Kelsey Plum’s Chase for #1

Thanks to Graham for this question on Whale. Graham asked about Kelsey Plum and whether she will break the record?

“What record?” you might ask. Plum is very close to becoming the all-time NCAA women’s basketball scoring leader. That’s a really big deal and probably one of the under reported stories in basketball right now. NCAA Women’s Basketball started in 1981, that’s 35 years worth of basketball. Plum will have scored more points than greats like Brittney Griner, Chamique Holdsclaw, and Cheryl Miller.

In December of last year Plum became the all-time Pac-12 scoring leader with 44 points in a win against Boise State. She had 44 points again on Sunday in a 72-68 loss to Stanford.

Plum is now averaging 31.4 points per game (to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists) and now sits third all time, just 255 points away from Jackie Stiles who set the record 15 years ago with 3,393. The UW Women have 8 games to go in the regular season and if Plum keeps up her average she’ll fall just shy of the record by season’s end with 3,388 points. Luckily, the UW Women are all but guaranteed at least two post-season games, one in the Pac-12 tournament and another in the NCAA tournament, which they’ll likely make even if they fall in the first round of the Pac-12. They could play up to nine games if they make it to the final in both, but will likely end up playing somewhere around six or seven games. Still, this gives Plum plenty of time to break the record and I predict she’ll surpass it by 100 or 150 points.

I plotted the graph below using R to show Plum’s chase for the record.



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