UW coach Mike Neighbors on Kelsey Plum’s 57 points: ‘We needed every one of those baskets’

Kelsey Plum leads No. 11 Washington to an 84-77 victory over Utah on Saturday while moving into first place on NCAA all-time scoring list.

Kelsey Plum carried No. 11 Washington to an 84-77 victory against Utah on Saturday with a career-high 57 points while surpassing Jackie Stiles for the top spot on the NCAA all-time scoring list.

“We needed every one of those baskets,” coach Mike Neighbors said. “Some nights we don’t need 57 points. Some nights we need Kelsey’s leadership. Other nights we might her passing or rebounding, or a defensive stop.”

UW’s Mike Neighbors after 84-77 win over Utah

Washington led for 38 minutes in an intense game in which Neighbors picked up a technical foul for protesting a call. Utah kept things close until midway in the fourth when UW pulled ahead by 18.

Not so coincidentally, Plum lefty runner with 4:06 left – the basket that passed Stiles – put the Huskies ahead 79-61. She scored 19 points in the fourth.

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“If the game would have been over and all of a sudden I’m calling plays, that’s not how this record’s supposed to be broken,” Neighbors said. “This record supposed to be broken in honor of the people who set them in the past. There was going to be no ‘Rudy’ moment where everyone walks in and says, Coach, I’m not shooting because I want Kelsey to break the record.’ That was never on the table.

“The record wouldn’t have meant much to her if we had done something gimmicky. We would have been doing a disservice to the history of those players who are on that list.”

The win keeps Washington (27-4, 15-3) in the hunt for a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title. The Huskies need Oregon State (26-3, 15-2) to lose at home Sunday against California.

Neighbors expressed relief Plum was able to break the record before…

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