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Pac-12 Teams off to Strong Start

Nov 15, 2016

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• Pac-12 teams got off to a strong start to open the 2016-17 campaign, going 19-1 through Monday, with all 12 teams notching at least one victory.

• Five teams are ranked in the Associated Press and WBCA polls again this week, UCLA remaining in the top 10 in the AP and STANFORD moving up to No. 7 in the coaches poll. The Cardinal defeated Texas on Monday night to jump into the top 10. WASHINGTON (17/15), ARIZONA STATE (18/16) and OREGON STATE (24/18) are also ranked.

• UW’s Kelsey Plum was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the first week of the season after scoring 32 points in the season opener. She is on pace to break the Pac-12’s all-time scoring record and could move into the top three in league history this week. ASU’s Reili Richardson was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after shooting 58 percent from the floor to lead the Sun Devils to a pair of wins.

• There were 12 20-point performances in the first 20 games of the season, with 10 different players reaching the 20-point plateau. Eleven different players also had double-digit rebounding efforts, with only UCLA’s Monique Billings achieving the feat twice

• The Huskies advanced to the semifinal of the Preseason WNIT and face #25 Missouri for a spot in the championship game where they could meet #1/1 Notre Dame or Green Bay

• The Cardinal host Gonzaga on Friday and WASHINGTON STATE hosts Oklahoma State on Sunday. Both games will be televised on Pac-12 Network.

WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum is already one of the most prolific scorer’s in Pac-12 history. The fastest in league history to 2,000-career points, she is fourth on the Conference’s all-time scoring list and could move into third place this week. Having scored over 700 points in each of her three years, she needs less than 300 to break the all-time scoring mark. Her name in the top five all-time is among elite company, with two WNBA Rookies of the Year, two No. 1 WNBA picks, four WNBA first-round picks, two WNBA Most Valuable Players and a pair of WNBA Champions occupying the four other spots.

    1. Chiney Ogwumike, STAN (2011-14)    2737
    2. Candice Wiggins, STAN (2005-08)    2629
3. Nnemkadi Ogwumike, STAN (2009-12)    2491
4. Kelsey Plum, WASH (2014-present)    2476
5. Lisa Leslie, USC (1991-94)    2414

Plum’s total scoring is impressive, but it does not end there. Entering the season, Plum was averaging 23.3 points per game for her career, which would have been good enough for the Pac-12 record. She already owns the record for career free throws made and will shatter the mark previously held by former Oregon State standout Tanja Kostic (1993-96, 608). Plum is nearing the 700-made free throws mark.

Plum is not the only one looking to break records. Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese is among the top-five all-time in Conference history in three-point field goals made. She has netted at least 66 in each of her first thre seasons, knocking down 112 in her freshman campaign.

    1. Candice Wiggins, STAN (2005-08)    295
    2. Ashley Corral, USC (2009-12)    291
3. Lisa Griffith, ARIZ (1997-00)    285
4. Sydney Wiese, OSU (2013-present)    276
5. Davellyn Whyte, ARIZ (2010-13)    274

Seven of the 15 All-Pac-12 honorees return this season, including the Conference’s leading scorer and All-American Washington’s Kelsey Plum. Also back is three-time all-Conference honoree Sydney Wiese of Oregon State who is looking to earn her fourth-straight honor. California’s Kristine Anigwe was voted all-league after an impressive rookie campaign. She went on to be selected the USBWA’s National Freshman of the Year.

Also back from last year’s All-Pac-12 team are Arizona State’s Sophie Brunner, UCLA’s Jordin Canada, Stanford’s Erica McCall and Utah’s Emily Potter.

The 2016-17 campaign welcomes two new faces. A new but familiar face will be roaming the sidelines in Tucson. Taking over the Arizona helm is former Wildcat great Adia Barnes. Barnes is familiar with the Conference, not just as a player, but spending last season as an assistant coach at Washington, helping the team reach the program’s first-ever NCAA Final Four.

New to the league is Colorado’s JR Payne. Payne arrives in Boulder after spending two seasons at Santa Clara and five at Southern Utah before that. Her first coaching position was an assistant coach to now current Oregon head coach Kelly Graves.

Teams across the country will be focused on getting to Dallas this season, the site of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four. To get to Dallas, teams will have to go through regional sites at Lexington, Ky., Oklahoma City, Okla., Bridgeport, Conn., and Stockton, Calif. The first and second round of the tournament will take place on 16 campus sites with the top-16 seeds hosting.