The Bemidji State University women’s basketball program finally opens its 2020-21 season with a non-conference doubleheader Saturday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 3 against Minnesota State University, Mankato at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers enter their 54th season as a program and the sixth under Head Coach Chelsea DeVille.
Minnesota State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 34-13.
According to available records, Jan. 2 is the latest the Beavers have begun a season since opening the 1971-72 season against Mayville State University on Jan. 19 under Head Coach Ruth Howe. The latest known start for Bemidji State was a Jan. 23 game to begin the 1970-71 season against Concordia College (Moorhead).
The Beavers are 4-1 in season-openers under DeVille, 4-1 in home openers, and 1-4 when facing an NSIC team for the first time.
Bemidji State comes off the 2019-20 season in which it recorded the program’s most overall wins since 2013-14 and the most conference wins since 2012-13.
The team brought in five true freshmen to the roster, including three guards (Sam Pogatchnik, Amme Sheforgen, Lily Weimann), one forward (Jana Swanson), and one center (Jenna Anderson).
The Beavers return two All-NSIC student-athletes, including All-NSIC Second Team selection Trinity Myer and NSIC All-Freshman Team member Rachael Heittola. Heittola was selected as BSU’s 2020-21 Player to Watch.
Myer led BSU in points, assists, and steals per game last season while ranking third in the NSIC in assists per game. She also ranked third in the conference in free throw attempts, seventh in total assists and steals per game, and 12th in free throws made. Myer is just the second Beaver since 2014 to earn All-NSIC honors and has played in all 55 games for BSU over the last two seasons.
Heittola averaged 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game during her freshman season and finished the 2019-20 season with three straight games with at least 10 rebounds. She also became the first Beaver with a 30-point game since the 2016-17 season. Heittola is the program’s active leader in double-doubles with three.