Beaver Fever Friday – Rachael Heittola – Womens Basketball

Bemidji State to host NSIC Tournament First Round Wednesday versus Winona State

Bemidji State University’s season rolls on at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 as it will host the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament First Round against Winona State University. The Beavers will host the first round of the conference postseason tournament for the first time in 18 years with sights set on advancing to the quarterfinal round at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Bemidji State leads the all-time series against Winona State, 45-37. The Beavers and Warriors last met Jan. 7, 2022, a 75-60 win by BSU. Trinity Yoder led BSU with 22 points and six assists during the lone regular season meeting. Rachael Heittola scored 14 points with a team-high eight rebounds while Sydney Zerr hit four 3-pointers for 12 points.

BSU last hosted a game during the NSIC Tournament March 3, 2004, a 72-62 win over Winona State.

When playing in Bemidji since 1984, BSU trails WSU, 17-16, in the series. Bemidji State and Winona State first met in 1973, a 41-37 win by Bemidji State.

BSU’s losing streak was extended to four games after losses of 76-54 at (RV) University of Minnesota Duluth and 67-57 on senior day against No. 16 St. Cloud State University. After a 3-pointer from BSU to open the game against UMD, the Bulldogs went on a 19-2 run and limited the Beavers to 1-of-10 shooting from the field with three turnovers until 2:29 left in the first quarter. UMD shot 10-of-17 from the floor over the first quarter before BSU came back to within 10 points to start the second quarter. The Beavers hit another cold spell as the Bulldogs pulled ahead to a 40-21 lead at halftime.

Senior Brooklyn Bachmann led all Beavers with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field with four steals and three rebounds. Sophomore Rachael Heittola recorded her sixth double-double of the season and 12th of her career with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Bemidji State closed its regular season with senior day against No. 16 St. Cloud State with a similar start to its game at Minnesota Duluth. The Beavers sank a 3-pointer for a quick 3-2 lead and went on to miss its next six field goals with four turnovers to trail the Huskies, 17-5. SCSU extended its lead to 13 points early in the second quarter before BSU cut the deficit to seven at halftime. 34-27. The Beavers pulled to within four points in the third quarter before missing nine straight shots to start the fourth quarter. Heittola led BSU with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting with nine rebounds and two steals. Bachmann followed in scoring with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting with seven rebounds.

BSU celebrated its largest graduating senior class in program history versus St. Cloud State including Brooklyn Bachmann, Coley Rezabek, Taylor Vold, Molly Wenner, Claire Wolhowe, Trinity Yoder and Sydney Zerr.

Wednesday will be the first NSIC Tournament First Round hosted by BSU since a 72-62 win over Winona State on March 3, 2004.

Bachmann currently ranks 12th all-time at BSU in scoring with 1,215 points and sixth with 315 assists. Yoder currently ranks fifth in program history with 362 assists, tied for ninth with 152 steals and 21st with 1,082 points. Wolhowe is on pace to set the BSU career record for 3-point field goal percentage, currently at 42.2 percent. Zerr holds the BSU record for most games played with 123 and ranks eighth with 152 3-pointers made.

Yoder ranks third in the NSIC with 5.0 assists per game and fourth with 91 free throws made. Heittola ranks second in the league with 6.3 defensive rebounds per game, third with 97 free throws made and fifth with 15.7 points per game.

Heittola has recorded the most points (393) for BSU in a single season since Sierra Senske (400) in 2014-15 and the most rebounds (191) since Kate Warmack (267) in 2013-14.