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Irwin has had record-setting career at SDSU

Athlete of the Week sets record for most games played at SDSU
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 11:18 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The question of how many games Tylee Irwin has played in at South Dakota State is both easy...

“In a ton! She’s played in a lot!” SDSU Junior Myah Selland says. “Ummm, I know it’s a lot!” Irwin says.

....and hard to answer. “A lot! I think she holds the record here but I don’t know what that number is!” SDSU Head Coach Aaron Johnston says.

The answer is 156.

Although since these interviews were first recorded it’s now 157.

“You get the typical wear and tear, especially at the end of the season. But we have a great training staff that’s kept me healthy for five years!” Irwin says.

In truth SDSU has seen plenty of Tylee’s games well before she ever stepped foot on campus, recruiting the daughter of a college coach in her early years at Wahpeton High School in North Dakota. “When I visited here, visited campus, I kind of realized how special it was especially with women’s basketball. And so it was just something I wanted to be a part of. It was just kind of a no-brainer for me.” Tylee says.

Almost immediately she began to make an impact, starting as a sophomore on the 2019 Jackrabbit team that made it to the Sweet 16.

“Tylee has always realized that she could bring value to the team outside of just shooting and scoring. As a young player she was someone that could make shots and make plays but she also found ways to help other people shine and be good.” Johnston says.

And Tylee has continued to do a little bit of everything as a lynch pin in the starting lineup ever since, becoming the program’s leader in all-time games played this season. “I can’t imagine it (the record) would be (broken) but maybe they’ll put a little asterisk for COVID-19 or something!” Irwin says.

“You can’t devalue them because people had an extra year. You still have to play all five years, you still have to be good enough to be on the floor, you still have to fight through injuries and just stay healthy.” Johnston says.

It’s as hard to imagine the record ever being topped as it is for her Tylee’s teammates to imagine not playing with her next year. “I haven’t really wanted to go there and think about what it’s going to be like without her next year. She’s just such a great teammate, a great friend, she’s just someone that you can lean on in those tough times.” Selland says.

In the meantime, Irwin and her teammates are savoring the time they have left..... “Keep trying to get better every day and stay focused because there’s a lot of things that could be distracting like thinking it could be my last game. But, obviously, that would be thinking that we’re gonna lose!” Tylee says.

While adding more by advancing through the WNIT.

In Brookings, Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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