By Monica Lee
GoHuskies.com Contributing Writer
SEATTLE— Washington’s quick, aggressive offense matched the pace set by Oregon as the Dawgs prevailed, 108-100 on Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies’ ability to find holes in the Oregon defense and attack the open lane added another victory for a four-game win streak and six wins in their last seven tries.
Freshman Kelsey Plum scored a career-high 38 points to guide the streaking Huskies. The point total was the most for any freshman is Washington history on a night she also surpassed Jazmine Davis’ freshman scoring record of 535 points (Plum now has 536).
“I think she was very, very motivated to play against a team that had beaten us before,” head coach Mike Neighbors said of Plum’s outstanding scoring.
“I think she was very, very focused – as focused as I’ve seen her since she’s been here.”
Even with 38 points, including six 3-pointers, and breaking a school record, Plum was disappointed with aspects of her game.
“I mean, I did miss a free throw and a couple of bunnies,” Plum said. “I’m kind of a perfectionist, so I kind of take it with a grain of salt. Oh okay, I scored that many points, yeah but, I don’t think about that. I think about all the ones that I missed.”
Davis hit a milestone of her own, going over 500 points for the third-straight season. She becomes the first Husky in history to accomplish that feat.
Plum led the Huskies (16-10, 9-6 Pac-12) during the first period with 18 points, while Aminah Williams brought down nine rebounds. Osahor netted eight points and grabbed four rebounds in only 11 minutes of play.
Oregon stormed out of the break, outscoring Washington 7-0 in the first four minutes of the second half. But the Dawgs continued to attack and find weaknesses in Oregon’s defense, creating smart, uncontested shots and putting multiple Ducks in foul trouble. By 14:42 on the clock, UW had increased its lead to 15 points at 70-55.
Leading Oregon 88-77, Davis sank back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers that electrified the arena and riled up the already boisterous Husky fan base.
“Jaz didn’t get going early, but she got going big time in about a four minute stretch there late in the game when we needed somebody. She can go into takeover mode,” Neighbors said.
The UW offense maintained a comfortable lead for the majority of the half ranging from eight to 14 points until 2:30 on the clock. The Ducks cut the Huskies’ lead to just six points, but a jumper by Plum and two free throws by Osahor immediately retook control of the contest, 103-94 with 2:00 remaining.
Washington held off the Ducks, scoring 108 points, the most for the Huskies in a single game since 2003.
Starting Pac-12 play, the Huskies struggled to find their rhythm, but now, their confidence is higher than ever.
“We’re a different team,” senior Mercedes Wetmore said. “We picked up some momentum and you know what that can do for a team, especially for one that’s as talented as we are. So, we’re using that momentum and we’re just staying focused. We have a big one Sunday.”
The Dawgs will host Oregon State at Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday, Feb. 23. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. PST for a matchup that will have major implications in the Pac-12 standings. Following the game, Mercedes Wetmore and Kassia Fortier will be honored for their senior night.