Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every week of the women's college basketball season.
Kelsey Plum can make the extraordinary look ordinary on a regular basis. But what she did Saturday perfectly captured the things that make her an extraordinary player.
Her ability to score from anywhere on court. Her physical and mental toughness to play through being a little under the weather. Her competitive drive to keep her focused through distractions.
Needing 54 points to break Jackie Stiles' NCAA scoring record, Plum did that three better. Her 57-point performance for Washington was the fifth-best single-game total in NCAA women's hoops history, putting her past the former Missouri State star in the Huskies' 84-77 victory over Utah.
In doing so, Plum earned espnW's player of the week honors for a third time this season; no one else has won more than once. The Huskies finished the regular season 27-4 and tied for second with Stanford in the Pac-12 at 15-3. Washington will be the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena in Seattle, and in Friday's quarterfinals will face the winner of the Arizona-Oregon game.
Many thought that Plum would break the record in the league tournament. But Saturday's epic performance made sure the moment came on her Alaska Airlines Arena home court on senior day.
Safe to say dropping 57 points and breaking a 16-year-old record was more than enough for Plum to be named player of the week. But that wasn't her whole workload; she also had 25 points in a 79-46 victory over Colorado on Thursday.
In the two games, Plum combined to shoot 27 of 43 (62.8 percent) from the field, and 22 of 27 (81.5) from the free throw line. She also had six assists and 13 rebounds.
Plum now has 3,397 career points and will play a minimum of two more games. With 979 points, she is 84 shy of breaking Stiles' single-season scoring record of 1,062, set in her senior year of 2000-01.
Plum is averaging 31.6 points per game this season and is at 25.2 for her career. The NCAA record-holder for single-season average (33.6 PPG) and career average (28.4 PPG) is Mississippi Valley State's Patricia Hoskins, who played from 1985 to 1989. Hoskins finished with 3,122 points -- now fourth behind Plum, Stiles and Baylor's Brittney Griner -- and did so in just 110 career games.
The NCAA era for women's athletics started in 1981-82. As for the pre-NCAA era, Francis Marion's Pearl Moore (1975-79) scored 3,884 points. Second on that list is Kansas Lynette Woodard (1977-81) with 3,649. Montclair State's Carol Blazejowski (1974-78) is the leader for career scoring average in that era, at 31.7 PPG.
All told, combining the NCAA era and the pre-NCAA era (when the AIAW was the primary governing body), there are now 21 women who've topped the 3,000-point mark. So in any era, Plum is a scorer of historic proportions.
Also considered: Kalani Brown, Baylor; Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State; Jaime Nared, Tennessee; Sydney Wiese, Oregon State
Previous winners: Notre Dame's Ogunbowale (Nov. 21) | Virginia Tech's Hicks (Nov. 28) | Duke's Greenwell (Dec. 5) | UConn's Williams (Dec. 12) | Temple's Fitzgerald (Dec. 19) | Cal's Anigwe (Dec. 26) | South Dakota's Arens (Jan. 2) | Washington's Plum (Jan. 9) | Maryland's Jones (Jan. 16) | UConn's Samuelson (Jan. 23) | Washington's Plum (Jan. 30) | Georgia's Robinson (Feb. 6) | Texas' Holmes (Feb. 12) | Missouri's Cunningham (Feb. 19)