Kansas State junior center Ayoka Lee said she thought it would be just another Sunday. Instead, she put herself into the NCAA Division I women’s basketball record book for the most points ever scored in a game: 61.
Lee scored almost as many points herself as foe Oklahoma did as a team, with the unranked Wildcats beating the No. 14 Sooners 94-65 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.
Oklahoma (16-3 overall, 5-2 Big 12) entered the game second in Division I in scoring at 88.3 points per game. But Kansas State’s 15-0 run to start the game — with 12 points by Lee — showed this one would be all Wildcats.
Lee entered Sunday tied for third in Division I in scoring at 23.6 points per game. She had games of 43 and 38 points (twice) earlier this season. This was the perfect setup for her and Kansas State, as guard-heavy Oklahoma had no one who could really match up with the 6-foot-6 Lee.
“I didn’t come in expecting to break a record,” Lee said. “I think [it was] just sticking to our game plan, running what we needed to run, and our guards did amazing.
“In my mind, I’m just thinking about keeping my position, posting up strong, knowing where my defender is, where the help is coming from and going up strong.”
The former D-I women’s record of 60 points was held by Long Beach State post player Cindy Brown (set in 1987) and Minnesota guard Rachel Banham (2016).
Lee’s efficiency Sunday was as impressive as her point total: She was 23-of-30 from the field (76.7%) and 15-of-17 from the foul line (88.2%). She also had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Wildcats (15-4, 5-2). Lee entered Sunday’s game shooting 58.3% from the field for the season.
“I’m just so thankful for the people around me,” Lee said. “For my teammates and my coaches trusting me. We came out and just took care of business. We still have so much season to play, so I’m just excited to see how the rest of it goes.”
Lee is eligible for the WNBA draft a junior, as she redshirted a season because of an injury and turns 22 this calendar year. The most recent update, according to a Kansas State spokesman, is that at this point, Lee is still planning to come back for her senior season and complete her graduate degree. She still has the opportunity to change her mind and declare for the draft, though.