Tommie women’s basketball (10-1) has climbed one spot to No. 3 in this week’s USA Today/WBCA Division III national poll.
DePauw (Ind.) is ranked first taking all eight first-place votes. At No. 2 is Calvin (Mich.), which defeated St. Thomas in the season-opener, 78-72, avenging an NCAA playoff loss from last March.
Coach Ruth Sinn’s Tommies have reeled off 10 consecutive victories, and climbed to its highest regular-season national ranking in a decade.
The Tommies have won 32 in a row against MIAC opposition and 22 in a row at home. Over the last five seasons they've built a 101-26 record.
After a 78-55 win at Augsburg Saturday, the Tommies were led by junior Taylor Young on Monday night, who scored 11 points in 15 minutes en route to their 76-44 win over Bethel. It was Young’s first game back since December 3, as she’s nursed a lower-leg injury.
In the absence of Young and injured junior forward Maggie Weiers, St. Thomas has employed a balanced attack on offense. It's been led in scoring by a different player in each of their past five games. UST has also been tough on opposing defenses, forcing a conference-best 12.8 steals per game and allowing just 53 points a game.
One player who’s had a large impact on the success is senior point guard Kellie Ring, the reigning MIAC Women’s co-Player of the Week for her solid play in two victories last week while mourning the sudden death of her father. Ring is averaging 10.2 points, 3.4 assists and 3.6 steals per game this season.
The Tommies will face a tough test on Wednesday night, as the travel to St. Peter to play co-conference leader Gustavus (9-2 overall, 8-0 MIAC). The Gusties have been successful under the direction of first-year head coach Laurie Trow Kelly, a Tommie alumnus. Kelly led the 1990-91 Tommies to the an NCAA championship, and is the career MIAC leader in both scoring and rebounding.