7:00 PM ET, December 20, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Matching a single-game school scoring record meant little to Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. Playing crisply and neatly while doing so made her especially proud.Courtney Paris recorded her 71st consecutive double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds as No. 9 Oklahoma rolled into the holiday break with a 121-48 rout of Central Arkansas on Thursday night.All but one of the 12 players who suited up scored for Oklahoma (8-2), which hasn't lost since falling to Maryland and Tennessee in the Sooners' first two games of the season. Eight of them reached double figures, including freshman Jenny Vining, who had 18 points.What is more important to Coale is the Sooners, who entered the game averaging 20 turnovers per contest, had just eight against Central Arkansas (2-8)."I'm much more concerned with the quality of play," she said. "I'm pleased because it was clean, because games like this can get ugly. I thought our poise and our discipline was good, a step in the right direction."That step followed one of the Sooners' best efforts of the season, a 66-55 win at then-No. 21 Michigan State on Sunday in which they rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit."What we're trying to do is build our identity," Vining said. "We're going to go into Christmas relaxed. We're not going to go out thinking, 'I wish we would have done this better.' We can go take some time off and come back and get ready" for Big 12 play.Central Arkansas suited up only eight players, including four freshmen, and suffered its second-worst loss ever. The Sugar Bears, members of the Southland Conference, are in their second season in NCAA Division I after going 14-14 last season. Their only wins this season have come against Grambling State and Division II Arkansas-Monticello.The game figured to be a mismatch. Oklahoma's RPI rating entering the game was 10, while Central Arkansas' was 337, out of 339 Division I basketball teams. Sure enough, Oklahoma sprinted to an 18-0 lead in the first five minutes and led 64-11 by halftime, even as Coale subbed early and often.The Sooners missed the school record for points in a half -- set against Midwestern State (Texas) in January 1984 -- by two points, and tied the school mark for fewest points allowed in a half, set against Texas A&M on Jan. 26, 2002.In such a lopsided game, "You try to treat it as practice and try to get better, regardless of the situation," Coale said. "Sometimes it's hard to play clean and execute well and stay focused and stay disciplined, and I thought we did a good job of that, particularly our young guys."Paris, who played 22 minutes, was one of two Oklahoma players to record a double-double. Her primary backup, sophomore Abi Olajuwon, had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Carlee Roethlisberger had 10 points and eight rebounds."It was exciting because I work really hard in practice," Olajuwon said. "I have been trying to get to the rim and finish and not to get blocked by our scout team. I have also been working hard on posting up and muscling, really focusing on the game, because in my freshman year, I would forget the plays and did not know anything."Oklahoma passed the 100-point mark on a follow shot by Roethlisberger with 7:37 left and tied the school single-game scoring mark on Rose Hammond's basket with 16 seconds left. The Sooners also scored 121 points in a win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 29, 1990.The only time Central Arkansas has allowed more points, or lost by a wider margin, was on March 9, 1977, when the Sugar Bears fell 132-50 to Southeastern Louisiana.Oklahoma outrebounded Central Arkansas 63-30 and went 53 of 90 from the field, a 59 percent clip. The Sooners broke the Big 12 Conference record for made field goals of 51, set by Texas against Centenary on Dec. 16, 2000.Meaghen Kelleybrew led Central Arkansas with 12 points and Kia Lee added 10.Central Arkansas' next game doesn't figure to be much easier, as the Sugar Bears will visit Oklahoma State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) on Saturday.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||20-71 (.282)||53-90 (.589)|
|3P Made-Attempted||4-20 (.200)||7-15 (.467)|
|FT Made-Attempted||4-6 (.667)||8-16 (.500)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||10 (0/0)|