PULLMAN — According to her coach, Chantel Osahor is vocal about her desire to be the nation’s best rebounder.
“It’s what she works for, it’s how she wants to be identified,” University of Washington women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors said.
Osahor, who leads the NCAA in rebounds per game, sent that message loud and clear Sunday, grabbing a Pac-12-record 30 rebounds to go along with her 20 points in leading No. 8 Washington past Washington State 87-44 in Pac-12 women’s basketball action.
Just 11 players in NCAA history have grabbed as many rebounds in a game.
“A lot of them came to me today,” Osahor said. “I don’t know how well (they) shot from the floor, but there was a lot of rebounds to get.”
Washington State (8-11, 3-5) was held to 25 percent shooting from the field (18-for-71), 19 percent from 3-point range (4-for-21).
“It’s a testament to (Osahor), I think everybody struggles against her,” WSU coach June Daughterty said. “We took 71 shots tonight, and the majority of our boards were defensive. She’s got some of the stronger hands of anyone in the game. We gave her a lot of rebounds, too, because of not being able to score.”
Osahor corralled a rebound over three Cougars and converted a second-chance basket late in the third quarter. The rebound was her 25th of the game, tying the school record. She collected five more before being subbed out early in the fourth quarter.
In addition to having the nation’s leading rebounder, the Huskies (19-2, 7-1 Pac-12) have the national scoring leader in guard Kelsey Plum, who scored a game-high 29 points Sunday. Plum passed former Minnesota standout and current member of the WNBA’s Connecticut Suns Rachel Banham for sixth place on the NCAA Division 1 all-time scoring list.
The Huskies went up 11-3 in the first quarter and did not let Washington State back into the game. The short-handed Cougars trailed by 32 points at halftime. Washington State played without its top three scorers. After losing Borislava Hristova and Louise Brown earlier in the season, freshman standout Chanelle Molina suffered a season-ending ACL tear on Jan. 13 against Arizona State.