Natalie Romeo made five 3-pointers in the first half and finished with a season-high 25 points, and No. 9 Washington used a 26-0 run in the first half to race past rival Washington State 94-63 to open Pac-12 Conference play Tuesday in Seattle.
The Huskies (13-1) opened conference play as the highest-ranked Pac-12 team in the AP Top 25 and backed it up with a dominant performance against the Cougars (5-7).
For a change, Kelsey Plum was not the center of attention for the Huskies. It was Romeo, the transfer from Nebraska, who knocked down 5 of 8 3-pointers in the first half and finished 7 of 12 behind the arc, one off her career-high of eight 3-pointers.
Plum, the national leader in scoring at 30.2 points per game finished with 21 points, continuing her streak of scoring at least 20 points in every game this season.
Cameron Fernandez and Chanelle Molina led Washington State with 11 points each.
Chantel Osahor added 18 points and 11 rebounds and Aarion McDonald scored 11 off the bench as Washington won its 10th straight since losing to Notre Dame.
Plum was the facilitator instead of the instigator for most of the night and especially during Washington’s dominant first-half run. Plum had seven assists in the first half and finished with nine, tying her career high, and added eight rebounds.
Washington’s run started when Plum knocked down a 3-pointer as the first quarter buzzer sounded to give the Huskies a 27-18 lead. Washington State went scoreless for more than 6 minutes as the Huskies continued to hit shots form deep. Romeo hit three 3-pointers during the run, while Plum added another 3 and a 15-footer. Maria Kostourkova finally snapped the run with 3:47 left in the first half.
Washington outscored the Cougars 32-6 in the second quarter and the lead reached 41 in the second half.
Idaho 85, Lewis-Clark State 49: Taylor Pierce shot 4 for 10 on 3-pointers and led four players in double figures with 16 points as the Vandals (5-6), closing out their nonconference schedule with just their second home game, rolled past the Warriors in Moscow.
The Warriors (14-0), who counted the game as an exhibition, took a 13-12 lead with a 9-0 in the first quarter, but Idaho held LCSC to two points on 1-for-19 shooting from the field in the second quarter.
Pierce, who came off the bench, hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and Idaho was 8 for 16 from long distance in the second half. The Warriors finished 0 for 16 on 3-pointers.
The Vandals begin Big Sky Conference play Saturday at Eastern Washington.
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