In an overtime loss to SUNY Oneonta, fourth-year Co-captain Alex McCullough made history.
On Feb. 15 she joined Robin Shields ’00 and Jasmine Sanchez ’99 as the only members in the exclusive 1,000-point club in the history of the Women’s Basketball program at SUNY New Paltz.
During the offseason when McCullough realized she was close enough to accomplish this feat, she set it as one of her goals for the season.
“It’s a pretty exciting goal,” McCullough said. “I set this in the beginning of the season once I found out I was close enough. It’s just a great accomplishment and I really couldn’t have done it without my teammates, they are very supportive.”
SUNY New Paltz Director of Athletics, Stuart Robinson, acknowledges how significant McCullough’s accomplishment is. “To achieve this mark is a testament to the amount of time that Alex has spent working on her skills as a student-athlete,” Robinson said. “As she has advanced in her career here at New Paltz, she has become one of the players to ‘shut down’ to have a chance against us. As such a target, this makes her accomplishment significant.”
Despite coming in a loss, Head Coach Jamie Seward said this achievement helps to define McCullough’s contribution to the program during her four years at SUNY New Paltz.
“Unfortunately, Alex’s accomplishment came during a loss, so it lost some of the luster,” Seward said. “Nevertheless, when you do something that has only been done twice in 30-plus years, it kind of speaks for itself how special that accomplishment is and what kind of player Alex has been for our program.”
Since losing to SUNY Oneonta, McCullough and her teammates have beaten SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Geneseo in the SUNYAC Championship Tournament, making them the first-ever SUNYAC Champions in program history.
McCullough was still in disbelief about the team’s achievement even days after winning the tournament, she said.
“It’s a great feeling, we’re all so excited,” McCullough said. “It’s still kind of unbelievable to even realize it. We’re all very excited and we’re all very proud of each other. We stuck together as a family to do it.”
Robinson feels being the first to do something leaves a legacy for both McCullough and her teammates, he said.
“Being the first to do something sets a high mark,” Robinson said.
McCullough said she appreciates how supportive and helpful Seward and her teammates have been throughout her career.
“They have done a lot of things to help me and basically just supported me with every decision and everything that I’ve done,” McCullough said.
Even after being an All-SUNYAC Team member three times, an All-SUNYAC Tournament Team member three times, a 1,000-point scorer and a part of the first team in program history to win the SUNYAC Championship, McCullough still has one goal that she would like to accomplish, she said.
“There is one left, which is to win the NCAA Tournament,” McCullough said.
Reflecting on McCullough’s career, Seward is very happy he spent time and energy recruiting her, he said.
“All the trips up to the capital district that year recruiting her, and I believe there were 12 of those trips, paid off,” he said.