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College basketball: Ihnen sets scoring record with 48 points

Minnesota West women's basketball player Katherin Ihnen goes up for a shot Saturday afternoon on her way to a school-record 48 points. (Aaron Hagen/The Globe)

BY DOUG WOLTER

WORTHINGTON -- With every point Katherin Ihnen made in the fourth quarter, the Minnesota West Lady Jays bench stood up and cheered.

Usually, such emotion for a teammate is exhibited only for players who rarely get into the scoring column. Ihnen, however, was making a run at history Saturday afternoon during the Jays’ 96-60 victory over visiting Vermilion College.

Ihnen, a 5-11 sophomore post from Round Lake, finished with 48 points to establish a new Minnesota West women’s basketball single-game scoring record. And as far as her teammates were concerned, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving player.

“I’m not a huge person on individual scoring,” said head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka, “but it was so fun what her team did to keep her scoring. And when I was going to take her out with about three minutes to go, the whole team said, ‘Don’t do it.’”

Ihnen had 23 points at halftime in a game that was already turning into a rout. In the second half she scored 25 more. Her 48 points breaks a school record of 46 set by Lori Arp in the late 1970s.

“It feels amazing. But I gotta give all the credit to my teammates,” Ihnen said after the game. “I’ll remember it forever, but I gotta give all the thanks to my teammates to allow me to achieve this goal.”

Minnesota West led 50-25 at intermission. The quick but smaller Ironwomen scored eight of the first 10 points of the third quarter to cut the margin to 52-33 and later trimmed it to 57-45. The Lady Jays, however, outscored the visitors 14-4 down the stretch to assume a commanding 71-49 lead to start the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was all Minnesota West. Halfway through the period, the Ironwomen were slow to get back on defense, allowing Ihnen on several occasions to take possession of the basketball on one end of the floor and dribble the length of the court for layups.

It was enough to make any normal post player faint.

“I was running on low fuel. My gas gauge was tottering at the end,” Ihnen admitted.

But her teammates would not let her take a rest. They kept feeding her the ball, Ihnen kept scoring, and the home crowd as well as the bench got into the spirit.

“That’s the main reason (I got the record), because of my teammates. As long as they were giving me the ball I was trying to score. Everyone was all for one and one for all,” Ihnen said. “In the huddle Moz said, ‘Get Katherin the ball.’ I think there was about two minutes to go.”

For more than a year now, Ihnen has been a primary scorer and rebounder for the Lady Jays, now 5-1 for the young 2017-18 campaign. She has been as unselfish a player as she has been a popular player, a fact that was noted by Hayenga-Hostikka.

“What a great kid to get something like that. She’s a very unselfish kid. She’s the kind of player who just works her tail off,” said the coach, who added that Ihnen probably wanted to score just because her teammates wanted her to score so badly.

Said Ihnen: “It was one of those things, you don’t realize how many points you have until somebody tells you. ...The excitement from the bench was like we just won the Super Bowl. I’ll always remember my teammates.”

Vermilion 17 25 49 60

Lady Jays 30 50 71 96

VERMILION (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- George 3-2-2-18, Davis 0-1-0-2, Ballard 0-1-4-6, Richards 1-1-2-7, Abernathy 0-8-0-16, Isbell 0-1-0-2, Poulose 1-3-0-9. Totals 6-17-8-60.

LADY JAYS (3FG-2FT-FT-TP) -- Mike 0-4-1-9, Haubrich 2-1-2-7, Stanley 0-1-0-2, Woelber 0-0-0-0, Hinkeldey 0-6-1-13, Wabeke 1-1-1-6, Van Roekel 0-5-1-11, Ihnen 0-16-16-48. Totals 2-34-22-96.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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