The first semester is coming to a close and 2013 is upon us. As the calendar turns, basketball teams from across the USCAA will begin ramping up their efforts to earn a bid to the 2013 USCAA Basketball National Championships, to be played in Uniontown, Pennsylvania from February 26th to March 2nd. Below is a quick rundown of the action at the halfway point in the season.
Division I Men’s Basketball
Sitting atop the Coaches Poll at the midway point is Rochester College (14-3). The Warriors, last year’s Division I runner-up, scored arguably the biggest victory of the first half by shocking NCAA Division I Eastern Illinois on November 21st. Rochester is returning three starters from the 2012 runner-up team and appear poised for another deep run in Uniontown.
Rounding out the top five in Men’s Division I basketball are Ave Maria University (11-1), Lindenwood-Belleville University (13-3), Daemen College (12-4), and Southern Virginia University (6-3). Ave Maria, Lindenwood-Belleville, and Southern Virginia all will be looking to secure a third straight appearance in the tournament. Ave Maria’s lone loss on the season was a six point setback against NAIA-2 #5 Northwood University. The Gyrenes are returning Matt Chattin, Keil Lewis, Dylan Fugate, Wendell Powell, Akii Dean, and Mike Coyle, all key players from last year’s tournament team.
Lindenwood-Belleville features the top scorer in the USCAA, senior Todd Starks (23.1 ppg). A disappointing performance in last year’s tournament has the Lynx hungry for another appearance. Southern Virginia, the 2011 National Champions, is only nine games into a tough schedule. Remaining matchups against Apprentice School, WVU Tech, and Virginia University Lynchburg will go a long way toward determining the tournament fate of the Knights. Meanwhile, Daemen College in its inaugural of membership will be looking to make its first appearance in Uniontown. The Wildcats, second in the USCAA with a 48.7 shooting percentage, will be competing in the Ave Maria Classic in early January where they’ll be able to test their mettle against Ohio Midwestern, Virginia University Lynchburg, and Ave Maria.
First-year member institution Paul Quinn College (7-2), St. Joseph’s College-Brookyln (8-3), West Virginia University Institute of Technology (9-8), Apprentice School (9-5), and Victory University (8-2) fill out the rest of the top ten. A complete and current ranking of USCAA Men’s Division I basketball can be found linked at the bottom of this article. If you would like to view the statistical leaders for Men’s Division I basketball please click here.
Division II Men’s Basketball
Off to a scorching 14-1 start, NHTI is leading the way thus far in Men’s Division II basketball. Their lone blemish on the season is a last second loss to Central Maine CC. Aside from CMCC, NHTI has beaten all other Yankee conference foes by at least 10 points. Big games against Albany College of Pharmacy, Southern Maine CC, and a rematch against Central Maine CC still loom on the schedule.
Penn State Beaver (9-2), Williamson (11-2), Albany College of Pharmacy (7-1), and Central Penn (8-5) find themselves jockeying for position behind NHTI. For the first few weeks of the season Central Penn reigned as the number one team in the Coaches Poll but has dropped four straight. They’ll be looking to rebound behind the Division II’s leading rebounder and 2012 USCAA All-American Devon Dorsey (12.3 rpg, 19.7 ppg).
Penn State Beaver ends the first semester undefeated in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. Similar to NHTI, Beaver has been largely unopposed in their conference thus far. Led by Robert Agurs, second in the USCAA with 24.9 points per game, the Lions look poised for another tournament appearance. Williamson Trade has a big win against Central Penn in early December to its credit already, the only meeting between top five teams in Men’s Division II basketball thus far. Led by Justin Swift (16.5 ppg), the Mechanics are looking to return to Uniontown after a one year layoff.
Southern Maine Community College (13-3), Penn State York (10-2), two-time defending champion Andrews University (10-5), Warren Wilson College (7-6), and Penn State Mont Alto (6-3) round out USCAA Division II basketball’s top ten. A complete and current ranking of USCAA Men’s Division II basketball can be found within the latest edition of the USCAA Coaches Poll linked at the bottom of this article. If you would like to view the statistical leaders for Men’s Division II basketball please click here.
Division I Women’s Basketball
Daemen College (11-4) continues its lead in the Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll. The Wildcats rank toward the top of the USCAA in points, points per game, field goal percentage, total rebounds, assists per game, and blocks per game. Upcoming matchups against Ave Maria University (December 30th) and Carlow University (February 2nd) highlight the second half of Daemen College’s schedule.
Ave Maria University (5-4), Lindenwood-Belleville (8-8), WVU Tech (7-7) and Carlow University (5-6) follow Daemen in the Division I Women’s Basketball top five. Lindenwood-Belleville scored a huge win early in the season against Ave Maria, and still has four games left against Robert Morris University Springfield (7-3) and two against St. Mary of the Woods College (2-9). Ave Maria University, the 2011 USCAA National Champions, have played the toughest ranked schedule in the USCAA thus far. 2012 All-American Emily Huber (18.2 ppg) has returned from an early season injury giving the Gyrenes a boost down the stretch.
WVU Tech is 3-6 in their last nine games, but ranks as one of the top offensive teams in the USCAA. Despite playing a tough, NAIA-heavy schedule the Golden Bears feature two of the top 15 scorers in the country, Courtney Sturdivant (15.9 ppg) and Amy Gardner (14.5 ppg). Carlow University, a 2012 tournament participant, has only one setback so far this season against USCAA competition, a 67-63 loss to Alice Lloyd College on November 20th. Carlow and Alice Lloyd will meet up again on January 5th in a big rematch between two of the top women’s basketball teams in the USCAA.
Alice Lloyd College (8-6), Virginia University Lynchburg (8-7), Southern Virginia University (3-4), Apprentice School (5-4), and University of Dallas (5-4) complete the top ten for Women’s Division I Basketball. A complete and current ranking of USCAA Women’s Division I basketball is linked at the bottom of the article. If you would like to view the statistical leaders for Women’s Division I basketball please click here.
Division II Women’s Basketball
In the first year of the women’s basketball split, 2012 Yankee Conference champion Central Maine Community College (13-2) has started off hot again and is leading the Coaches Poll at the midway point in the season. CMCC is undefeated in the Yankee thus far and only has losses to Maine-Fort Kent and the Community College of Rhode Island working against them. With two scorers in the top ten, Susie French (19.4) and Maggie Sabine (17.6 ppg), the Mustang’s top scoring offense has the firepower for a deep run in Uniontown.
Trailing CMCC in the Coaches Poll is Albany College of Pharmacy (7-1), University of Maine-Machias (7-3), Penn State Beaver (9-3), and Warren Wilson College (6-4). Albany College of Pharmacy have allowed their stellar defense (opponents shooting only 29.1%) carry them in the first half. The Panthers have big games against Vermont Tech, Berkeley College-New York, and NHTI still left on the schedule. Playing one of the toughest schedules in Women’s Division II basketball, Warren Wilson College started the year 5-2 before dropping two of their last three. Led by Lilvia Bradbury’s 15.2 points per game (50% shooting), the Owls are looking to secure their first trip to the USCAA National Championships in a decade.
Penn State Beaver was rolling through the Penn State University Athletic Conference until running into defending PSUAC champion Penn State Fayette. Beaver is third in the USCAA in points scored per game but will receive a healthy challenge from Fayette, Brandywine, Worthington Scranton, and Greater Allegheny in the competitive PSUAC conference. The University of Maine-Machias, one of the top scoring and rebounding teams in Women’s Division II basketball, has scored big victories against Southern Maine Community College and University of Maine-Augusta already this year. However, a loss to Central Maine CC sets them back in the rankings.
NHTI (8-3), Cincinnati-Clermont (9-12), Berkeley College-New York (4-4), Southern Maine CC (9-4), and Penn State Brandywine (5-4) finish out the top ten. Current rankings of USCAA Women’s Division II basketball are linked below. If you would like to view the statistical leaders for Women’s Division II basketball please click here.
Bid day for the 2013 USCAA Basketball National Championships is February 15th. Eight bids are distributed for Men’s Division I, Women’s Division I, and Women’s Division II basketball. Ten bids are distributed for Men’s Division II basketball. Men’s and Women’s Division II basketball have automatic bids that go to the winners of the Yankee and Penn State University Athletic Conferences and host institution Penn State Fayette receives a bid for their men’s and women’s team.
Be sure to follow the USCAA weekly update (posted to theuscaa.com on Tuesday afternoon) for weekly key matchups in all divisions of USCAA basketball.
*All records current as of 12/20