7:30 PM ET, February 6, 2008
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Three days after winning at Texas, Oklahoma struggled to put away slumping Missouri.Courtney Paris had 25 points and 17 rebounds for her 81st consecutive double-double and Danielle Robinson scored four of her nine points in the final minute of the No. 10 Sooners' 64-57 victory on Wednesday night."I didn't expect us to play so flat, and that's the thing," coach Sherri Coale said. "We didn't dictate tempo, we didn't dictate what they did offensively."We were very unaware, we just weren't intense, weren't sharp," she said.Coale said a tiny crowd of 1,228 in the 15,000-seat Mizzou Arena might have been a factor."We're used to playing in front of packed environments," Coale said. "Maybe it's a little quiet, a little sterile in here."Robinson hit two free throws with 18.8 seconds to go for a three-point lead and then clinched it with a steal and layup off the inbound pass with 17 seconds left for a 62-57 lead after Missouri's Toy Richbow slipped. Richbow also missed a free throw with 25 seconds to go and Missouri trailing by a point."As I told our team we don't believe in moral victories, but we have to feel good about this," Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. "But we have to stay focused, we can't wallow in this, even though it was a very tough game to lose."Paris, a 6-foot-4 junior, has 86 double-doubles in 89 games -- a streak that began Dec. 5, 2005, when she was a freshman. She extended her streak late in the first half for the Sooners (16-4, 6-2 Big 12) and sat out much of the final 11 minutes with four fouls.Ashley Paris, Courtney's twin sister, had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma, which has won five in a row and has a 22-game winning streak against the Big 12 North. Oklahoma overcame 40 percent shooting by outrebounding Missouri 59-27."When I heard Shaq had been traded, I was hoping it had been for the Paris twins because they are ridiculous," Stein joked. "They're probably the two toughest post players to guard in the country."Ashley Paris had six points in an 11-2 run that gave Oklahoma breathing room after Missouri (8-14, 1-8) had tied it 44-44 on a 3-pointer by Alyssa Hollins with 8:38 to go. Missouri rallied again, with Jessra Johnson's runner cutting the deficit to 58-57 with 47 seconds left.The emergence of Courtney said Ashley Paris has been the key on a young team, which has no seniors."I think it's pretty cool how she really stepped up this year," Courtney Paris said. "At any time she can be our go-to guy."Hollins had 19 points while going 4-for-11 from 3-point range for Missouri, which has lost seven in a row and 10 of 12. Shakara Jones added 12 points and Johnson had 11 for the Tigers.
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