Emily Thesing has helped the Concordia College Cobbers to 9-3 overall and 8-1 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) records.
The senior guard from Brainerd High School is averaging 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in those four games. She’s shooting 39.7 percent from the field, 78.9 percent from the line and 30.4 percent from 3-point.
Thesing scored a season-high 22 points in the Cobbers’ 81-68 victory over St. Benedict Jan, 9 and scored 19 points in a victory over St. Mary’s Jan. 7 by the same score.
She’s also added 29 steals and one blocked shot for the Cobbers, who have won six straight games.
Thesing was honored as MIAC Co-Player of the Week this week thanks to her game-winning shot at the buzzer against St. Olaf. It was her first Player of the Week honor.
■ Q: Your buzzer-beater against St. Olaf Jan. 2 wasn’t your first game-winner. Do you still remember your game-winner against the Willmar Cardinals Feb. 2, 2007, as a sophomore for the Brainerd Warriors?
A: “It’s funny, one of my teammates now played for Willmar at the time. Her dad came up to me after the St. Olaf game and said he was happy he got to witness a game-winner from the other side.”
■ Q: You still list playing in the Section 8-4A finals as your greatest personal sports moment on your Concordia bio. Why?
A: “High-school wise it still is, but after making the national tournament last year, that probably is now. It was a great experience making that tournament. It ended short, but it was a pretty fun experience.”
■ Q: You helped Concordia win the MIAC playoff title last season to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. What was that experience like?
A: “I never made it to the state tournament in high school so it was really fun to play in. Leading up to nationals was so intense. The practices were intense and then when you get there it’s even more intense. We had so many seniors on last year’s team so we wanted to go out there and end on a high note. It was a fun experience, but it was intense.”
■ Q: You finished your Brainerd career with 807 points, 279 rebounds, 270 assists and 169 steals while shooting 38 percent from the field, 31 percent from 3-point and 71 percent from the line. What’s been your biggest improvement in college?
A: “Probably just learning basketball and gaining knowledge of the game. Being able to recognize different defenses. I have a better understanding of the game and appreciate it much more. Since my days of playing are winding down, I go into each game with a different mindset.”
■ Q: Your hometown team is struggling to pick up wins this season. What would be your advice to a young Warrior girls basketball team?
A: “I would tell them to keep working hard. I don’t know how many hours I put in in the driveway and playing. I don’t think girls realize how much work you need to put in if you’re going to be successful. So I would tell them if you keep working hard you’re going to get the results you want. Also to have fun. Go play the game you love.”
■ Q: What is your fondest memory of former Brainerd Warriors head coach Carl Hendrickson?
A: “Just the relationship I had with him. He’s been one of the biggest influences on my career. I remember being in his camps since I was little. There isn’t anything particular about him that stands out, just him as a coach and how much respect I have for him. To this day he’s been such a big part of my career.”