D3hoops.com - In the first 2012 NCAA regional rankings of the year, the Lewis & Clark women's basketball has been ranked third in the West Region. The Pioneers are currently the ninth ranked team in the nation in both the D3hoops.com and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
The Pioneers, who are 20-2 on the season and 12-2 in Northwest Conference action, sit behind conference rivals George Fox (21-0, 16-0 NWC) and St. Thomas (20-1, 18-0 MIAC) in the West Region. Gustavus Adolphus and Wartburg round out the top-five.
Lewis & Clark has solidified a spot in the Northwest Conference Tournament, which produces a NCAA Division III National Tournament automatic qualifier. The Pioneers are still in the hunt for the #2 seed in the NWC Tournament, which would see them host the #3 seeded team in the semi-finals on Thursday, Feb. 23.
If the Pioneers do not win the NWC Championship (and the automatic qualifier) on Saturday, Feb. 25, the Pioneers regional ranking and overall record could help them earn their second consecutive at-large bid. Wins over Oneonta State (14-6, 12-2 SUNYAC) and Kean (20-3, 17-2 NJAC) early in the season also help the Pioneers chances at an at-large bid with Oneonta State ranking fifth in the East Region and Kean sitting in first place in the Atlantic Region.
Lewis & Clark continues NWC action on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at Willamette.