OPINION: Bobi Buckets breaks 2k career points

Hristova's minutes increase throughout years, doubles her free throw total in a year

Redshirt+senior+Borislava+Hristova+shoots+from+the+free+throw+line+against+BYU+on+Nov.+9+at+Beasley+Coliseum.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Redshirt senior Borislava Hristova shoots from the free throw line against BYU on Nov. 9 at Beasley Coliseum.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen sports columnist

Most record-setting scorers are successful because of one elite aspect of their game. Whether it is lights-out shooting, unstoppable post moves, explosive athleticism, or unmatched isolation scoring, players typically dominate in one facet.

Usually, dominance is not attributed to consistency. Fans love 60-point outbursts but are underwhelmed by extended stretches of solid performances.

Consistency is exactly how redshirt senior forward Borislava Hristova was able to become the first WSU basketball player, male or female, to score 2,006 career points.

Hristova, aptly nicknamed Bobi Buckets, does not have the most eye-popping career statistics. She has not averaged over 20 points per game, shot better than 48 percent for a season or scored more than 38 points in a game.

Despite her career scoring averages, she has been one of the best scorers in the Pac-12 for her whole career. She has not finished worse than sixth in the conference in scoring in every season she has completed. The past two years she has finished third. She will most likely finish there again this season because she is second in the conference with 19.2 points per game.

Even though her field goal percentage has never been above 50 percent, she has never shot worse than 44 percent. She has season field goal percentage marks of 45, 44 and 47 and is shooting 47 percent this season.

Though she has yet to score more than 40 points in a game; she has 46 games where she has scored more than 20 points. She also has five games in her career where she has scored over 30 points. She started out this season with four straight 20-point games and is on a 10-game stretch of scoring in double figures.

As Hristova has gained experienced and matured as a basketball player, she has become a bigger part of the offense. She averaged 6.7 made baskets per game in her first year, 7.1 made baskets in her second season and 7.7 made baskets in her third. She has also proven her durability and consistency by improving her minutes played by an average of 4.6 minutes per game each of her first three years.

Those numbers have contributed to her ability to increase her scoring each year she has worn crimson and gray. Other than this year, which is about halfway done, and her true sophomore year, which she missed a majority of due to injury, she has averaged more points per game than the year before.

She increased her average from 16.3 points per game in year one to 17.8 in year two. She then scored a career high 19.9 points per game last year in her third complete season, the fourth most in school history. That year included the best game of her career, a 38-point outburst against the University of Washington, the second most points scored by a single player in WSU women’s basketball history.

Hristova’s 2018-2019 season was the most efficient of her career, shooting 47.5 percent from the field. She also attempted more field goals but averaged one less three-pointer per game, which means she was taking more shots inside the arc – an area where she shot more efficiently throughout her career.

She also got to the free throw line more than any year previously. She attempted 148 free throws and made 110, nearly doubling her number of successful attempts from the previous year. The previous season, she did not even attempt 110 free throws.

Hristova was highly regarded when she was recruited by WSU out of Bulgaria, but fans were not expecting her to end up being the leading scorer in Cougar history. She exceeded all expectations set out for her as soon as she stepped on the court and never stopped scoring.

Bobi Buckets has earned her spot at the top of the WSU history books, and the most prolific scorer in WSU women’s basketball will certainly remain there for years to come.