3:00 PM ET, December 2, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Now that the level of competition has dropped -- at least briefly -- Courtney Paris and the Oklahoma Sooners have resumed their dominance of opponents.Paris recorded her 67th straight double-double, finishing with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the ninth-ranked Sooners routed Arkansas State 93-36 on Sunday.Paris went 10 of 12 from the field as Oklahoma (4-2) never trailed and extended its winning streak to four games after opening with losses to the last two NCAA champions, Maryland and Tennessee.In their two home games this season -- both against Sun Belt Conference teams -- the Sooners won by 37 against North Texas on Tuesday and never were challenged against Arkansas State (4-4). Oklahoma's breather won't last long, as later this month the Sooners have road games at Illinois and Michigan State and will host South Carolina.Arkansas State lost for the second time in four days to a team from Oklahoma, as the Indians fell 96-54 at Oklahoma State on Thursday. Their 36-point output against Oklahoma matched the third-lowest in school history. Arkansas State's record for fewest points is 29, in a 1989 game against Louisiana Tech."You hear a lot about them and the rankings and all of that, and when you finally get to see them in person, you realize just how good they are," Arkansas State coach Brian Boyer said of the Sooners.The Indians, who have a win this season over major-conference foe Alabama, don't have a player taller than 6-foot-2. The 6-foot-4 Paris took full advantage, completing her double-double well before halftime. The junior center scored the first eight points of the game for Oklahoma, all on easy baskets in the paint.By the first media timeout, Paris already had 12 points and the Sooners led 15-4. She had 16 points by the time she grabbed her 10th rebound, with 5:16 left in the half. She sat down 12 seconds later and didn't return until the second half.By the time she left the game for good, with 11:45 left, she had scored as many points as Arkansas State had at that point.Oklahoma led 47-18 at halftime and opened the second half with a 23-2 run, eventually extending its lead to as many as 57 points. The Sooners shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the field and had a 50-6 edge in points in the paint."We were winning [at halftime], but we did not think we were playing hard," Paris said. "Coach talked about it at halftime. We can play better than that, so in that first four-minute interval [of the second half], we came out to try to change things."Boyer noted the Sooners' effective passing, as Oklahoma recorded 23 assists on its 36 baskets."In past years when we have faced other great teams, such as the Dukes and the Purdues, there is one thing you always admire about them and it's their passing skills," Boyer said. "I think that goes unnoticed with this [Oklahoma] team. Obviously, Courtney Paris is the real deal, but even when you think you have good position, they just put the ball on the money and get it to her."Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale, conversely, noted the Sooners also had 25 turnovers, after they had 26 against North Texas."We did some good stuff. We executed better," Coale said. "I know the turnover column looks hideous again. It does have to change if we're going to do what we want to do this year. When we weren't turning it over, we executed so much better than we did against North Texas. We got things that we wanted. We looked organized and our spacing was better."Sophomore guard Jenna Plumley went 5-for-9 from 3-point range and finished with 15 points for Oklahoma. Plumley is 14-for-25 from long range in the Sooners' last three games after going 3-for-15 during the first three games.Nyeshia Stevenson scored 17 points, Ashley Paris added 12 points and seven rebounds and Amanda Thompson had eight points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma.Ebonie Jefferson, Veronia Smith and Caroline Starr led Arkansas State with six points each.Sunday's game was the first meeting between Oklahoma and Arkansas State since the title game of the 1994 National Women's Invitation Tournament in Amarillo, Texas, which the Sooners won 69-65. Oklahoma leads the series between the teams 3-1.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||12-57 (.211)||36-63 (.571)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-20 (.300)||7-18 (.389)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-12 (.500)||14-17 (.824)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|