top 10 for the time being, especially considering the fact that we know deep the WIAC is this year.

#11 Mary Hardin-Baylor: The Crusaders needed a late layup to beat Schreiner on the road on Wednesday, but remain perfect, at 4-0, having opened ASC play with a 78-57 road win at Concordia (TX) Saturday. I haven’t seen Mark Morefield’s team play enough to get a good enough feel for where UMHB stands against the rest of the nation’s best, but by this point, I’m feeling good about where the Crusaders are at, heading into a notable matchup at ETBU on Dec. 10.

#12 Smith: Smith drops back two spots in my ballot, as I just haven’t seen it from the Pioneers yet. A 78-74 loss at Framingham State is not a bad loss by any means, but I just haven’t seen a Top 10-caliber performance yet. The talent is certainly there, and I believe it will only be a matter of time before Smith gains serious traction and is considered for a Top 10 spot once again, at least in my ballot.

#13 Tufts: Tufts fell on the road to a good Emory team who is 7-1, though I would’ve liked to have seen the margin be smaller than 15 points. It was not a great showing by Tufts, and on Sunday, the Jumbos did get back in the win column, edging Piedmont, 79-78. This really seemed to be an off weekend on the road, considering Piedmont is fairly good, but not great (4-3 overall).

#14 Trine: Trine actually doesn’t move in my ballot this week! It’s almost as if I had projected they would take down #15 Calvin on Saturday, by putting them No. 14 when they ended up No. 20. But the one thing I know about Trine is that even with two losses, the Thunder are deep and have begun playing better defensively. It led to a 2-0 week, and I’m keeping them at No. 14 for the time being.

#15 Springfield: Springfield also stays at #15 for me. The Pride put up a 12-point win over a Middlebury team at .500 on Saturday, and I see no reason to move them down. Springfield is 6-1 overall with the lone loss coming at Amherst.

#16 Babson: I’ll need to see more from Babson to move them higher, but they remain perfect at 6-0, having taken down a 6-2 Bridgewater State squad by a convincing 22-point margin at a neutral site, and came back for a 59-56 win over Williams on Williams’ home court.

#17 DeSales: Still undefeated, DeSales breaks into my ballot, having defeated #25 Messiah on Monday night very convincingly, 61-35. That win alone was enough for me to put DeSales into the Top 20, but they then followed that by making a statement against winless FDU-Florham, with a 113-32 victory. A 77-35 win over King’s made it a 3-0 week for DeSales.

#18 Ithaca: Ithaca did not meet the challenge against Scranton to the level I had thought they would, falling by 21 on the road, leading me to drop the Bombers by three spots. With that said, I still think their resume is very strong, with wins over Cortland, SUNY-Geneseo, and at Catholic. And to put it this way, I was 50-50 between Ithaca and Calvin, but ultimately, Ithaca’s three most notable wins compared to really just one for Calvin (over Whitewater) led me to put Ithaca just ahead of Calvin.

#19 Calvin: Yes, Calvin lost twice this past week. But show me a tougher span of four days than what the Knights faced a few days ago, hosting Hope then traveling to Trine. No doubt an extremely challenging start to conference play, I’m looking past the scores as I evaluate the overall body of work. Calvin played Hope tougher than I’ve seen any other team (including UW-Eau Claire) this season. That is worth a lot in my opinion. The 15-point loss at Trine is the main reason I expect Calvin will drop, though the win at UW-Whitewater is enough of a resume boost to keep Calvin in the Top 20.

#20 Hardin-Simmons: HSU looked sharp in an 81-65 home win over ETBU, who received votes in last week’s poll. The Cowgirls rebounded nicely from losing to Trinity twice a week ago, displaying that facing tough competition, regardless of the result, often proves beneficial in the long run. HSU is 2-0 in ASC play, having beat LeTourneau by 29 on Thursday as well. Also should note that UTD played without starting PG Paris Kiser for both games this week.

#21 Rochester: Rochester has notable wins this season over UT-Dallas, Messiah, and St. John Fisher, but falls back by three spots due to a five-point loss at Hamilton on Saturday. Because the loss was on the road, by single digits, to a team I’d likely rank in the Top 35, I’m going to keep Rochester at No. 21 for now.

#22 Whitman: Every voter has a couple teams in which he/she spends more time on when putting together a ballot than any of the others. For me that was Whitman and Puget Sound this week. Here’s why. Whitman went to Puget Sound on Saturday, and lost by 15 in their first D-III loss of the year. Now, the trouble is that Puget Sound lost at home to Wheaton (5-3 overall), just two weeks ago. 62-56. Because they are so similar besides those two results, I’m not going to put Puget Sound above Whitman just yet. They do share a common opponent in Chapman, whom they both beat rather easily, though Whitman was on the road, while Puget Sound was at home. I don’t see a bad loss on Whitman’s resume, and losing at Puget Sound is much different than losing on your home court. Time will tell. One of these two will separate itself.

#23 Puget Sound: Reference my explanation above when discussing Whitman. But side note that the Loggers looked really good on Saturday, as well as in the win over Whitworth. Definitely a team trending upwards in my opinion, which is why they jump up to No. 23 after a 2-0 week.

#24 UC Santa Cruz: UCSC’s lone game of the week was on the road at D-I Santa Clara, and ended in a 74-30 loss. As I said last week, I really try not to let non-D3 results affect my rankings all that much. So I’m putting UCSC at No. 24, especially when you consider that leading scorers Kaylee Murphy and Ashley Kowack did not even see action at Santa Clara. The win for Puget Sound over Whitman forced me to slide UCSC down, though the margin between Whitman, Puget Sound and UCSC is relatively thin in my opinion. I’m interested to see how UCSC fares against Linfied and Cal Lutheran next weekend.

#25 Ohio Northern: ONU has crept up on a lot of people, with a solid resume, but little attention. The Polar Bears had just 1 vote in last week’s poll, and it wasn’t from me. But I’ve been tracking ONU’s progress, and the 11-point win over Marietta on Saturday was enough to land ONU a spot in my ballot. They won by three at Trine, and also handed Washington & Jefferson its only loss thus far. Fairly strong team at No. 25. I could see ONU moving into the Top 20 by the time we hit the new year.

Dropped out: Millikin, UW-Oshkosh, Illinois Wesleyan

Who I’ll be watching this week: Bowdoin, Hamilton, WashU, UW-Stout

Got comments? Questions? Opinions? Drop them below!