WALTHAM, Mass. – Women's Division II Bulletin unveiled its preseason top 25 this week with the Bentley University Falcons, coming off a 26-6 season, listed at number four.
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Barbara Stevens lost the program's all-time leading scorer, Jen Gemma, to graduation, but returns a pair of All-Northeast-10 Conference guards, Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) and Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School). In addition, she's bolstered the roster with the return of junior guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) and the addition of two Division I transfers.
Green and Smith, who averaged 12.3 and 11.3 points a game respectively, are two of four returning starters for the Falcons. The others are junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) and senior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's HS).
Lewis, who missed all of last season with an injury, gave the Falcons 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game during the final 12 games of her freshman year.
Guards Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) and Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS) have joined the Falcons from Brown and Holy Cross, respectively. Musgrove, a grad student, averaged 10.8 points and 2.2 steals for the Bears in 2015-16, and Springfield, a sophomore, appeared in 29 games for the Crusaders last winter, averaging 2.7 points.
Defending national champion Ashland University, 37-0 last winter, tops the rankings and the top five also includes Colorado State Pueblo at number two, Valdosta State at number three and Virginia Union at number five. The other East Region teams in the top 25 were USciences at 18 and Caldwell at 24.
Bentley opens its season Nov. 10-11 in Philadelphia at Holy Family, facing the host team in the first game and Wilmington (Del.) the following day.
Women's Division II Bulletin 2017-18 Preseason Rankings
1. Ashland (37-0), 2. Colorado State Pueblo (28-4), 3. Valdosta State (22-10), 4. Bentley (26-6), 5. Virginia Union (28-5), 6. Harding (31-4), 7. Indiana, Pa. (24-7), 8. Emporia State (29-5), 9. UC San Diego (23-7), 10. Lander (25-8), 11. Drury (30-4), 12. Lee (20-11), 13. Cal Baptist (35-3), 14. Michigan Tech (20-8), 15. West Texas A&M (26-9), 16. Pittsburg State (25-6), 17. Glenville State (24-6), 18. USciences (27-6), 19. Alaska Anchorage (30-2), 20. Lubbock Christian (19-11), 21. Columbus State (31-2), 22. Cal State East Bay (22-9), 23. West Florida (28-7), 24. Caldwell (25-6), 25. Minn. Moorhead (24-5)