College basketball: Ihnen leads Lady Jays to victory
AARON HAGEN Daily Globe WORTHINGTON -- Katherin Ihnen doesn't keep track of how many points she scores in a game. "A lot of it is from my teammates, definitely," Ihnen said. "They have great entry passes. They are good confidence boosters. I'm no...
WORTHINGTON -- Katherin Ihnen doesn’t keep track of how many points she scores in a game.
“A lot of it is from my teammates, definitely,” Ihnen said. “They have great entry passes. They are good confidence boosters. I’m not even thinking about that when I’m in the games, I don’t even know how many points I have. Just get the ball in the hoop, that’s my main goal.”
The freshman on the Minnesota West women’s basketball team accomplished her goal quite often Wednesday night in a 75-66 victory over Buena Vista University JV.
She entered the game averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. Those numbers won’t be going down this week as she eclipsed those stats before the fourth quarter even started. Ihnen finished with a game-high 25 points and 15 rebounds in MW’s first game since mid-December.
“It definitely wasn’t one of our best games, but it’s always hard taking such a long break off,” Ihnen said. “We had a couple good days of practice before and we came back. We knew it was going to be rough, but we just have to play through it and do the best that we can.”
MW had a size advantage inside, and showed its strength on the boards. The Lady Jays had 55 rebounds, while the Beavers collected 40. Ihnen had nine of her team’s 18 offensive rebounds.
“It was my freshman year of high school and my coach just said, ‘You have to get the board, that’s your job,’” Ihnen explained. “That was like my only job. Ever since then, that’s pretty much the only thing I focus on, get the rebound.”
West started hot as Emily Haubrich hit a 3 and made two free throws to spark a 13-3 run to start the game.
“It’s been since Dec. 13, three full weeks of not playing, which is tough,” MW head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka said. “You kind of know you have to expect some of those things. This is a team that beat us by about 50 last year, so I feel pretty good about turning around and beating them at home and not feeling like we played our best game. If you can overcome some of that and still come out with a victory, that’s a good sign.”
The Beavers fought back and trailed by four after the first quarter. The teams traded points back and forth in the second as MW led 35-31 at halftime.
“We had a good halftime talk and Moz (Hayenga-Hostikka) said some things we needed to work on. We went into the second half hoping to improve on those things and it definitely did help,” Ihnen said. “One of our main things was knowing who had who. We were kind of helter skelter. But we shut down the 3 when we talked on defense. Talking on defense was probably one of our main focuses.”
Taylor Noid converted a steal into a layup and Brenna Kramer made a triple to spark a 17-4 run for the Lady Jays to start the second half.
After five quick points by BV, Ihnen scored on an offensive rebound putback as MW led by 14.
“Katherin, my goodness, she just had a monstrous game,” Hayenga-Hostikka said. “She just works so hard, she just outworks everybody. She’s so strong. She’s a kid that you’re going to get 100 percent effort every time.”
After leading by 12 entering the fourth quarter, West’s Haubrich hit a 3 to push the lead to 15. The Beavers chipped away late and had the deficit to eight points, but Ihnen and Brooklyn Barnett each hit a free throw to seal the victory.
Haubrich finished with 11 points, while Noid had nine points and four assists. Tanner Gunnink scored eight points and had eight rebounds, while Andrea Hinkeldey had eight points. Ashlynn Wabeke scored seven and Kramer had six points and four assists.
MW (9-2) is at Central Lakes on Friday and Vermilion on Saturday.
BVU JV 14 31 45 66MN West 18 35 57 75BVU JV (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Poots 0-2-2-6, Barnes 3-2-2-15, Appleseth 0-2-2-6, Einerwold 1-3-3-12, Schrank 4-0-0-12, Sibenaller 0-2-0-4, Denholm 2-2-1-11. Totals 10-13-10-66.LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Noid 0-4-1-9, Haubrich 3-0-2-11, Kramer 2-0-0-6, Barnett 0-0-1-1, Gunnink 0-4-0-8, Hinkeldey 0-4-0-8, Wabeke 2-0-1-7, Ihnen 0-9-7-25. Totals 7-21-11-75.