Closing in on 1,000

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Pam Iversen has had ups and downs in her basketball career, but her accomplishments speak for themselves.

"Any time you score 1,000 points ... that's quite an achievement," Southeast Missouri State University coach Ed Arnzen said.

Iversen has not scored 1,000 points yet, but she could reach that career milestone today when the Otahkians (10-6, 3-3 Ohio Valley Conference) face Murray State (7-8, 2-3) at 4:30 p.m. at the Regional Special Events Center in Murray, Ky.

With 995 points, Iversen is poised to join an exclusive group at Southeast that includes just 11 other female players. But scoring is just a part of what Arnzen feels the 6-foot-2 senior center has meant to his program.

"She's had some bad times, but she's really had a good career," Arnzen said. "She's a good person, a good student and she's been easy to coach."

Among the bad times for Iversen: A serious knee injury -- a torn ACL -- that required surgery and forced her to miss the final nine games of her sophomore season and also hampered her much of last year, along with two broken noses, including one that kept her out of both exhibition games this season.

"I've had a few things happen to me," said a laughing Iversen. "I worked hard with the knee and finally got over it this summer, and this year has gone pretty good after I got over the broken nose."

In addition to nearing the 1,000-point club, Iversen ranks fourth on Southeast's career list in blocked shots with 94 and is seventh in rebounds with 673.

"Pam has done a lot of things for our program," Arnzen said. "She's been a warrior for us."

Iversen said the career milestone she is approaching doesn't mean a lot now because she is more focused on helping the Otahkians succeed as a team. She admits it will be a nice honor.

"I really couldn't care less, but it's nice and it will probably mean more later, when I'm done playing," she said. "I wish I would do it at home, but I'll probably do it Saturday (today)."

A native of Denison, Iowa, Iversen has been a starter since she arrived in Cape Girardeau. She has been consistent if not spectacular, averaging 11.7 points and 7.8 rebounds as a freshman, 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds as a sophomore, 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds last year as she struggled to regain her form after the knee injury, and 10.1 points and 6.9 rebounds this season.

Iversen, the Otahkians' third-leading scorer this year, ranks seventh in the OVC in rebounding, fifth in field-goal percentage at 55.6 and second in blocked shots with 25. For her career, Iversen has shot an impressive 54.3 percent from the field.

"She's been a really consistent player for us," Arnzen said. "She struggled some last year because she wasn't quite fully recovered from the knee injury, and the broken nose set her back some this season, but she's really been playing well lately."

While her accomplishments on the court have been strong, Iversen is equally proud of her work in the classroom. An administrative systems management major, Iversen is scheduled to graduate in May, meaning she will have earned her degree in four years, which is not all that common for a collegiate athlete.

"My goal was to get in and out in four years," she said with a smile.

mmishow@semissourian.com

(573) 335-6611, extension 132

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