6:00 PM ET, February 4, 2006
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri has seen enough of Oklahoma super freshman Courtney Paris.Paris had 27 points and 16 rebounds for her 15th straight double-double, helping the 11th-ranked Sooners end Missouri's 11-game home winning streak with an 88-73 victory on Saturday night."I'm just hoping the WNBA calls her and tries to get her out of school early," Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. "She is an incredible talent."The 6-foot-4 Paris has 20 double-doubles, tying a Big 12 record set by Angie Welle of Iowa State in 2001-02, in the first 23 games for Oklahoma (19-4, 9-0 Big 12). The consecutive games streak already is a conference record.This time she did it in only 26 minutes, missing much of the second half after getting her fourth foul and getting plenty of rest during the Sooners' dominant first half. Paris entered the game leading the nation with 14.7 rebounds per game and averaging 21 points."Everyone is going to write about and talk about Courtney, and rightly so," coach Sherri Coale said. "I'd write about her a lot too, she's special.""The guys around her can also play."But Paris is unquestionably the Sooners' go-to player, and she was pleasantly surprised to not draw double teams most of the game. Paris said Texas is the only other team to try that tactic."When it's single coverage it's a little less work," Paris said. "But basketball for me is just fun, I never look at it as hard."If it's something I think is hard and I can't do, I probably won't try it."The victory gave Oklahoma a three-game lead in the Big 12 with seven games to go."It's huge, it means a lot," said Chelsi Welch, who added 16 points. "We knew Missouri was right behind us and we needed to come in here and make a statement."Missouri's Stein doesn't think anybody will catch the Sooners."My personal opinion is they're better than 11th in the country," Stein said. "Obviously, they're very well-coached and they just have talent throughout."LaToya Bond scored 30 points and Christelle N'Garsanet 16 for Missouri (16-5, 6-3), which had the longest winning streak in the conference. The Tigers, who were the first also-ran in the last Top 25 poll, shot only 34 percent in the first half.Missouri's home streak was the third ended by Oklahoma in the last three games. The Sooners previously halted perfect runs of 13 games at Texas A&M and 25 games at Baylor, and earlier in the season ended streaks of 21 games at Iowa State and 16 at New Mexico."I'm just now noticing that," Paris said. "If winning a game means you knocked off someone's winning streak, I guess you did a good thing."Welch was 3-for-4 from 3-point range for Oklahoma, which has won seven in a row overall. Paris' twin sister Ashley had 14 points and seven rebounds.Courtney Paris nearly had a double-double after the first 8 1-2 minutes when she had 10 points and eight rebounds, before getting rested late in the half. The Sooners shot 51 percent and ended the half with a midcourt shot at the buzzer by Kendra Moore after the last of Missouri's 11 turnovers for a 47-27 lead.
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