Mehrkens hits milestone in Cobber victory

By Nick Ravn
The Forum
The broader perspective for the Concordia women's basketball team features their attempt to fight its way into the top eight playoff-earning slots in the NCAA Division III West Region rankings.

But Wednesday night's matchup with last-place Augsburg had a more individualized focus Ann Mehrkens.

The 5-foot-11 senior from Goodhue, Minn., became just the 14th player in Concordia women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point mark as the Cobbers rolled to a 73-57 victory over the Auggies in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action at the Cobber Fieldhouse.

Mehrkens dumped in 20 points precisely the number she needed to reach the milestone in the final home game of her career. Her left-handed lay-up in transition with 8:30 to play gave her points No. 999 and 1,000.

"This was our last home game," said Mehrkens. "I just wanted to play really hard and go out in style."

The performance was typical Mehrkens style according to her coach, Kathy Wall. Mehrkens disrupted the Augsburg attack atop the Cobbers' full-court pressure, collecting five steals and causing numerous others.

"She does have a lot of natural ability," said Wall, "but she works harder than anybody I've ever coached. I'm so proud of her to get that. That's a huge milestone."

The accomplishment was among Mehrkens' list of goals she set for herself when she entered the Cobber program, though she views it more as the by-product of a career filled with satisfaction from other sources.

"You always set personal goals," said Mehrkens. "But I think the really important things are the friends and relationships and the Christian life."

For the Cobbers, their attention now turns to the final two MIAC games of the season, both on the road. Concordia (17-4 MIAC, 21-6 overall) heads to Bethel on Saturday before playing at Hamline the following Saturday.

Concordia is currently ranked ninth in the West Region. A victory over Bethel, ranked eighth, is a must if the Cobbers hope to realize their postseason aspirations.

"That's really gonna be a real emotional game for us," said Mehrkens. "That's gonna be a big win for us. And we're going down there to win."

AUGSBURG (57): Palmer 1-2 0-0 2, Shellum 2-9 0-0 4, Meskan 1-8 0-0 2, Golden 0-2 0-0 0, Turnock 4-5 1-2 9, Rieger 1-3 0-0 2, Oseland 6-17 2-3 17, Lodermeier 5-8 9-10 21. Totals 20-54 12-15 57.

CONCORDIA (73): Kragerud 3-5 0-0 6, Schirm 2-9 0-0 4, Zollar 2-7 0-0 5, Vetter 3-7 0-0 7, Backer 2-9 3-6 8, Larson 1-5 2-2 4, Suarez 0-3 0-0 0, Mehrkens 9-12 2-2 20, Walla 0-1 0-0 0, Jacobson 1-1 0-0 2, Sonstelie 8-12 1-1 17. Totals 31-71 8-11 73.

Halftime: Concordia 37, Augsburg 25. Total fouls: Augsburg 12, Concordia 14. Fouled out: none. 3-point goals: Augsburg 5-13 (Shellum 0-1, Meskan 0-3, Oseland 3-6, Lodermeier 2-3). Concordia 3-15 (Schirm 0-3, Zollar 1-3, Vetter 1-4, Backer 1-4, Larson 0-1). Rebounds: Augsburg 42 (Lodermeier 8), Concordia 38 (Walla 8, Mehrkens 7). Steals: Augsburg 13 (Meskan 4), Concordia 19 (Mehrkens 5). Assists: Augsburg 10, Concordia 20 (Schirm 7). Turnovers: Augsburg 28 (Lodermeier 15), Concordia 19 (Mehrkens 4).

1996-97 Cobber Women's Basketball