8:00 PM ET, January 3, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma had already shown how good it can be when Courtney Paris is at her best. Kansas State found out what it's like when twin sister Ashley is on her game, too.The Paris twins combined for 30 points and 36 rebounds to help the Sooners (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 8 AP) overcome a 3-point onslaught by Kansas State for a 78-58 win Wednesday night."That's a lot of boards to come out of one household," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.Four days after scoring a school-record 43 points on 20-for-26 shooting in an 80-58 win against No. 22 New Mexico, Courtney Paris struggled from the floor. She made only 9-of-21 shots, but still wound up with 18 points and 19 rebounds for her 40th straight double-double.Ashley Paris got her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 17 rebounds."Courtney is smashmouth, go right through you. Ashley will finesse you a little bit," Coale said. "But when it comes to getting a rebound, they're very, very similar."If she keeps giving performances like that, teams are in trouble."The win was the 20th in a row against Big 12 competition for the Sooners (11-1, 1-0 Big 12), who also got 12 points from Chelsi Welch.Marlies Gipson scored 14 and Ashley Sweat added 11 to lead Kansas State, which made 12 3-pointers on a season-high 24 attempts. The Wildcats (12-2, 0-1), who had a nine-game winning streak snapped, were 6-for-39 from inside the 3-point line."It's really difficult when you don't have that feeling of power and that second post," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. "You can look at Oklahoma and see what strength that brings."The Sooners' guards made it even tougher on the Wildcats by hitting 6-of-10 from 3-point range in the first half, then using penetration to open up the Paris twins after halftime. Oklahoma was the first team to shoot higher than 40 percent against the defending NIT champions this season."I think a lot of that (was) caused by aggressiveness by their perimeter players. It creates some real havoc in the paint when you have those kind of really big, strong, physical bodies," Patterson said. "They have the ability to back you down if you get behind them at all and just the strength and the size to rebound over you."Courtney Paris, Oklahoma's All-America center, converted only six of her first 18 shots before making three in a row. She left the game with 4:41 left after picking up her fourth foul with Oklahoma up by 16."I guess I had a bad game. I started out really slow and really couldn't find a rhythm or energy," Paris said.Her sister helped make up for it by notching a career-high in rebounds and her highest scoring total in 6½ weeks."That's just the great thing about these two guys. Each of them is a handful to guard," Coale said. "You can't guard Ashley with one. You can't guard Courtney with one. So if two go over and converge on Courtney, somebody's trying to block out Ashley by themself, which is a tough task for anyone."The two combined to outrebound Kansas State 36-35, and Oklahoma had a 22-rebound edge overall.The Sooners led by at least 10 the rest of the way after Courtney Paris converted off an offensive rebound to start a 12-0 burst that extended the lead to 33-18 with 4:12 left in the first half.Still, Ashley Paris has a long way to go if she wants to match her sister's impressive double-double streak."The only thing that stands between Ashley getting a double-double every night and not is how aggressive she wants to be," Coale said. "If she wants to catch the ball and go score, nobody can keep her from scoring."
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