Washington PG Kelsey Plum wasn’t that impressed with her record-setting 45-point night against Oklahoma on Friday because UW lost. But voters for the weekly Pac-12 Player of the Week award thought the performance was still worthy of a nod.
The conference released Monday that Plum is its Player of the Week. This is her first POW after being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week seven times last season, eventually winning the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award.
Plum, who’s 5 feet 9, was remarkable against a Sooners squad that has advanced to the NCAA tournament the past 15 seasons. She nailed shots from all over the court while facing numerous defensive strategies from OU coach Sherri Coale. The most wicked shot by Plum in her historic night was a three-pointer in transition to close UW’s once 18-point deficit to 86-80 with 1:12 left in the second half.
The sophomore shot 15-of-27 from the field overall, 12-of-12 from the foul line in the eventual 90-80 loss. Her final 45 points set a UW record for a single game and the most by a woman at Oklahoma’s Lloyd Noble Center. Plum, who was 3-for-7 from three-point range, added five rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks to her stat line.
On the freshman front, the Pac-12 announced Utah C Joeseta Fatuesi as the weekly winner. She scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting with nine rebounds in a 100-87 overtime victory against San Jose State. Fatuesi had five points and was 3-for-4 from the foul line while grabbing four rebounds in extra play.
RANK THIS: Gonzaga (1-0) returned to the national rankings, tying Purdue (1-0) and Georgia (2-0) for No. 24 in the AP top-25 poll. I’m part of the national panel of voters but did not vote for the Zags, which won its season-opener Sunday against then-No. 22 Dayton.
My nod went to Washington State (2-0) for first defeating Dayton to open the hoops season on Friday. I’m also gambling I’m ahead of the curve for when WSU repeats last season’s upset win at then-No. 10 Nebraska when the Cougs host the now-No.16 Huskers (2-0) at Beasley Coliseum on Wednesday. Tip is at 8pm on Pac-12 Networks.
The Zags have appeared in 26 straight AP polls, either receiving votes or in the top 25. They have been in the receiving votes’ category only three times since the beginning of last season.
WSU received 10 points in the poll. The Pac-12 has three teams ranked in No. 6 Stanford (1-0), No. 14 Cal (1-0), and No. 20 Oregon State (2-0). UCLA dropped out along with Dayton.
MY PICKS: Here’s my AP ballot..
Jayda’s AP Ballot — WEEK 1
2. South Carolina
3. Notre Dame
4. Texas A&M;
12. West Virginia
19. Oregon State
21. Michigan State
25. Washington State