WAC play
The SFA women led by Stephanie Visscher open WAC play against UTRGV on Thursday. Courtesy SFA Athletics.
Abilene Christian California Baptist Chicago State Dixie State Featured Grand Canyon Lamar New Mexico State Sam Houston Seattle Stephen F. Austin Tarleton State Utah Valley UTRGV

SFA, CBU Highlight Power Rankings and Other Women’s Notes

First, I want to apologize to the WAC Hoops Digest women’s basketball reading audience for a lack of content in the early part of this season. My real job (working in retail) has just left me drained a lot of nights when I’d normally write after work. I will try to get back to some form of a weekly notebook and power rankings going forward. That being said, with less than two weeks until Christmas there’s a lot to delve into…Happy reading everybody!

200-Win Club Gets Another Member 

Earlier this season it took a herculean comeback against Eastern Washington for Grand Canyon University women’s basketball coach Molly Miller to earn her 200th career victory. Dixie State coach JD Gustin joined his counterpart in Phoenix as a member of that club when the Trailblazers defeated NAIA member Westcliff 79-55 on December 13 behind 11 points and 12 rebounds from Emily Issacson. They’ll seek their first win against NCAA Division One competition on Saturday when they host Air Force in Burns Arena. Former CBU assistant Kamille Diaz is on the Falcons coaching staff. 

Milestones Continued

A pair of CBU Lancers also reached career milestones in Georgia Dale & Ane Olaeta…

In a 78-77 loss against San Diego State on December 8 at the CBU Events Center, senior Georgia Dale scored her 1,000th career point on a three pointer as the night was just getting warm. Dale became the third Lancer to join that club joining Lexy Ram (1,356) & Olaeta (still active). Earlier in the month Olaeta added another accolade to her storied career in a Lancer uniform by recording her 700th career assist on December 2nd in a 63-57 win against Pepperdine. At 8.6 assists per contest in ’21-’22, Olaeta is once again the national leader in assists by a full dime over freshman Olivia Miles of Notre Dame. 

Collegeinsider.com Rankings

In Tuesday’s collegeinsider.com women’s basketball mid-major poll the top two teams according to preseason polling in defending champion CBU and newcomer Stephen F. Austin both find themselves amongst the Top-10. At No. 5, the Lancers have their highest rank in program history with Stephen F. Austin checking in right behind them at No. 6. The two sides meet once this season, in Nacogdoches on January 29 with a regular season championship implications at stake.

Games to Watch

South Padre Island Invitational>>

Grand Canyon and UTRGV both have an opportunity for a resume building win against Liberty (Atlantic Sun runner up) this weekend at South Padre Island. The Lopes enter this weekend as losers of their last two games against in-state rival Northern Arizona by 31 points and Big West member Cal State Fullerton by seven. Meanwhile, the Vaqueros come into this weekend as winners of three straight after dropping a 75-44 decision to Kansas on December 1. 

CBU at Santa Clara, Saturday 3 p.m., WCC Network

After a narrow one point escape on Tuesday at UCSD the Lancers look to keep winning with WAC play around the corner. Should the Lancers win they will have gone 3-0 against the WCC. 

Utah Valley at Utah, Saturday 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network 

To end 2021 the Wolverines are in the midst of a six game road trip which will conclude with their first two WAC games of the new campaign. The Utes have dropped two of four to BYU & Gonzaga while Utah Valley fell at Montana State last time out. 

Power Rankings

And to round out this notebook here are this week’s power rankings. We will try to make these power rankings weekly as my schedule allows.

1. Stephen F. Austin

2. California Baptist

3. Utah Valley

4. Grand Canyon

5. Lamar

6. Abilene Christian

7. UTRGV

8. Tarleton

9. Seattle

10. Sam Houston

11. New Mexico State

12. Chicago State

13. Dixie State

At the top, CBU and SFA aren’t separated by a lot in these power rankings and could very easily be flip flopped. For me, the biggest difference is the Lancers loss against San Diego State last week. The Lumberjacks get a ton of credit for wins against Houston and hanging with Texas A&M in a true road game. That loss to Portland on a cold 3-point shooting night is balanced out by those wins. GCU drops to four mostly because of that 31-point loss at NAU. Chicago State moves to 12th after the Wisconsin win. 

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