Plum leads Washington women past No. 5 Texas A&M
Dec. 30, 2014
SEATTLE (AP) — Washington star Kelsey Plum rarely hesitates, except when it came time to watch the film of her worst college performance last season at Texas A&M.
"I didn't really want to watch that game," Plum said. "But Coach made me watch that game twice."
Plum clearly learned from it, and led the Huskies to their biggest non-conference regular-season win in nearly two decades on Monday night.
The nation's leading scorer had 20 of her 32 points in the first half, Talia Walton added a season-high 21 and Washington beat No. 5 Texas A&M 70-49.
Washington (11-1) won its 11th straight, the longest winning streak for the Huskies since the 1989-90 season. Washington's last win over a ranked non-conference opponent came in 1997 when the Huskies beat then-No. 5 Vanderbilt.
"We were ready for it. It is gratifying because it's like a plan coming together," Washington coach Mike Neighbors said. "We've used the analogy of final exams and this was like our final and I tell you we aced it because I think they are a really, really good team."
Plum nearly outscored the Aggies (11-2) by herself in the first half. She hit a trio of 3-pointers as the Huskies built a 40-22 halftime advantage. Aminah Williams added nine points and 15 rebounds. Williams scored seven straight in the second half after Texas A&M cut Washington's lead to nine.
Courtney Williams led the Aggies with 19 points. Tori Scott and Courtney Walker added 10 apiece.
The Aggies lost their second straight after falling to No. 3 Texas on Dec. 21. Texas A&M had won 24 in a row against non-conference opponents.
And the Aggies were blitzed from the start. Texas A&M's only lead was 2-0.
"There was no comparison tonight," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "They wanted it more. They executed. We knew everything they were going to run and we couldn't stop them."
Last year's loss at Texas A&M, when Plum was held to four points, was the only time in her career that she failed to score in double figures. She more than made up for it this time. Plum had 15 of Washington's first 24 points, and her 3-pointer with 10 minutes left in the first half gave the Huskies a 12-point lead. Plum finished 11-of-23 shooting, and Walton made four 3-pointers.
Washington's lead reached 22 early in the second half, but Texas A&M's press defense chipped away at the advantage. Texas A&M trimmed the deficit to nine on Walker's reverse layup with 9:23 left. That was as close as the Aggies got the rest of the way.
Aminah Williams scored seven straight points, including an offensive rebound with one arm and putback while being fouled. The three-point play pushed Washington's lead back to 14, and she added a layup for a 62-46 advantage.
ON THE BOARDS
Despite being undersized, Washington outrebounded the Aggies 44-42. Six of Aminah Williams' rebounds came on the offensive end.
"That's the upset of the night," Neighbors said.
Not a strong 3-point shooting team, Texas A&M was 1 of 9 from long range. The lack of an outside game let Washington stay in a zone defense and also helped the Huskies control rebounds.
Texas A&M: Courtney Williams was the extent of the Aggies' offense in the first half. Texas A&M shot 25 percent and while Williams had 11 points, no other player had more than four. Jordan Jones missed all seven shots in the first half and finished with three points on 0-for-9 shooting. Jones was averaging nearly 11 points per game.
Washington: Plum became the fastest player to reach 1,000 points in Washington history in the opening moments of the first half.
Texas A&M: The Aggies host North Texas on Wednesday in their non-conference finale before the start of SEC play.
Washington: The Huskies open Pac-12 play on Saturday at No. 22 Arizona State.