Ryan, No. 12 Iowa State women come up short in Manhattan

Former Central Plains standout Emily Ryan looks for a teammate in Wednesday's 78-77 loss at...
Former Central Plains standout Emily Ryan looks for a teammate in Wednesday's 78-77 loss at Kansas State. The upset against the No. 12 Lady Cyclones marks Ryan's first loss in the building. (photo by Mike Courson)(Mike Courson)
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 9:58 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KWCH) - Former Central Plains High School standout entered Wednesday’s Big 12 match-up against Kansas State with a perfect record at Bramlage Coliseum. That included two Class 2A state championship runs, and wins in the building as a freshman and sophomore at Iowa State. The streak was looking good through two quarters of play, but the Lady Wildcats stormed out of the half to build a lead and hang on for a 78-77 win.

“It was a really good game,” said Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly. “Obviously, when you go on the road, one of the things we talk about as a staff is you never know the play that’s going to change the game. When you lose by one, we can sit here all night and pick out a play or two. Credit to them. They played really hard and really well.”A sizable part of the crowd showed up to support Ryan, including the Central Plains Lady Oiler basketball team, teams from Ellsworth and Victoria High Schools, and many other friends and family.

“It’s always fun to play here in front of some hometown people and just being able to see some familiar faces in the crowd,” Ryan said. “It’s always special but obviously not the outcome we wanted. It’s fun being able to play in front of these people again.”

Iowa State led 36-32 at the half, but Kansas State opened the second half with a flurry of points to lead 44-39 before Ryan ended the run with a layup. The Lady Cyclones regained the lead with 3:08 to play in the third, and a Ryan pass to Ashley Joens gave the visitors a 51-48 edge. Kansas State got a late 3-pointer from Emilee Ebert to lead 54-53 with a quarter to play.

The Lady Wildcats led by as many as seven points in the final frame before a Joens free throw leveled the score at 64 with 3:01 remaining. Kansas State got baskets from Ebert and five-straight points from Jaelyn Glenn to pull back ahead 71-66 with under two minutes on the clock.

A key foul came with just 23 ticks remaining. Kansas State held a 71-68 lead coming out of a timeout, and Iowa State looked content to let the Lady Wildcats play out a possession. Twenty seconds later, Lexi Donarski picked up a foul that resulted forced Iowa State to begin fouling. Two Wildcat free throws gave Kansas State a 73-68 edge with 22 seconds to play.

“We wanted to keep it a one-possession game,” Ryan said. “It unfortunately didn’t work out that way, and that’s just how the game goes sometimes. We’ll come out ready to go Saturday.”

Iowa State continued to fight back. Another Ryan assist netted a layup from Nyamer Diew and a 75-72 K-State lead. Down four points in the final seconds, Ryan made a baseball pass past half court for a kick out that resulted in a buzzer 3-pointer from Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw for the final points of the night.\

Ryan opened the game with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting in the first half. She scored four points in under four minutes for a 6-2 Lady Cyclone lead. Kansas State’s Sarah Shematsi hit a pair of early threes, scoring eight points in the opening quarter to put the Wildcats ahead 17-13 early in the second.

Ryan was big in the second quarter with an assist to Morgan Kane to tie the score at 17. She added a trey and three assists in the final seven minutes of the first half to give the Cyclones the halftime lead.

Gabby Gregory led all scorers with 27 points for Kansas State. Jaelyn Glenn added 15 points, Serena Sundell scored 14 points, and Shematsi finished with nine points and six rebounds for the Cats.

Donarski led Iowa State with 18 points, followed by 17 points for Joens. Diew finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, Denae Fritz added 12 points and seven rebounds, and Ryan chimed in with nine points and eight assists.