Women's Basketball: Patriot League Power Rankings — Week 6

Featured image courtesy of Phil Inglis.

With only five games this week instead of the usual ten, there was little opportunity for any team in the Patriot League to make a significant push to improve their standing. As a result, there was minimal movement in the rankings. BU and Lehigh both demonstrated that they can play better than their respective records suggest, while Holy Cross and American continued to struggle with consistency despite boasting talented rosters. 

In addition to trying to settle their never-ending debate about where each team should be ranked, Ethan Fuller and Hannah Yoshinaga picked every squad’s Most Valuable Player of the Week.

1. Bucknell University (16-6, 9-2 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Ellie Mack (F)  

Mack played hero for the Bison yet again on Saturday, scoring a team-best 18 points in 30 minutes to secure Bucknell’s ninth conference win. Mack also led the team with four assists and eight rebounds. Bucknell has been a consistently good team all year long, and Mack is a major reason for that. Mack has failed to reach double-digit points in only three games this year, only one of which was a conference matchup, and shoots over 50% from the field and over 40% from deep. — Hannah Yoshinaga 

This week: February 12 vs. Navy, February 15 at American 

2. Lafayette College (11-10, 7-4 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Natalie Kucowski

Despite losing their one contest to another great team in Lehigh, Lafayette stays at second in the rankings, though they barely hang on over Colgate. The hype train keeps chugging along for Natalie Kucowski, who put up a ridiculous 22-point, 19-rebound effort on 8-14 shooting. One glaring trouble spot for Kucowski had been turnovers; the junior is giving the ball away an average of 4.4 times per game this season and committed seven turnovers in the loss. 

This week: February 12 vs. Army, February 15 vs. Holy Cross 

3. Colgate University (16-6, 8-3 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Rachel Thompson

Colgate didn’t play their best basketball this week, but the Raiders still cruised past a bottom-feeding Navy team. Senior star Rachel Thompson came off the bench for the first time this season but still compiled 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in a well-rounded performance.  Colgate has found some positive offensive momentum over their last two wins, but that will be put to the test against a stingy BU defense. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 12 vs. BU, February 15 vs. Loyola MD

4. Boston University (12-10, 7-4 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Maggie Pina

The Terriers’ first win against Holy Cross was considered an upset; their second, on the road, was a statement. BU held the Crusaders to just 51 points and outrebounded them 36-26 in the win. Maggie Pina is on fire, having made 12 of her 20 shots in the past two games. On the opposite end of the thermometer is Katie Nelson, who is 2-22 in her last three contests. BU needs Nelson to find her stroke for their offense to truly be a consistent threat. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 12 at Colgate, February 15 vs. Navy 

5. College of the Holy Cross (13-9, 6-5 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Avery LaBarbera (G)  

With most of the attention focused on senior forward Lauren Manis, LaBarbera has quietly continued to be a reliable scorer for coach Ann McInerney. LaBarbera scored 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting against a solid BU defense, recording 11 or more points for the seventh straight game. She was also an important part of running the Crusaders’ offense, producing four of Holy Cross’ seven assists against the Terriers. — Hannah Yoshinaga 

This week: February 12 vs. Lehigh, February 15 at Lafayette

6. Lehigh University (15-7, 7-4 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Megan Walker (G)  

Walker could not be stopped from beyond the arc against Lafayette, and she made seven of her 13 three-point attempts. Over the course of her 28 minutes, she attempted only three field goals inside the perimeter. The Leopards, typically a top-notch defensive unit, had no answer for Walker’s 23 points. The 73 points scored by Lehigh was the highest point total Lafayette has allowed since January 15 against Colgate in Hamilton. — Hannah Yoshinaga 

This week: February 12 at Holy Cross, February 15 vs. Army 

7. American University (9-12, 5-6 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: 

The Eagles won a nail-biter in overtime against Army this weekend, and Patriot League Player of the Week Jade Edwards was the key factor. Edwards scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while handing out a trio of assists. It was by no means a perfect game, as evidenced by Edwards’ six turnovers and her five fouls, which took her out with 2:21 left in OT. But the performance was still big for the sophomore, who is averaging 14.2 points on the season. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 12 at Loyola MD, February 15 vs. Bucknell 

8. Loyola University Maryland (6-16, 3-8 PL)

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Stephanie Karcz (G)  

Karcz was the only Greyhound to reach double digits in scoring against Bucknell’s airtight defense on Saturday. Karcz was 6-for-15 from the floor, easily the best percentage from all of Loyola’s shooters. She finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, recording her ninth double-double on the season. — Hannah Yoshinaga 

This week: February 12 vs. American, February 15 at Colgate 

9. Army West Point (5-17, 1-10 PL) 

Previous ranking: 10 

MVP of the Week: Kate Murray (F)  

Murray’s 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench nearly helped the Black Knights to steal a win over American on Saturday. She came one point shy of her season-high, 16 points against BU on January 12, and significantly outscored her average of 3.3 points per game. Had she made both of her free throws at the end of the fourth quarter, Army could have won the game and avoided overtime, but head coach Dave Magarity still has to be happy with Murray’s progress. — Hannah Yoshinaga 

This week: February 12 at Lafayette, February 15 at Lehigh

10. Naval Academy (7-15, 2-9 PL) 

Previous ranking:

MVP of the Week: Sophie Gatzounas

Saturday saw an ugly loss at the hands of Colgate. Navy’s offense is in disarray; the Mids made one of 18 three-point attempts and shot 34 percent from the floor, which is actually about par for the team. One of the few bright spots was junior Sophie Gatzounas, who scored 10 points of 5-9 shooting to go with nine boards. Gatzounas has been a solid if unspectacular performer all season, with averages of 7.5 points, five rebounds and 46 percent shooting from the floor. — Ethan Fuller

This week: February 12 at Bucknell, February 15 at BU

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