The end of the season is nearing. We are just one short month from March, and the madness it brings. Before we get there, let's look back at January and give you a chance to declare a Team of the Month in D3 Women’s Basketball.
We selected five of the hottest teams in the first month of the new year. Now, it’s up to you to decide who had the best January. The poll closes Friday at noon Pacific, so be sure to get your vote in on time, and share with friends so they can vote as well. Check back Friday afternoon to see who won.
Here are the five nominees…
BR-190 Delaware Valley (+86 in BR)
CONFERENCE: MAC Freedom
Jan 3: Win vs BR-213 Dickinson; 62-54
Jan 13: Win vs BR-175 Manhattanville; 80-47
Jan 16: Win at BR-349 Wilkes; 65-45
Jan 20: Loss at BR-103 Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham; 58-67
Jan 22: Win vs BR-44 DeSales; 75-71
Jan 27: Win at BR-232 Misericordia; 95-81
Jan 30: Win vs BR-197 Eastern; 77-64
Why the Aggies Deserve to Win:
The Aggies won seven of eight contests throughout January, and was the biggest mover of the month in terms of BennettRank. Among their victories, were a pair of come-from-behind victories over Dickinson and DeSales.
Against Dickinson, the Aggies ended with a 13-4 run over the final 4:40 to finish off a 62-54 come-from-behind victory, DelVal converted 90 percent of their free throw attempts, going 18-of-20 on the day with scoring specialist senior Eireann Anastasi's 27 points leading the charge. The Aggies erased a fourth quarter deficit once again to knock off DeSales, 75-71, as Anastasia once again led all scorers, this time putting up a career high 30 points to take the senior over the 1,500-point mark.
Continuing to roll along, during their 95-81 win over Misericordia, Anastasia continued to light it up, becoming just the fourth player in program history to post 40 or more points in a game.
The Aggies currently hold sole possession of third place in the MAC Freedom conference with the win. They are now 10-10 overall, with a 6-3 MAC Freedom record.
BR-86 Buena Vista (+61 in BR)
CONFERENCE: Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Jan 2: Loss vs BR-51 Concordia-Moorhead; 52-78
Jan 3: Win at BR-81 Saint Benedict; 74-64
Jan 6: Win vs. BR-62 Simpson; 74-62
Jan 9: Loss at BR-49 Loras; 71-73
Jan 13: Loss vs. BR-74 Coe; 95-107
Jan 16: Win vs. BR-31 Wartburg; 83-80
Jan 20: Win at BR-235 Dubuque; 83-66
Jan 23: Win vs. BR-303 Central; 99-45
Jan 27: Loss at BR-25 Luther; 59-63
Jan 30: Win at BR-31 Wartburg; 59-55
Why the Beavers Deserve to Win:
The Buena Vista offense posted a pair of 90 plus point performances in January, and closed the month winning four of their final five games – a run that included a season-sweep of conference rival Wartburg for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. During the final victory, they held the normally potent Knight offense to 27% shooting from the field.
During the 99-45 win over Central, the Beavers had five players post double-digit scoring totals. After flying from the locker room at the break with a 17-2 run, they held a 63-17 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter and finished the contest shooting nearly 46 percent, and converting a season-high 14 shots from three-point land.
BVU is dominating the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in offense, scoring an average of 75.4 points per game, as well as ball-control with 17 assists and 10.6 steals per game. They currently hold sole possession of third place in the IIAC with a 6-3 conference record, and a 12-8 overall mark.
BR-219 Bridgewater State (+58 in BR)
CONFERENCE: Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference
Jan 2: Loss vs. BR-139 Middlebury; 59-72
Jan 3: Loss vs. BR-120 Kean; 84-99
Jan 7: Win vs. BR-376 Elms; 73-50
Jan 9: Loss vs BR-150 Framingham St; 42-59
Jan 13: Win at BR-433 Fitchburg St; 85-34
Jan 16: Win vs. BR-389 Salem St.; 56-43
Jan 20: Win at BR-356 Worcester St.;65-50
Jan 23: Win at BR-152 Westfield St.; 90-79
Jan 27: Win at BR-317 MCLA; 74-37
Jan 30: Loss vs. BR-53 Williams; 52-61
Why the Bears Deserve to Win:
After dropping their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference opener at home to Framingham State on January 9th, the Bears have turned things around, putting together a five-game conference win-streak to shimmy their way up the standings.
Before dropping a pair of contests to Williams and Framingham State, the Bears held a share of the MASCAC top spot, and now boast a 5-2 conference record – good for sole possession of the third spot.
Jennie Lindland is averaging 11.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals. Lindland, a junior forward, was named the MASCAC player of the week after averaging 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals in the two wins over Framingham and Westfield.
BR-192 Pacific (OR) (+43 in BR)
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
Jan 3: Win at Walla Walla; 78-35
Jan 8: Loss vs. BR-76 Whitworth; 45-62
Jan 9: Loss vs. BR-45 Whitman; 45-66
Jan 15: Win vs. BR-66 Puget Sound; 78-70
Jan 16: Win at BR-220 Pacific Lutheran; 62-53
Jan 22: Win vs. BR-256 Lewis & Clark; 64-53
Jan 23: Loss vs. BR-176 Linfield; 53-59
Jan 29: Loss at BR-8 George Fox 51-87
Jan 30: Win at BR-186 Willamette; 59-57
Why the Boxers Deserve to Win:
To close out the month, Pacific (OR) has shown some power coming out of the locker room after the halftime break, with a pair of games won with explosive third quarters.
After starting their NWC season with a pair of losses, the Boxers grabbed their first Northwest Conference victory with a 78-70 upset over Puget Sound. Junior forward Sarah Curl scored a career high 38 points, including 12 in overtime, to lead all scorers.
With their last victory, the Boxers avenged a NWC season-opening loss to Willamette back in December, outscoring the Bearcats 17-6 in the third quarter to come from behind and claim a 59-57 victory. A week earlier, the Boxers outscored Lewis & Clark 17-5 in the third quarter for their first comeback victory of the month.
They improved to 9-10 on the season and are now 4-6 in the NWC.
BR-136 Piedmont (+42 in BR)
CONFERNECE: USA South
Jan 5: Win at BR-335 Covenant; 70-46
Jan 9: Win vs. BR-387 William Peace; 92-57
Jan 10: Win vs. BR-322 Huntingdon; 73-63
Jan 16: Win vs. BR-280 Averett; 73-64
Jan 20: Win at BR-211 LaGrange; 58-51
Jan 23: Win vs. BR-262 Ferrum; 64-53
Jan 30: Win at BR-324 Meredith: 75-45
Jan 31: WIn vs. BR-439 Mary Baldwin: 129-29
Why the Lady Lions Deserve to Win:
The Lady Lions put on a show with the final game of the month, with a record-setting performance during a 129-29 victory over Mary Baldwin. The 100-point differential is the largest in the NCAA era for the Lady Lions, topping a 94-point win against Wesleyan College in the 2007-08 season.
The Lady Lions set a new NCAA Era program record for points scored with 129, most field goals made with 51 and most 3-point field goals made with 17. The previous record for each category was 115 for points scored, 47 for field goals made and 14 for 3-pointers made.
Piedmont ran away with it from the start with a 37-3 first quarter including a 29-0 run after the opening basket made by the Fighting Squirrels. The Lady Lions continued their dominance in the second quarter as they outscored Mary Baldwin 29-10 to take a 66-13 lead into the half.
The Lady Lions have dominated the USA South, currently sitting with a perfect 11-0 record in league play. They haven’t dropped a contest since before the christmas break with an undefeated record posted in the new year.