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CoBL-area Division III Power Rankings (WBB): March 3, 2022

03/03/2022, 11:00am EST
By Jeff Griffith

Jeff Griffith (@Jeff_Griffith21)

With NCAA Tournament play just around the corner — and five southeastern Pennsylvania teams set to take part in opening-weekend action — there’s no better time than now to update the local Division III women’s basketball rankings.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 area programs entering March:

Also Considered: Cabrini (14-13, 8-4 Atlantic East), Gwynedd Mercy (15-13, 7-5 Atlantic East), Lancaster Bible (13-12, 10-6 United East), Albright (13-11, 7-9 MAC Commonwealth)

Dana Bandurick shoots a basketball

Dana Bandurick (left) averaged a double-double for the Garnet in the 2021-22 season. (Photo courtesy Swarthmore Athletics)

10. Swarthmore (14-11, 10-10 Centennial)

While Swarthmore struggled to establish consistency this season, the Garnet showed impressive signs throughout their up-and-down 2021-22 campaign, including victories at No. 5 Immaculata, and at home against Mary Washington — which ranked No. 22 nationally at the time. Swarthmore fell below .500 in early Feb. after a string of five straight losses, but responded well with five wins in its final seven games. Junior guard Dana Bandurick put up a double-double this year with 16.8 ppg and 10.4 rpg, while also averaging 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals.  

9. Penn State-Harrisburg (16-9, 11-5 United East)

Penn State-Harrisburg opened its season with a 5-4 record, but began to find its footing in January, opening the 2022 calendar with six wins in seven games. The Lions closed their regular season with another stretch of five wins in six contests, before falling by 18 in the United East semifinals to eventual league champion SUNY Morrisville. Sophomore guard Kendis Butler led the way for the Lions this season, averaging 13.5 points, 3.3 boards and 2.1 assist while shooting over 30 percent from beyond the arc.

8. Haverford (18-8, 14-6 Centennial)

The Fords had their ups and downs in 2021-22, but a nine-game win streak between Jan. 11 and Feb. 2 has Haverford among the area’s Top 10; the Fords’ strong Jan. included an impressive 15-point win over No. 5 Immaculata. In terms of postseason results, Haverford lost its opening-round Centennial Conference tournament game by seven to Johns Hopkins on Feb. 25. Freshman guard Ally Landau certainly made her mark early in her college career, leading Haverford with 16.2 points while adding 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists. 

7. York (20-6, 13-3 MAC Commonwealth)

York put together a strong body of work this season, largely buoyed by its hot first half; the Spartans started the season 13-2, and also own an impressive non-conference road win over Messiah. But York ultimately fell just short of an NCAA Tournament bid, picking up three losses in the span of six games midway through the conference season, and dropping a heartbreaker to Widener in the MAC Commonwealth semifinals. Graduate guard Kayla Ferris filled up the box score this year, averaging 13.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.6 steals.    

Nicole Barnes shoots a basketball

Nicole Barnes (above) averaged double digit points on the season while leading Widener in rebounds and assists per game. (Photo courtesy Widener Athletics)

6. Widener (19-7, 13-3 MAC Commonwealth)

The Pride rode a red-hot stretch run to their spot in the local rankings, winning their last 10 regular-season games, as well as two more in MAC Commonwealth tournament play. Widener also owns two-head-to-head victories over No. 7 York, but between seven total losses and a 14-point conference championship game loss to Messiah, Widener came up just shy of the NCAA tourney. Led by 13.3 ppg from junior guard Jordan D’Ambrosio, the Pride’s roster features three double-digit scorers, including senior guard Nicole Barnes, who leads the team in rebounds (7.3) and assists (3.7).

5. Immaculata (18-8, 8-4 Atlantic East)

Immaculata had a couple of cold stretches this season — namely, losing five out of seven in late Jan.and early Feb. — but the Mighty Macs will enter NCAA Tournament play having won seven of eight with a conference title to boot. A trio of double-digit wins in the Atlantic East Tournament, including a 70-57 victory over Gwynned Mercy in the championship round, earned Immaculata its automatic NCAA Tournament bid; freshman forward Abigail Lentowski — the leading scorer on the Mighty Macs’ active roster with 13.2 ppg — has had double digit points in each of Immaculata’s last five contests. 

NCAA Tournament: vs. Trine (24-3) in Angola, Ind., Mar. 4 at Time TBD

4. Elizabethtown (20-5, 12-2 Landmark)

The Blue Jays got off to a hot start this year, ripping off wins in 12 of their first 14 games, with the two losses in that stretch both coming in overtime. Elizabethtown owns a pair of regular season wins over Catholic University, which has spent most of the season in and out of the national Top 25, and both of its conference losses came against current national No. 9 Scranton. The Blue Jays ultimately fell in the first round of conference tournament play against Catholic. This season, it’s been graduate wing Veronica Christ setting the tone offensively, with a team leading 18.9 ppg to go with 3 apg and 5.3 rpg.

NCAA Tournament: vs. John Carroll (22-4) in Angola, Ind., Mar. 4 at Time TBD

3. DeSales (21-3, 16-0 MAC Freedom)

DeSales started the 2021-22 season with a 1-3 record, featuring two losses to nationally-ranked teams — Scranton and Messiah — and never looked back. Since falling to the Falcons by two on Nov. 20, the Bulldogs have ripped off 20 consecutive wins, including three in the MAC Freedom playoffs, on the road to a sweep of the league’s regular season and tournament titles. DeSales — which has been led this year by senior forward Averi Jordan’s 18.4 ppg and 8.7 rpg — has made the last two NCAA Tournaments, and will be looking to improve upon its one-and-done showing in 2020 after having made the Round of 16 the year prior. 

NCAA Tournament: vs. SUNY Cortland (21-5) in Medford, Mass., Mar. 4 at Time TBD

2. Messiah (23-3, 14-2 MAC Commonwealth)

Messiah is the lone team on this list in’s latest rankings, sitting at No. 15. The Falcons are fresh off of MAC Commonwealth regular season and tournament championship titles, and, since picking up its second loss on Dec. 8, have won 17 of 18 entering March; the lone loss in that span was by six in the regular-season finale at Widener. Messiah, for the most part, made quick work of its conference foes, dominating its way through the MAC Commonwealth schedule with just two losses, not to mention 12 of its 14 wins coming by double digits. Graduate forward Leah Springer has been a force all season, leading Messiah with 17.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg and 3.6 apg. 

NCAA Tournament: vs. Springfield (22-4) in Ithaca, N.Y., Mar. 4 at Time TBD

Mackenzie Szlosek dribbles a basketball

Mackenzie Szlosek (above) stuffed the stat sheet in her first season with Gettysburg. (Photo: Christy Selagy/CoBL)

1. Gettysburg (24-3, 19-1 Centennial)

Gettysburg has been near-perfect this season; two of its three losses came by just three points each, and one was to nationally-ranked — currently, No. 16 — Christopher Newport. The Bullets suffered a 20-point defeat to Mary Washington on Jan. 2, but ripped off wins in 17 of their 18 games that followed, including a revenge win over Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference title game, to earn a league championship and NCAA Tournament bid. While senior guard Carly Rice has led the way in scoring with 13 ppg, freshman guard Mackenzie Szlosek has filled the stat sheet, averaging 9.5 points, 5.8 boards, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals, the last two of which are team-highs. It was a close call between Gettysburg and Messiah for No. 1, but the Bullets own a head-to-head Nov. win, by 10, over the Falcons.

NCAA Tournament: vs. SUNY Morrisville (19-7) in Gettysburg, Pa., Mar. 4 at Time TBD

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