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Watkins becomes all-time women’s DI freshman scoring leader

The records keep falling for JuJu Watkins in her historic freshman season.

With a deep 3-pointer in the second quarter against UConn in Monday’s Elite Eight matchup, Watkins passed Tina Hutchinson for the highest-scoring freshman season in Division I women’s college basketball history with 899 points. Hutchinson had 898 points for San Diego State during the 1983-84 season.

Watkins already holds the single-season scoring record for USC, having passed Cheryl Miller during the Trojans’ first-round win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The freshman trails Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for the overall first-year record, which he set in 1988-89 with 965 points. Watkins could challenge that mark if USC advances to the national championship.

Watkins is averaging 27.0 points per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.6 blocks.

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She leads the nation in usage at 42.8 percent, per Basketball Reference. She also tops the country in free-throw attempts, as she has shown an uncanny ability to draw fouls in her first season. As an 84.7 percent foul shooter, getting to the line has been a key asset in her offensive arsenal.

During her freshman season, Watkins earned all-Pac-12 honors, was the conference’s freshman of the year, and also made the Pac-12 all-defensive team. Additionally, she was named a first-team All-American by the AP and U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and was the latter’s freshman of the year.

She helped lead the Trojans to their first Elite Eight since 1994, and with a win over the Huskies, USC would advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1986.

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(Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images)

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