INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Dylan Thoerner of Tufts University (Medford, Mass.) and Kwashanti Holmes of Keystone College (La Plume, Pa.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending February 19.
Thoerner, a 6-6 senior guard from Irvine, Calif., lifted his team to a double-overtime road victory over then-No. 12 Middlebury (D3hoops.com) in a conference playoff quarterfinal on Saturday. Thoerner scored 30 points (8-of-16 FG, 11-of-11 FT, 3-of-8 3FG) in the contest – 14 in overtime – as the Jumbos pulled the 89-80 upset. He scored 12 in the second overtime, including four free throws in the final 42 seconds, to help clinch the win. Thoerner added two rebounds and two assists in the victory over 4th-seeded Middlebury. Tufts, the No. 5 seed, will now face No. 2 Hamilton on Saturday. For his efforts in the victory, Thoerner was also named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week.
Holmes, a 5-8 freshman guard from Yonkers, N.Y., posted one triple-double and averaged a double-double as Keystone won both of its games last week. On Wednesday, Holmes scored a program-record 43 points (16-of-23 FG, 8-of-14 FT, 3-of-4 3FG), grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out 10 assists, recorded six steals, and added two blocks in the Giants’ 104-96 double-overtime win against Clarks Summit. She had the game-tying basket in regulation, the game-tying free throw in the first overtime and scored 10 of her team’s 19 points in the second overtime. Then, in a 77-72 victory at Cairn on Saturday, Holmes finished with 19 points (7-of-12 FG, 3-of-4 FT, 2-of-3 3FG), six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. For the week, she averaged 31.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 4.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks while shooting 65.7 percent (23-of-35) from the field, 64.7. percent (11-of-17) from the foul line and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from three-point range. For her efforts, Holmes was also selected the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Player of the Week.
Each Tuesday, the USBWA has selected men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. This is the eighth season that the USBWA has recognized national players of the week from Division III. This week's honored players are the season's final selections.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.