18 Ifs, Ands or Buts About PAC Basketball Stats

By Justin Zackal

There are 18 days until the PAC men’s and women’s basketball champions will be crowned right here on the PAC Sports Network. As we count down to the finals, which will be held Saturday, February 25, here are 18 “ifs,” “ands” or “buts” about the league’s basketball stats.


Matt D’Amico and the Saint Vincent Bearcats are trying to grab a fifth straight PAC crown.

1.) IF you subscribe to the “defense wins championships” axiom, then seventh-place Grove City is your team, albeit a long shot. The Wolverines give up the fewest points per game (66.3), 2.) BUT the Wolverines’ offense is ninth in the league in scoring (64.7).

3.) IF you measure defense by peripheral stats, fourth-place Thiel is a more viable contender. The Tomcats lead the PAC in steals (8.1 per game),

4.) AND forcing turnovers (15.7 per game),

5.) AND Clandell Cetoute ranks sixth in the nation with 3.37 blocks per game,

6.) BUT defending opponents’ shots is paramount: the Tomcats lead the PAC in field-goal percentage defense (39.5), which ranks 19th in the nation.

7.) IF scoring matters, well, Thiel does that too, leading the league in points per game (78.2). 

8.) IF games are won at the foul line, then second-place Thomas More is the team that can knock down free throws. The Saints lead the PAC and rank eighth in the NCAA with a 78.3 free-throw shooting percentage, led by Ralph Stone’s PAC-best 84.9.

9.) IF 3-pointers are game-changers, then first-place Saint Vincent is most reliable. The Bearcats shoot 40.4 percent from downtown, three percentage points better than any other PAC team and 14th in the nation.

10.) IF defending the 3-pointer is critical to preventing opponents from making up deficits or taking big leads, then third-place Westminster can control a game. Titan opponents shoot just 30.2 percent from behind the arc, 20th lowest in the nation.

11.) IF second chances off the boards make a difference, Thiel leads the PAC by attacking the glass with 41.6 rebounds per game,

12.) AND Westminster is second with 40.4 rebounds per game,

13.) BUT Thomas More has a plus-5.2 rebound margin by limiting opponents to just 32.7 per game.

14.) IF star players show up in crunch time, Bethany has Antonio Rudolph, Thomas More has Simon Clifford — the only two all-PAC performers from last year —

15.) AND it’s hard to argue with Thiel’s Tyreik Burton averaging 18.3 points per game,

16.) BUT Westminster’s Deontay Scott stuffs the stats sheet: 13.9 points per game, a PAC-best 9.7 rebounding average, eight double-doubles,

17.) AND the league’s most accurate shooting percentage (59.8).

18.) BUT Saint Vincent’s consistency ends the discussion: the Bearcats not only have won four consecutive PAC championships, they’re hot right now, too, winning nine straight games.



Nikki Kiernan and the Thomas More Saints have maintained their dominance again this season.

1.) IF you’re going looking for statistical evidence to determine the best women’s team in the PAC, you should look no further than first-place Thomas More’s average scoring margin.

2.) AND it’s not even close. The 10-time reigning PAC champions are outscoring conference opponents by an average of 43.1 points (93.9-50.8); the next closest is third-place Saint Vincent (66.5-57.8) at +8.7.

3.) BUT for the sake of this exercise, let’s look at the stats where the Saints exceed everyone else in NCAA Division III.

4.) IF you like efficiency, Thomas More takes care of the rock with 11.5 turnovers per game, the lowest in the country.

5.) AND the Saints distribute ball with 21.4 assists per game that lead the nation, giving them an NCAA-best 1.86 assist-to-turnover ratio.

6.) IF you had to credit anyone for this, it’s sophomore guard Michaela Ware, who leads the nation with a 4.81 assist-to-turnover ratio. The next closest has 3.13,

7.) AND teammate Madison Temple is fourth with 2.94.

8.) BUT are there other PAC teams that rank in the Top 10 in stats categories?

9.) IF 3-pointers are your thing, Westminster ranks fifth in the nation long-distance shooting, making 37.6 percent from behind the arc.

10.) AND two Titans (Rachel Durbin and Jackie Mathews) lead the conference with 46 made 3-pointers,

11.) BUT as a team, Westminster doesn’t shoot that many (18.2) and the Titans are in eighth place in the standings.

12.) IF you were to choose the best players in the PAC on stats alone, you could go with Grove City’s Lexie Arkwright, who leads the league with a 20.3 scoring average,

13.) AND her 4.2 steals average ranks sixth in the nation.

14.) IF not Arkwright, then maybe Bethany’s Kelsea Daugherty, who is averaging 17.8 points, thanks to 126 free throws that rank sixth in the nation.

15.) AND then there’s Waynesburg’s Addy Knetzer, who is averaging a double-double with 17.2 points and a league-leading 11.9 rebounds per game.

16.) BUT neither of these top three producers play for the PAC’s top three teams.

17.) IF you’re looking for intrigue on the women’s side, second-place Washington & Jefferson has won five straight games,

18.) AND one was by two points against third-place Saint Vincent, 75-73.