7:00 PM ET, February 12, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale used a couple of freshmen to jump start her slumping Sooners.Courtney Paris had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and freshmen Jenna Plumley and Amanda Thompson provided a spark in their first career starts as Oklahoma (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) routed Texas 78-58 on Monday night.Plumley had 11 points and a career-high eight assists and Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds as the Sooners (19-4, 9-3) used a 27-3 surge at the end of the first half to win for just the second time in their last five games."I thought we played with passion. I thought we played together," Coale said. "I just thought we had great poise, and a lot of that begins with Jenna. I thought we moved the ball well and played with great energy, and just had a ball and just were having fun."Oklahoma's emotion was never more evident than after Paris hit a buzzer-beating turnaround jumper off an inbounds pass from Plumley with 1.5 seconds left in the opening half. The shot gave the Sooners a 48-22 edge.Paris ran off the court with her teammates, getting congratulated as though she'd hit a game-winner. Instead, it was the emotion of capping a dominant stretch and all but assuring a victory."It's never been a question of we're not good enough. It's how can we get this thing clicking on all cylinders so we can be as good as we are," Coale said. "We know we have these parts and we have all this positive energy and emotion right below the surface."Paris got her 51st straight double-double and her twin sister, Ashley Paris, got her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.Jackson led Texas (16-10, 5-7) with 19 points, Bailey scored 14 and Earnesia Willams had 12. The Longhorns have lost three straight games.The Longhorns, who beat Oklahoma 67-62 in Austin on Jan. 31, got back within 55-38 when Tiffany Jackson came across the lane and scored a layup around Paris from the left block.With Jackson on the bench with four fouls, Erneisha Bailey scored six straight points to cut the deficit to 62-46.That's as close as the Longhorns got. Oklahoma pushed back with six points in a row, and Paris' basket inside made it 68-46.Texas coach Jody Conradt thought her Longhorns played well when they took their time, but they too often got in a hurry."When you take quick shots, you take away floor balance and you are going to put pressure on your defense," Conradt said. "I think that is where our youth hurts us as much as anything."On this night, Oklahoma turned its youth into an advantage -- starting two freshmen against Texas' three.Plumley had a pair of 3-pointers in Oklahoma's big run to complement Paris' 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting, and she ended up with the most assists any Sooners player has had in a Big 12 game this season. She also set a career-high with five steals."I like her freshman swagger as much as anything," Coale said. "When she comes out there on the floor, she just looks like she believes she can do whatever she wants to do, and I think that infuses the rest of the team."Thompson knew Coale put her in the lineup to bring energy, and she did her best to take advantage of the opportunity."I felt like for the first half, she wasn't a freshman. I felt like she was a kid who was giving us our heartbeat," Coale said. "That's pretty special when you're talking about a freshman."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||18-60 (.300)||29-62 (.468)|
|3P Made-Attempted||1-7 (.143)||6-16 (.375)|
|FT Made-Attempted||21-28 (.750)||14-20 (.700)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|