Washington's Kelsey Plum breaks NCAA women's single-season scoring record

Washington star Kelsey Plum added to her growing list of records on Monday night, breaking the NCAA record for points in a season.
The record was previously held by Missouri State's Jackie Stiles, who scored 1,062 points as a senior in 2001. Plum broke Stiles's career scoring record in the Huskies' regular season finale against Utah.

Plum's record-breaking night Monday came in a second-round NCAA tournament win over Oklahoma. She scored 38 points and added a career-high 11 assists to record her first career double-double.

© Gerry Broome/AP. Duke's Rebecca Greenwell, right, and Oregon's Maite Cazorla chase the ball during the second half of a second-round game on March 20 in Durham, N.C. Oregon won 74-65.


Kelsey Plum sets another scoring record as UW women advance to Sweet 16

If the sports world was looking for a worthy challenger to prevent Connecticut from winning a fifth straight national championship, then Kelsey Plum and the Huskies stated their case.

With Plum smashing NCAA, team and personal records, the No. 3 seed Washington women’s basketball team unleashed an offensive flurry on No. 6 Oklahoma that turned Monday’s 108-82 victory in the NCAA tournament second round into a raucous send-off for seniors Plum, Chantel Osahor and Katie Collier.

“I thought about (this game) a lot,” she said. “I visualized it. I thought about it and dreamed it. Whatever you can call it, I thought about it. And there was no way I was losing this last game on my home court.”

The 5-foot-8 point guard from Poway, Calif., gave the 7,579 at Alaska Airlines Arena one last memory to cherish while carrying the Huskies to a familiar place and unprecedented heights.

For the second straight year, the Huskies return to the Sweet 16, where they’ll play No. 2 Mississippi State (31-4) at 4:11 p.m. PT Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

The win gave Washington (29-5) the most victories in a season in Husky history and snapped a two-game losing streak to Oklahoma, which beat UW in each of the previous two seasons.

“For those kids to leave Hec Ed with a win, in a fashion like that against a program that’s been to 18 straight NCAA tournaments, I’m really at a loss for words — which I very rarely am,” UW coach Mike Neighbors said. “Super proud of the whole team, I thought we got contributions all up and down the lineup.”

It started – like it usually does – with Plum.

However, she was more dangerous as a playmaker early and missed four of her first five shots.

Eventually, Plum got going and broke UW’s NCAA tournament record she set last year on a night when she converted 12 of 21 shots from the floor. She also made 6 of 9 three-pointers and was 8 of 10 on free throws.

“Kelsey Plum is an unbelievable player,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “There are not enough adjectives to use to describe her skill set as an offensive basketball player.

“She’s had an amazing career that’s obviously not over yet.”

The Washington star also took another record away from former Missouri State standout Jackie Stiles. Last month, Plum captured the NCAA all-time scoring record that Stiles set 16 years ago.

On Monday, Plum moved past Stiles and became the NCAA single-season scoring leader with 1,080 points.

It was a fitting way for Plum to say goodbye to Seattle.

“What I’m going to remember from this night is the win,” Plum said. “And the feeling with my teammates. That’s it. And that’s not a disrespect to the individual record. It’s really not.

“It’s not something I pay attention to.”

Osahor dominated an anticipated matchup against Vionise Pierre-Louis. She finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists while holding the Oklahoma junior center to six points and seven rebounds.

The Huskies received 20 points from junior guard Natalie Romeo, who connected on six three-pointers, and freshman guard Aarion McDonald added 18 points.

“I say all the time, if we can get Natalie and Aari doing stuff that they did tonight, we are unbeatable,” Osahor said. “What they did and when you add Katie and Heather (Corral) to the mix, it is something special to watch out there.”

Washington’s 108 points were the team’s most this season, a team record for the NCAA tourney and six shy of UW’s all-time record.

The Huskies set a NCAA tournament record while sinking 18 of 30 three-pointers – one fewer than their season high – and shot 56.3 percent from the field.

“If they play like this … they can beat anybody,” Coale said. “I heard that Connecticut shot similarly to this tonight, so who knows? They are really good.”

This game had a little bit of everything, including Neighbors verbally sparring with an OU fan and an impromptu dance off on the sidelines between the reserves on each team that was broadcast on the arena’s giant screen and had fans and players howling in delight.

“I was cracking up. I thought it was awesome,” Osahor said.

Plum added, “I think we lost though.”

Maybe so, but in the contest that mattered most, the Huskies were firmly in control.

Oklahoma made things interesting in the second quarter when the Sooners (23-10) took their first and only lead at 31-30.

The Huskies, who led for nearly 39 minutes, answered with a 13-0 run that put them ahead 43-31. They never trailed again.

“No pressure, just playing basketball,” said Plum, when asked about briefly losing the lead. “It’s March Madness. It’s going to be competitive. It’s going to be tight — that’s why it’s fun.

“So we know those moments, we’ve had experience in big games in Pac-12 play and last year’s run, so I feel that that big game experience really helped us. I feel like the last two times we played Oklahoma we hadn’t been in those tight situations and we hadn’t maybe handled it as well, but third time’s the charm.”

Washington had little difficulty with Oklahoma’s trap and stymied the Sooners at times with a 2-3 zone that forced 12 turnovers, which led to 21 points.

It’s the second time in three years the Sooners were knocked out in the second round by a Pac-12 school with a chance to return home for the regional.

Near the end of a 26-point dismantling that was reminiscent of UW’s November nonconference blowouts, the senior starters retired to the bench amidst a standing ovation and the Black Eyed Peas “I Got a Feeling” blaring over the loudspeakers.

Plum, Osahor and Collier hugged each other on the sideline while savoring their final home game one last time.

“It’s great to have that moment,” Neighbors said. “I always tell them to just listen to this place, listen to the cheers and remember what it felt like as freshman here.

“That is part of the legacy that they’ll have to remember.


Kelsey Plum breaks single-season scoring record in Washington win

SEATTLE (AP) — At this point, the records are just a blur for Kelsey Plum. They get crossed off so quickly there is no opportunity for appreciation.

But the final time she walked off her home floor on Monday night, after scoring 38 points and lifting Washington into the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament, that’s the moment that will be lasting for Plum. Not the latest accolade on the resume of her career.

“What I’m going to remember from this night was the win, the feeling with my teammates. That’s it,” Plum said. “That’s not disrespect to the individual record. It’s really not. It’s just not something I pay attention to.”

Plum and the third-seeded Huskies are going to the Sweet 16 in consecutive years for the first time in school history after dispatching No. 6 seed Oklahoma 108-82 in an entertaining offensive shootout where the Sooners’ simply couldn’t keep up.

Plum passed another Jackie Stiles’ record to become the all-time single-season scoring leader, having already topped Stiles’ all-time career scoring mark last month. Plum now has 1,080 points this season. But Plum was far from alone in carrying the Huskies to Oklahoma City and a matchup with No. 2 seed Mississippi State in the regional semifinals.

Aarion McDonald got Washington’s complementary players going early with 13 points in the first quarter, and finished with 18. Natalie Romeo had 20 and Chantel Osahor did her usual bit of everything with 16 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.

And not to be outdone, Plum was responsible for many of those points from others with a career-high 11 assists.

“There was no way I was losing this last game on my home court,” Plum said.

Gioya Carter led Oklahoma (23-10) with 17 points and Chelsea Dungee added 16, but the Sooners simply couldn’t keep up with Washington’s offensive efficiency. It’s the second time in three years the Sooners were knocked out in the second round by a Pac-12 school with a chance to return home for the regional.

“We liked where we were at sitting at halftime, then like coach said we came out third quarter and just went crazy, and you can’t do that against a team like Washington,” Oklahoma guard Peyton Little said.

After a dynamic first half by both teams, Washington separated in the third quarter, but not before both teams had a little fun. During the review of a flagrant foul in the opening moments of the second half both benches engaged in a dance off much to the delight of the crowd.

“I was cracking up. I thought it was awesome,” Osahor said.

“I think we lost, though,” Plum added.

That was the only place the Huskies lost on this night. Plum quickly knocked down a 3 to pull even with Stiles’ for the most points in a single-season. Three minutes later, Plum scored on a driving layup for the 1,064th point of the season passing yet another record held by Stiles.

Plum added a bounce-pass assist to Katie Collier and scored on another drive and Washington had its biggest lead at 69-55 with 5:30 left in the third quarter. The Huskies closed the quarter on a 15-4 run and led by as many as 29 in the fourth quarter.

“We started taking crazy quick shots and forcing things and trying to make up for mistakes that we just had, and it got out of control, and Washington took full advantage of every single time that we did that,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.

First-half fireworks

Both teams put on an offensive showcase in the first half. They were a combined 34 of 66 shooting, including 17 made three-pointers and Oklahoma didn’t let Washington run away until late in the half. Little’s three-pointer with 7:42 left in the half gave Oklahoma a 31-30 lead, only to see Washington respond with a 13-0 run capped by Romeo’s 3 from the wing.

More records

Washington hit 18 three-pointers, an NCAA tournament single-game record and one off the school record. Plum is two made free throws away from setting another career NCAA record.

Big picture


Oklahoma: The Sooners had zero inside presence after Vionise Pierre-Louis picked up two fouls early and spent most of the first half on the bench. Pierre-Louis didn’t score until the 7:56 mark of the third quarter and finished with six points. Pierre-Louis had 17 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks in the first round.

Washington: Romeo had made five combined three-pointers in the previous three games before hitting six 3s against the Sooners. It was her most since hitting 10 3s in a January win over California.

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