Plum's 44 leads No. 9 Washington past Oregon (Dec 30, 2016)
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Washington coach Mike Neighbors believes senior Kelsey Plum's best performance will come more out of necessity than the pursuit of any scoring record.
''She's going to have 60 some game,'' Neighbors said. ''There's going to be a game where she's really on and we're going to need her to play every minute.''
Plum scored 44 points, Chantel Osahor had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 9 Washington rolled to a 99-77 Pac-12 victory over Oregon on Friday.
Heather Corral added a career-high 19 points with five 3-pointers for the Huskies (14-1, 2-0), who won their 11th consecutive game since losing at then-No. 1 Notre Dame six weeks ago.
Plum exceeded her nation-leading 29.6-point average in the third quarter and added 14 in the fourth for her third 44-point game of the season. She was 14 of 23 from the field and 13 of 15 at the foul line to go with five rebounds and four assists.
Plum, who missed her career high by one point, now has 2,876, a Pac-12 career record.
''She's got an incredible knack to stress the defense and yet still be able to share the ball,'' Neighbors said. ''It's not like a shot-hunting expedition and she's not a stat-stuffer.''
Unless the Ducks and Huskies meet in the postseason, it was the last time Oregon coach Kelly Graves will have to face the prolific Plum.
''She's a testament to hard work, to understanding the game, to paying attention to detail, to working her butt off, getting herself in shape,'' Graves said. ''She's not the greatest athlete in the world, but she is just a great competitor.''
Ruthy Hebard led the Ducks (10-3, 0-1) with 25 points, and Justine Hall added 13. Oregon played without its starting backcourt of Sabrina Ionescu and Maite Cazorla because of injuries.
Washington weathered a hot start by Oregon, which hit 9 of its first 12 shots, to lead 25-21 after one quarter and 51-39 at the half. The Huskies dribbled out their last possession rather than try for their sixth game of 100 points or more.
''Washington is a great team,'' Graves said. ''I watched everybody in the Pac-12 over the break, and they're playing better than anybody. I don't think it's even that close.''
Osahor, the nation's leading rebounder at 13.9 per game, led Washington to a 26-26 draw on the boards. The Huskies, who also lead the nation in made 3-pointers, were 10 of 21 beyond the arc.
Corral, who missed four games with an injury to her shooting hand, made four 3s in the first quarter. Washington was 8 of 15 from long range by halftime.
''It's what we do, we do shoot a lot of 3s,'' Neighbors said. ''Again, the stress that it puts on defenses.''
''If you come off (Corral) for an inch, she's going to make it.''
Washington, the highest ranked of seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 25, plays five of its next eight games against ranked foes starting at No. 22 Oregon State. The Beavers beat the Huskies twice last year, in Seattle and in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals
Oregon needs a home split against Washington State before starting a four-game road trip that includes three ranked opponents.
STAT OF THE GAME
Oregon's Hebard, a freshman who came into the game second in the nation in field-goal accuracy at 74.7 percent, was 11 of 14 (78.6 percent). Washington's Corral was 7 of 7.
HE SAID IT
''We had some mental lapses, so we've gotta clean those up,'' Neighbors said. ''Because in this league the margin of error is so small, we've got to get all that stuff right. There's still plenty of room for us to improve, but I'm super proud.''
Washington plays at No. 22 Oregon State, a fellow 2016 Final Four participant, on Sunday. The Huskies haven't won in Corvallis in four seasons.
Oregon hosts Washington State on Sunday in the Ducks' only meeting of the season with the Cougars.