Power Rankings
Tomekia Whitman and Southern Utah remain unbeaten in WAC play and sit at the top of the power rankings. Courtesy SUU Athletics.

WBB: Undefeated Southern Utah Sits Atop Power Rankings

The last time I published a power rankings write-up, I got a lot of grief. Perhaps because of some bias. And that is okay. Power rankings articles are designed to create some debate. So, let’s create that power rankings debate once again.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks in WAC Women’s basketball. So the power rankings look slightly different than they did before. 

We’ve had some upsets, more overtime games, and plenty of close calls. It’s been such an exciting season, and it’s still anyone’s conference to win. 

Without further ado, let’s get into it. 

1 – Southern Utah (8-0)

The T-Birds have really taken that chip off their shoulders and crushed it. 8-0 in the WAC is a record no one saw any team having, especially the Thunderbirds. As a reminder, this was the team chosen to finish 6th in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll and 8th in the Media Poll. No one expected this, and yet here we are. 

This week, Southern Utah beat GCU in Phoenix in a nail-biter and survived a gritty effort from Tarleton on Saturday in Utah. When looking at the rest of their schedule, the only games that are seen as major possibilities for ruining this run are against SFA and GCU, both in Cedar City. 

If Cherita Daugherty, Megan Jensen, Lizzy Williamson, and the rest of the squad continue to perform at this level, they may have a season just like SFA’s a year ago. 

2 – California Baptist (7-2)

Trinity San Antonio is back. And for this team, that’s the boost they needed. They got revenge against GCU in Riverside, blew out UTA in Arlington, and handed SFA only their second home conference loss in the last five years. Their only losses were to two of the top teams in the conference. And in one of those losses, Trinity San Antonio only played two minutes. 

Grace Schmidt is the best freshman forward the WAC has seen since Katie Scott in 2020-2021. Alongside San Antonio, Dorcus Wu, Kinsley Barrington, and the rest of the squad, they’re certainly a sleeper pick to win it all. 

3 – Stephen F. Austin (7-2)

Speaking of SFA, they’re also having a stellar season. Their only conference losses are to GCU in Phoenix and CBU at home. Other than those games, they’re looking like they’re going to make another championship run. This week the Ladyjacks survived a fourth-quarter rally by Sam Houston to win by seven and were the victims of a hot 3-point shooting performance from CBU on Saturday.

They still have some tough games on the schedule that will be huge in whether they move up or down this list. The rematches with GCU and ACU as well as their lone meeting with SUU will be extremely telling of what this team is capable of.  

4 – Grand Canyon (7-3)

This one stings. Frankly, nearly all championship teams, no matter the sport, have one thing in common: playing their best at the end of close games.

Simply put, GCU hasn’t done that nearly enough this season. Most recently, they lost to SUU at home after leading by eight at the beginning of the fourth.

Sure they’ve won some close games. In Saturday’s home win over ACU, they finally played like a fourth-quarter team. But most of those close games were ones that shouldn’t have been in the balance. 

They have the talent. Molly Miller did an excellent job in the transfer portal as per usual, and some of the freshmen are even showing bright futures. But something just isn’t clicking to get them over the hump. You can point the finger at the free throws, which have improved but still hold them back. But it comes down to more than just points. The Lopes better figure it out and fast if they want to make another run to the WAC Championship game. They managed to split the week with a Saturday win against Abilene Christian heading into an off day on Thursday and the final trip to Las Cruces for New Mexico State next Saturday. 

5 – New Mexico State (6-3)

One of those teams that are so close to having what it takes to contend, but isn’t quite there yet. The Aggies are certainly better than they were last year thanks to new head coach Jody Adams. They may not win it all in their final season in the WAC. But they have the talent and coaching staff to cause some serious problems for the top teams. C-USA should be dreading this team joining them. 

6 – Utah Tech (5-4)

They’re simply solid. Packed full of some of the top talent in the conference. I wouldn’t take them out of the race for the WAC title.

But, you absolutely have to consider their loss to Seattle on Saturday. Considering the Redhawks are towards the bottom of the conference, this shouldn’t have been even a close game for UTU, let alone a loss.

So for now, they’re in the middle of the pack. If they get some wins strung together, they’ll no doubt move toward the top. 

7 – Sam Houston (5-4)

I like this team a lot. They beat TCU in non-conference play. They’re also led by one of my favorite WAC newcomers in Chyna Allen, who’s averaging 13.8 points per game. Unfortunately, they had a bit of a losing streak against some good teams, hence their record. But they’re another one of those teams with a bright future. 

8 – Abilene Christian (4-5)

Besides the obvious, this is my favorite team in the WAC.

Madi Miller, Bella Earle, Maleelah Langstaff. That’s just three of their very talented squad. And I loved seeing them play in person when they came to Phoenix to face GCU on Saturday.

However, the Wildcats’ age and experience have shown this season. 11 of their 13 players on the roster are underclassmen.

I’ve said this before, but in situations where experience matters, they fall short. And that showed once again against the Lopes. If this squad stays together, this is a championship team in a year or two. Just not now. 

9 – UT Arlington (3-6)

This team baffles me. By all accounts, based on their roster, they should be at least a top-3 team.

Yet, again and again, they’ve lost games everyone would have guessed they’d win before the season started. Their first year in the WAC is not going well at all. And that’s disappointing. They have the talent to be great. Starr Jacobs would be in the mix for Player of the Year honors. But, the Lady Mavs have just not lived up to expectations thus far. 

10 – Seattle (3-6)

Their three conference wins are their only three wins this season as they went 0-10 in non-conference play.

It was a hard schedule for sure, but 0-10 is not a good look.

But, the Redhawks are starting to find a groove. Taliyah Clark is shooting better and getting a pair of road win this past week is impressive. Suzy Barcomb’s squad is young but starting to play better as of late.

11 – Tarleton (1-8)

It’s hard to put a team with just one conference win any higher than this in the power rankings. Teresa Da Silva is a star. But, the team around her hasn’t played well enough by any means. It’s not for lack of experience. Nine of their 15 players are upperclassmen. But their offense as a whole just isn’t cutting it. They’re 10th in scoring, 8th in field goal percentage, and dead last in offensive rebounds. You can’t win games if you’re not scoring. 

12 – UTRGV (1-7)

They’re just flat out not having the season they should have. They do have a few players playing really well. Iyana Dorsey is their leading scorer at 16.9 points per game, good enough for third in the WAC. But it hasn’t been good enough. Lane Lord’s crew has talent and ability. But, others have to step up beside Dorsey on a consistent basis for the Vaqueros to win games. 

13 – Utah Valley (1-8)

Their record is why they’re at the bottom of the power rankings. Their only conference win was a close one against GCU in the WAC opener for both teams. But this was so far their only bright spot in conference play. They’re definitely on the outside looking in right now. 

About the author

Chelsea Mendelson

On-Air Talent and Producer with GCUTV. Former basketball player and current basketball fan. Proud to be a woman in sports.

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