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'Just want to cherish the moment'; Wahpeton's Irwin getting every last game of her collegiate career

South Dakota State faces UCLA in the WNIT Thursday in Brookings

North Dakota State’s Heaven Hamling dribbles by South Dakota State’s Tylee Irwin as she looks for a route to the basket during their women’s basketball game on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
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BROOKINGS , S.D. - Tylee Irwin isn't ready to be done dancing.

The Wahpeton native and South Dakota State senior forward has at least one week left in her college basketball career.

That's after the Jackrabbits rallied to beat Alabama 78-73 in the Women's National Invitational Tournament semifinals Sunday in front of a crowd of over 4200.

"With the WNIT, we didn't know what to expect for attendance numbers. It was the biggest crowd we've had at Frost Arena since I've been here." Irwin said.

That crowd was treated to a classic as the Jacks beat the Crimson Tide, giving the fifth year senior Irwin at least one more game to add to her school record 157 that's she played in.


"Everyone was saying to me on Sunday, now you have one week left! You try not to think about it, when you have the potential to keep playing more games, you want to stay focused for the game ahead. But I'm also trying to cherish the moment."

The next moment comes Thursday when UCLA comes to town for the semifinals. Irwin says her family will be together again hopeful this run can go to the very end.

"My sister, she lives in Oregon, she's flying back Thursday. It's an emotional time, not worried for the last game but kind of preparing for it in a sense." Irwin said.

South Dakota State (27-9) beat the Bruins 76-66 back on November 27th in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida. Irwin missed that game with a back injury.

The Jackrabbits are set to host UCLA Thursday night at 7, the winner will play either Seton Hall or Middle Tennessee in the championship game on Saturday.

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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