Feb. 18, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Reinsch
Association continues to honor Div. II standouts
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INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Brian Halums of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (Fort Smith, Ark.) and Hailey Diestelkamp of Drury University (Springfield, Mo.) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division II National Players of the Week for the week ending February 16.

Halums, a senior guard, claimed his first Division II National Player of the Week honor of the season after averaging 41.5 points and 9.5 rebounds as UAFS split a pair of Lone Star Conference games last week. Halums led the Lions to a dramatic 83-82 win over Angelo State with a 45-point effort, and he also scored 38 points with 12 rebounds in a narrow 69-67 defeat to Lubbock Christian.

His 45-point effort against Angelo State was the highest single-game output in the Lone Star Conference this season and was the sixth-highest single-game mark in Division II this season. In the final minute against Angelo State, Halums led UAFS back from an 82-77 deficit, recording an assist on a three-pointer that cut the lead to two, followed by a block, a steal, and the game-winning three-pointer on the Lions' final offensive possession.

For the week, Halums shot 53 percent (30-for-57) from the field, including 47 percent (9-for-19) on three-pointers, adding 14-of-15 free throws (93 percent). He averaged 41.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals to lead the Lions, who are now 11-13 overall and 7-11 in LSC play this year.

Halums, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard, has eight 30-point games this year, including a trio of 40-point performances. He ranks second in Division II in scoring, averaging 28.0 points per game, and he's averaging 31.7 points over his past 12 games.

Halums is the second player from the Lone Star Conference to earn USBWA Men’s Division II National Player of the Week honors this season.

Diestelkamp, a senior forward was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week after setting Drury's single-game scoring record with 43 points in the Lady Panthers 98-67 win at William Jewell last Saturday.

The Owensville, Mo., native added 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block against Jewell, shooting 16-of-24 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, and was 8-of-9 at the free-throw line.

Diestelkamp began the week with 21 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks in a 103-60 win at Rockhurst.

For the week, she averaged 32 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 59 percent from the field and 72 percent (13-of-18) at the free-throw line.

Diestelkamp ranks 19th in NCAA Division II with 19.8 points per game and has helped Drury to a 25-0 record. This is her second career USBWA Women's Division II National Player of the Week honor, having also been selected once during the 2018-19 season.

Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division II National Players of the Week. This is the sixth season that the USBWA will recognize national players of the week from Division II.

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.

2019-20 USBWA Division II National Players of the Week
• Week ending Nov. 10: Andrew Sischo, Daemen College and Brianna Purcell, Saint Michael's College
• Week ending Nov. 17: Andrew Sischo, Daemen College and Kayla Marosites, Carson-Newman University
• Week ending Nov. 24: Pat Dembley, UT Permian Basin and Kwanza Murray, Lincoln University
• Week ending Dec. 1: Hasan Varence, Ohio Dominican University and Shannon Ryan, Saint Anselm College
• Week ending Dec. 8: Peyton Wejnert, Pace University and Taisha DeShazo, Catawba College
• Week ending Dec. 15: Jhonathan Dunn, Southern Nazarene University and Jamiyah Johnson, Davis & Elkins College
• Week ending Dec. 29: Kevin Buckingham, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Peyton Steinman, Saint Anselm College
• Week ending Jan. 5: Jordan Floyd, King University and Mar'Shalia Lollie, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
• Week ending Jan. 12: Sekou Sylla, The College of Saint Rose and Sylvia Hudson, Urbana University
• Week ending Jan. 19: Jhonathan Dunn, Southern Nazarene University and McKayla Roberts, Le Moyne College
• Week ending Jan. 26: Eamonn Joyce, Southern New Hampshire University and Tyra James, Urbana University
• Week ending Feb. 2: Winston Hill, Francis Marion University and Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson University
• Week ending Feb. 9: Jordan Floyd, King University and Lilly Ritz, Wheeling University
• Week ending Feb. 16: Brian Halums, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and Hailey Diestelkamp, Drury University
• Week ending Feb. 23: Brandon Myer, University of Minnesota Duluth and Shannon Ryan, Saint Anselm College
• Week ending March 1: Robbie Heath, West Chester University and Hailey Diestelkamp, Drury University