On Feb. 15, junior guard Kayla Ryan became the ninth player in Oswego State women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points in her career in a 68-53 loss to SUNY New Paltz at Max Ziel Gymnasium.
Ryan scored her 999th and 1,000th point at the 7:18 mark of the first half on a successful pair of free throws. In fitting fashion for the captain, Ryan pumped her fists with confidence as she ran back down the court. Her two free throw tied the ball game at 15, and Ryan wanted to get back in position to play defense.
The rest of Max Ziel Gymnasium, however, wanted to stand up and clap. Seconds later, following a stoppage in play, Ryan was given a standing ovation by the fans and her peers on the court, captivating a brilliant moment for the school’s leading scorer of the past three seasons.
The game, however, did not end the way it started for the Lakers. Following the 15-15 score Ryan’s historic foul shots gave them, Oswego State was completely out-worked and out-played the rest of the game.
Led by 13 first-half points by guard Zoe Cohen, New Paltz ended the first half on a 20-5 run. New Paltz forced 19 turnovers on Oswego State in the first half, all while shooting much better from the field and winning the rebounding battle.
Ryan had to sit a significant portion of the first half while struggling with foul trouble, and subsequently had a hard time finding rhythm from the field. Ryan shot 0-for-5 in the half, and her only points came from the foul line, where she shot 50 percent.
Oswego State’s woes continued in the second half, as the team shot under 8 percent from 3-point range and was out-rebounded by 12.
New Paltz shot a consistent 43 percent from the field for the game and took advantage of the surplus of Oswego State turnovers, scoring 34 points off Laker mishaps. For the game, New Paltz finished with 46 rebounds and 22 second-chance points, trumping the Lakers significantly in both categories.
Oswego State was able to outscore New Paltz in the second half, 34-33, mainly due to excellent foul shooting and a late run.
At the 5:21 mark of the second half, New Paltz had extended their lead to 65-42. Ryan answered with a basket, Karolyn Kipper made an impressive jump shot and Meagan Stover played the best basketball of her season.
In the final minutes of the game, Stover scored five points, picked up a rebound and a steal and played the role of enforcer with Ryan fouling out. The 5-foot-10-inch sophomore finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four steals in just her sixth start of the season.
Ryan may not be done dealing with records and milestones anytime soon. If Ryan stays at the career scoring pace she is on, she will find her name cemented in the Oswego State record books.
Ryan is on track to become the third leading scorer of all-time, behind former greats Jamie Clough and Linda DeRyke.
Additionally, if Ryan leads the Lakers in points again next season as a senior, she will become only the third player in Laker history to lead the team in points in all four seasons with the team. Between 1991 and 2000, both Jamie Clough (first all-time) and M.J. O’Toole (third all-time) led the Lakers in points.
New Paltz moves to 15-9 on the year and remains the No. 2 seed in the SUNYAC standings. The Oswego State loss pushes the Lakers to sixth place in conference play, where they will likely stay when the postseason begins Feb. 22.
Oswego State will host SUNY Brockport on Friday, Feb. 18, as well as host SUNY Geneseo on Saturday, Feb. 19.