Sooners roll into women's NIT third round

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Courtney Paris set a freshman scoring record in her Oklahoma debut. In her second game with the Sooners, she put herself among the school's best in rebounding.

The 6-foot-4 Paris had 19 points and 20 rebounds Sunday to lead No. 25 Oklahoma to an 80-43 victory over SMU in the second round of the Preseason Women's NIT.

Paris, who sat out the final 8:56 after Oklahoma had taken a 28-point lead, fell one short of tying Oklahoma's freshman record for rebounds.

"I'm happy about that. I didn't think I had that many in the flow of the game," Paris said. "I went over after the game and coach told me. ... I was like, 'Hey, that's pretty cool.'"

Paris, chosen the national high school player of the year by USA Today and the Naismith Foundation, set a school record in a freshman debut with 24 points in Oklahoma's first-round win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday.

Only two Oklahoma players -- regardless of class -- have had more than 20 rebounds in a game. Senior Cathy Bassett had 25 against Central Missouri State on Jan. 4, 1991, and freshman Molly McGuire had 21 against Wichita State on Dec. 10, 1979.

But the records are only an afterthought for Paris.

"I think at the end of the day, it's gravy, but ... what's motivating me now is we want to win the WNIT," she said. "We want to win each game and we need to advance and when we get to the end of this thing, win it.

"I think that's more motivation than the records," she said.

Kendra Moore added a career-high 12 points and reserve Krista Sanchez scored 10 for the Sooners (2-0), who will play at New Mexico in the tournament's third round on Wednesday. The Lobos beat California 55-46 on Sunday.

Janielle Dodds scored 15 points to lead SMU, which was outrebounded 66-30 and shot 19.4 percent.

Oklahoma scored the first 17 points as the Mustangs (1-1) missed their first 11 shots. Leah Rush, Britney Brown and Erin Higgins hit 3-pointers to start the game for the Sooners, and Ashley Paris hit a right-handed hook shot to complete the run.

Dodds scored SMU's first basket after a 6:37 drought.

"I think when a team starts off shooting like that, they kind of freeze up," SMU coach Rhonda Rompola said. "It's like, 'Oh my gosh, we're so off. Who's going to take over?' ... We've got kids that can shoot it. They're just not putting it in the hole right now."

SMU missed 18 of its first 20 shots and didn't make baskets on consecutive possessions until Dodds hit a jumper and followed it with a layup in the lane with under four minutes to go in the first half.

"I thought we made them do some things they didn't want to do," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "We hurried their shots. We had them panic early."

The Sooners closed the half with a 7-0 run and led 49-22 after Ashley Paris took a pass in transition and found twin sister Courtney under the basket for a layup.

The Sooners later struggled on offense, missing 19 of their 25 shots in the second half. They scored 18 of their 31 points in the second half on free throws and finished with 24 turnovers.