2:00 PM ET, February 23, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Amanda Thompson said she takes it personally when teams don't guard her. Perhaps the Oklahoma Sooners should try and get Thompson mad more often.Thompson had a career-high 23 points and 13 rebounds as Oklahoma (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) avenged a blowout loss by beating Oklahoma State (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) 81-71 on Saturday.Courtney Paris, who finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds, recorded her 86th straight double-double before a sellout crowd, while her twin sister, Ashley Paris, added 14 rebounds for Oklahoma (20-5, 10-3 Big 12)."Great environment for women's basketball," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "I thought we put together 40 pretty good minutes of basketball, competed, played with great intensity."Andrea Riley scored 26 points for Oklahoma State (21-5, 9-4).The Sooners lost 82-63 on Jan. 12 when they played in Stillwater, but they led most of the way in the rematch, although rarely by a comfortable margin. Oklahoma is looking for a third straight regular-season conference title, but entered Saturday trailing Baylor and Kansas State by a game in the standings.Saturday's game -- arguably the most anticipated in the history of the Bedlam series -- was sold out a month in advance, and the attendance of 12,205 set a Lloyd Noble Center record for women's basketball.Oklahoma State has not won in Norman since 1998, and the Cowgirls' league title chances took a significant hit with the loss. The result also could have other ramifications, as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are jockeying for position with other Big 12 teams for a potential spot in an NCAA regional that will be held in nearby Oklahoma City."You know what? We're 1-1," Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said of the Bedlam season series. "Hopefully there will be a third. Everybody would like to see it."Thompson helped Oklahoma win for the 18th time in its last 19 games against Oklahoma State. The 6-foot sophomore guard, left open for mid-range jumpers, finished 10 of 19 from the field and recorded her second career double-double."We gave her the same shots last time, and she hit them this time," Oklahoma State guard Danielle Green said.That the Cowgirls had so little respect for her shooting ability surprised Thompson. She also was irritated by a recent loss to Baylor and a bad first half in a road win at Kansas State."It really makes me mad, because everybody thinks that we don't have what we have," Thompson said. "I just took that to heart and said if I get my game together, then everybody else will."I came out, rebounded and that gave me a lot of energy and I just worked it into my jump shot. That just kept me going throughout the whole game and gave me a lot of energy."Oklahoma led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but Oklahoma State cut that margin to 66-61 with 6:21 left after a 3-pointer by Green, who scored 19 points.The Sooners scored the next five points, including two baskets by Danielle Robinson, who finished with 16 points and five assists. Oklahoma went 8 of 11 from the free-throw line in the final 1:35 to hold off the Cowgirls."You know, we just don't go away," Budke said. "We have been doing that all year long. We always have the ability to come back."Everybody's game plan when they play OU is to challenge someone other than the Paris twins," he said. "Give Amanda Thompson credit. ... She just played well. She is a legitimate player. I thought Danielle stepped up and matched that but we just didn't have the third one today. We needed to go deeper than two and we just didn't get that today."The Sooners posted a 54-29 edge on the boards, which proved to be the difference in the game. Coale challenged her team before the game to grab every offensive board."Offensive rebounds are momentum changers as much as second opportunities to score," Coale said. "They give life and they take life away. We felt like we had an opportunity to win that battle and wanted to crash. We worked on it. It's just what we do."Oklahoma led by as many as 10 points in the first half before taking a 40-36 halftime lead.Courtney Paris scored her 2,000th career point on a basket with 6:55 left in the half, becoming the fourth Oklahoma player to reach that mark and the quickest in school and Big 12 history to do so, needing only 94 games. The junior center finished the game with 2,012 career points and trails Phylesha Whaley, Molly McGuire and LaNeisha Caufield on the school scoring list.Courtney Paris is seventh on the Big 12 career scoring list, which is led by Sophia Young of Baylor, who scored 2,480 points from 2003 to 2006.Courtney Paris also passed Young to become the Big 12's career leader in offensive rebounds, recording a career-best 11 to raise her overall total to 495. It is the 32nd Big 12 record set by Paris.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||25-58 (.431)||31-70 (.443)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-24 (.250)||4-15 (.267)|
|FT Made-Attempted||15-20 (.750)||15-23 (.652)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|