BURNSVILLE -- For the first time since 2013, Bemidji State hoops has a pair of Player of the Week winners.
Derek Thompson from the men’s team and Rachael Heittola from the women’s team were both selected on Monday as the weekend’s top performers in the North Division of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
The matching honors marks the first time since Dec. 23, 2013, that the Beaver men and women have won the award on the same day, as well as just the sixth time ever.
Thompson’s selection was almost a no-doubter after Saturday’s game. The senior forward scored 45 points against Minnesota Crookston to break BSU’s single-game scoring record, previously held by Charles Hanks for a 44-point showing in 2003. He also tied the program record with 17 made field goals en route to the conference’s highest-scoring game of the season. On the weekend, Thompson averaged 32 points and eight rebounds per game en route to his first career weekly selection.
Heittola picked up her third career award, and second of 2020-21, by averaging 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds against UMC while shooting 70% (14-for-20). The sophomore center had a 25-point, 11-rebound double-double on Friday, which included a 10-for-13 mark from the field. Heittola is the program’s first player to earn multiple Player of the Week honors in a single season since Amy Lawson in 2007-08. Additionally, Bemidji State has now won the award three times this year, matching the program high (2006-07 and 2007-08).
Quincy Anderson of the Minnesota State men and Taylor Hustad of the Winona State women won the South Division Player of the Week awards.
While the BSU men’s team finished the season with a 7-9 overall record and a 6-8 mark in league play, the women (9-5, 8-4 NSIC North) earned the North’s No. 3 seed for the NSIC Tournament and will face South No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.