Kelsey Plum Moves To Second on All-Time Scoring List as Huskies Take Down USC, 87-74
LOS ANGELES, CA -- It was Senior Day for the Trojans. USC honored their senior class of talent - Jordan Adams, Courtney Jaco, Ivana Jakubcova, and Alexis Lloyd - by celebrating their last home game of the season at the Galen Center.
Washington's guard Kelsey Plum, the nation's leading scorer averaging 30.5 points per game, entered Sunday's matchup just three points shy of a tie with former Baylor star Brittney Griner for second place on the all-time scoring list.
In yesterday's matchup against USC, Plum finished with 35 points, moving her into second place on the NCAA's career scoring list as the Huskies beat USC, 87-74.
Needing only three points to tie with Griner, Plum hit a 3-pointer with 3:35 left in the first quarter to tie for second. With just 2:04 remaining in the first, a successful free throw attempt lifted her to second place behind former Missouri State star Jackie Stiles, who holds the record with 3,393 points.
Plum still needs 78 more points to tie Stiles, and 79 to surpass her to become the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history.
Both teams started off hot at the start of the game. USC made a strong stand against the No. 9 Huskies, but Washington heated up at the right times to forge a victory over the Women of Troy. The Trojans shot 56 percent in the first quarter as they would get ahead of the Huskies 28-22 to begin the second, only to see Washington heat up.
The entire USC defense was emphasized on Plum. In order to have a chance at defeating the Huskies, USC knew that they would have to focus on defending Plum, the nation's leading scorer.
"I thought we made it tough for Kelsey all game long," said former WNBA star and USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. "We doubled her when we could and it made sense. She's just a fantastic player. Sometimes, she's really difficult to stop when she gets going."
Plum made it look effortless playing against the Trojans. In just nine minutes, she had 20 points in the second quarter as the Huskies opened up a 54-35 halftime lead.
Silencing Plum in the third quarter, USC made a comeback effort at the start of the second half. Landing three 3-pointers, including Minyon Moore's buzzer beater, the Trojans were able to carve a 22-point deficit by cutting the game down to seven as the third came to a close with Washington leading 63-56.
The Trojans were not able to cut it any closer as the Huskies nailed two more threes in the remaining 1:40 of play to seal an 87-74 victory, on 50 percent shooting from the floor to outpace USC's 41 percent effort.
Washington's Chantel Osahor finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, becoming Washington's career rebounding leader with a total of 1,150. Hannah Johnson contributed 12 points, while Aarion McDonald had 11.
Four Trojans scored in double digits in USC's final game of the season at the Galen Center.
USC's Minyon Moore led the team with 20 points and six assists, shooting 66 percent of her three point attempts. Kristen Simon delivered her second straight double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Two other players who scored in double figures were Aliyah Mazyck with 15 points, while senior guard Courtney Jaco added 11 points.
Jaco, who continued her three-point streak as she nailed three more in the game, clinched the No. 2 spot as the all-time career 3-point shooter at USC.
USC moved to 14-13 overall in the season and 5-11 in Pac-12 play with the loss. Washington advanced to a 25-4 record, with a 13-3 record in conference play.
The Trojans is set to embark on its final regular season road trip to Arizona next week. They will be visiting Arizona State on Feb. 24 before facing off against Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 26 in their final push to improve seedings for the upcoming Pac 12 Tournament.
Washington returns home to Seattle to host Colorado on Thursday and Utah on Saturday to close out the regular season. The Huskies have clinched a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, but will look to improve their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.