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CoBL-area D-III Power Rankings: Jan. 16, 2024 (WBB)

01/16/2024, 3:30pm EST
By Jeff Griffith

By Jeff Griffith (@hooplove215)

As conference play surges forward, the DeSales Bulldogs continue to be the class of eastern Pennsylvania’s Division III women’s basketball scene, and the gap is getting wider as other top programs pick up losses. 

Here’s the latest update of our Division III women’s power rankings: 

Previous Rankings: Preseason (Nov. 7) | Nov. 28 | Dec. 19


DeSales and senior Megan Bealer are still No. 1 in the CoBL Power Rankings. (Photo: Pat Jacoby Photography/DeSales Athletics)

1. DeSales Bulldogs (LR: 1)
Record: 13-2 (4-0 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Arcadia (W, 74-36), at FDU-Florham (W, 90-40), vs. King’s (W, 81-38), vs. Lebanon Valley (W, 53-37)

The Bulldogs solidified their place atop the list even further, handing No. 2 Arcadia its first loss of the season in absolutely dominant fashion, behind an incredible 22-point, 12-rebound, five-assist outing from senior forward Mikaela Reese. Reese leads DeSales in all three of those categories on the season, with  15.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 3.1 apg. DeSales, which is on a six-game win streak since taking an overtime loss to nationally-ranked Scranton, has beaten its four conference opponents so far by an average of 36.75 points.

Next Up: at Stevens (Jan. 17), at Delaware Valley (Jan. 20), vs. Misericordia (Jan. 24), at Arcadia (Jan. 27), at King’s (Jan. 31)


2. Arcadia Knights (LR: 4)
Record: 14-1 (3-1 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks: at DeSales (L, 74-36), vs. King’s (W, 73-48), vs. Stevens (W, 69-62), vs. Delaware Valley (W, 70-58)

Arcadia may not be on DeSales’ extremely-high level, but the Knights are the clear-cut No. 2 in the area; aside from a blowout loss to the Bulldogs, they’re unbeaten, and own a pair of double-digit conference wins. For the Knights, sophomore guard Hanna Rhoades has continued her stellar scoring ways, leading the way with 18.4 ppg while shooting 44.5 percent from beyond the arc; sophomore wing Delaney Bell (15.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg) and graduate forward Katie Rodriguez (10.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg) also each average near double-doubles. Rodriguez has been especially productive in recent contests, finishing just one assist away from back-to-back triple-doubles in the Knights’ last two games. Arcadia will go on the road in four of its next games, with a home rematch with DeSales scheduled in between. 

Next Up: at Misericordia (Jan. 17), at Lebanon Valley (Jan. 20), vs. FDU-Florham (Jan. 24), vs. DeSales (Jan. 27), at Stevens (Jan. 31)


3. Messiah Falcons (LR: 3)
Record: 12-3 (4-0 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: at Albright (W, 73-56), vs. Hood (W, 59-47), at Penn State Harrisburg (W, 79-57), vs. York (W, 74-62)

Messiah has just three losses on the season; one came at Dickinson in November, one came at home to aforementioned power DeSales, and the most recent came against undefeated national No. 4 Wisconsin-Whitewater. So, overall, the Falcons’ résumé is quite respectable. Messiah is also riding a five-game win streak in the new year, including four conference wins, all of which came by double digits. The Falcons continue to receive standout contributions from senior forward Morgan Adams, who leads the way with 18.5 ppg and has broken 30 points twice in the last three games.

Next Up: vs. Widener (Jan. 17), at Eastern (Jan. 20), at Stevenson (Jan. 24), at Hood (Jan. 27), vs. Alvernia (Jan. 31)


4. Elizabethtown Blue Jays (LR: 2)
Record: 11-4 (7-1 Landmark)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Scranton (W, 67-64), at Wilkes (W, 66-54), at Moravian (W, 76-46), vs. Goucher (W, 84-34)

The Blue Jays are already well into their conference schedule, having played their first league games in late November and early December, and look the part of a top team in the Landmark Conference. Their record is deceptive; two of their four losses have come to teams ranked in the top 15 nationally, per, one came to a team ranked just outside the Top 25, and the other came against a 14-2 Chatham squad. Meanwhile, Elizabethtown owns a recent win over national No. 9 Scranton, fueled by 25 points from leading scorer and junior guard Summer McNulty, which started a four-game win streak. The two will meet again in Scranton in their Feb. 17 regular-season finale. 

Next Up: vs. Drew (Jan. 17), vs. Lycoming (Jan. 20), vs. Juniata (Jan. 24), at Susquehanna (Jan. 27), at Catholic (Jan. 31)


5. Widener Pride (LR: 5)
Record: 13-2 (3-1 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: at Hood (W, 62-46), vs. Stevenson (W, 64-43), vs. Eastern (L, 64-57), at Alvernia (W, 82-71)

It’s hard to get a full read on Widener, but their 13 wins through a 15-game sample are surely nothing to scoff at. Widener’s only true test against top competition came in early December, in an eight-point home loss to Arcadia. The Pride also took a recent loss in conference play, to a 9-6 Eastern team. Widener will be tested in an upcoming visit to Messiah, and will certainly look to its leading scorers, graduate guard Jordan D’Ambrosio (16.7 ppg) and sophomore forward Mia Robbins (13.3 ppg) for key contributions in a crucial barometer game. 

Next Up: at Messiah (Jan. 17), vs. Albright (Jan. 20), vs. York (Jan. 24), at Stevenson (Jan. 27), at Eastern (Jan. 31)


Gettysburg junior Mackenzie Szlosek is averaging 14.4 ppg. (Photo: Courtesy Gettysburg Athletics)

6. Gettysburg Bullets (LR: 7)
Record: 11-3 (8-1 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: at Swarthmore (W, 62-38), vs. Haverford (W, 55-40), at Muhlenberg (W, 72-58), vs. Bryn Mawr (W, 76-33)

Gettysburg’s recent sample has most definitely had its highs and its lows; the Bullets took a late-December loss to a solid Marietta squad, turned around and beat then-nationally-ranked Trine, and followed that up with four conference wins in a row. The loss to Marietta is Gettysburg’s only defeat in its last 10 contests, and the Bullets have a stretch of very winnable games upcoming in the back half of January. Last year’s conference player of the year, junior guard Mackenzie Szlosek, has led the way this season with 14.4 ppg, while adding 5.2 rpg and 2.6 apg and shooting .503/.439/.833 splits.

Next Up: at McDaniel (Jan. 17), vs. Washington (Jan. 20), at Franklin and Marshall (Jan. 23), vs. Swarthmore (Jan. 27), vs. Johns Hopkins (Jan. 3!)


7. Dickinson Red Devils (LR: NR)
Record: 10-4 (7-2 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Smith (W, 66-63), at Haverford (W, 71-51), vs. Bryn Mawr (W, 63-44), at Ursinus (W, 73-43), vs. Washington (W, 55-38)

Since starting the season 4-3, Dickinson has been one of the area’s hottest teams; the Red Devils closed the 2023 calendar year with a neutral-site win over nationally-ranked Smith, and haven’t lost since, picking up a quarter of conference wins, including two road blowouts. The Red Devils — who have been led by junior forward Clair Marion’s team high 18.6 ppg, to go with 5.3 rpg and 2.6 apg — will now have three of their next four contests at home. 

Next Up: vs. Franklin and Marshall (Jan. 17), at Swarthmore (Jan. 20), vs. Muhlenberg (Jan. 25), vs. Haverford (Jan. 27)


8. Delaware Valley Aggies (LR: 8)
Record: 11-4 (2-2 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Misericordia (W, 62-36), at Lebanon Valley (L, 66-57), vs. FDU-Florham (W, 88-65), at Arcadia (L, 70-58)

The Aggies have pumped the brakes slightly on their 9-2 open to the season after a split start in conference play — DelVal has taken two league wins at home, and two league losses on the road — but losses away from home at Arcadia and Lebanon Valley, whose combined record is 23-7, certainly aren’t bad ones. The Aggies have gotten balanced standout production from senior guard Haley Keenan (16.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), sophomore forward Alexis Wright (13.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and sophomore guard Maisie Neuber (11.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg). They won’t have much time to relax, with DeSales looming later this week.  

Next Up: at King’s (Jan. 17), vs. DeSales (Jan. 20), vs. Stevens (Jan. 24), at Misericordia (Jan. 27), at FDU-Florham (Jan. 31)


9. Susquehanna River Hawks (LR: NR)
Record: 10-5 (5-3 Landmark)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Drew (W, 83-58), at Scranton (L, 58-46), at Lycoming (W, 76-67), vs. Wilkes (W, 65-49)

Susquehanna has picked up serious steam in the new year; of the River Hawks’ five losses this season, four have come against teams who were nationally-ranked at the time — three still are — and three came away from home. Other than a road loss to No. 9 Scranton, Susquehanna has won six of its last seven, including three of its last four in conference, and has been led by sophomore forward Julia Roth in each of its last two wins; Roth has averaged 20.5 points and 8.5 boards over that stretch. Roth also leads the River Hawks on the season in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.2), as well as steals (2.6). 

Next Up: vs. Juniata (Jan. 17), at Moravian (Jan. 20), vs. Catholic (Jan. 24), vs. Elizabethtown (Jan. 27), at Goucher (Jan. 31)


10. Neumann Knights (LR: 9)
Record: 11-6 (1-2 Atlantic East)
Last Two Weeks: at Gwynedd Mercy (W, 63-60), at Centenary (L, 79-68), at Immaculata (W, 73-49)

Neumann hasn’t gotten off on the best foot in conference play, losing two of its first three — all of which came on the road — but will look to rebound with four of its next five at home. The Knights hold on to the 10th and final spot in this week’s rankings on the heels of back-to-back losses, but will need to turn things around in order to remain on the list, with teams just outside the Top 10 holding double-digit wins. Junior forward Lauren Klieber has continued to be a stat machine, averaging 21.0 points and 8.8 rebounds on the season to date. 

Next Up: vs. Marywood (Jan. 17), vs. Penn State Berks (Jan. 20), at Marymount (Jan. 24), vs. Gwynedd Mercy (Jan. 27)

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