December 25, 2006
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Even an All-American like Texas' Tiffany Jackson was no match for Oklahoma freshman Courtney Paris.
In a matchup of two of the nation's best frontline players, Paris dominated with a career-high 32 points and 16 rebounds, recording her 12th straight double-double as No. 13 Oklahoma beat Texas 75-57 on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma (16-4, 6-0 Big 12) extended its winning streak to four games - a run that includes a road win at defending national champion Baylor - and maintained its commanding lead in the conference race. Every other Big 12 team has at least two league losses.
``It's not over yet,'' Texas coach Jody Conradt said of the Big 12 race, ``but it's getting close if we don't reel (Oklahoma) back in.''
Texas (10-7, 4-3) had a four-game winning streak snapped while Conradt remained at 879 career wins. She is tied with former North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith for second place on the NCAA basketball career coaching wins list. Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt is tops with 900 wins heading into Thursday's game at Kentucky.
Texas had won eight of its previous nine games against Oklahoma before Wednesday. The last two seasons, Oklahoma had no solution against the 6-foot-3 Jackson, Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.
Courtney Paris matched the school's freshman scoring record, set by LaNeisha Caufield against Missouri on Feb. 27, 1999. Paris' streak of double-doubles is the second-longest in Division I, behind Jillian Robbins of Tulsa, who has 13 straight.
In another sign of Paris' dominance, Jackson fouled out, while Texas' two centers, Aubry Cook and Ashley Lindsey, combined for seven fouls, mostly while trying to guard Paris.
``Courtney is really crafty,'' Jackson said. ``You may deny her. Then she pins you for the next pass. You may take away her shot but she's a great passer. It's like picking your poison with her. She's really good.''
At one point, Texas resorted to simply fouling Paris and sending her to the free-throw line, where she was 6-for-12.
``We knew she was going to get her points,'' Conradt said. ``I don't think you can focus on shutting her down. I would have been happy if she'd gotten 20 and we did what we did what we needed to do the rest of the way. Unfortunately, we gave them a lot of second opportunities. That was the difference in the ball game.''
Ashley Paris also had a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
``I catch myself just standing and watching them, all the time on the court, when I should be cutting or trying to get open,'' Oklahoma point guard Britney Brown said of the Paris twins. ``I'm still amazed by what they can do.''
By halftime, the Paris twins had combined for 27 points, one more Texas's entire team, and 12 rebounds, also one more than the Longhorns' team, as the Sooners led 40-26.
Courtney Paris had seven points in the first 4 minutes to help Oklahoma to a 9-4 lead. Texas came back to take a 12-11 lead, but the Paris twins had seven points in a 10-0 run that put the Sooners up 21-12.
Texas pulled within 23-20, but Oklahoma used another 10-0 run to take a double-digit lead for good.
The closest Texas came in the second half was at 64-53, on Cook's basket with 5:17 left.
``Early in the half we did a good job of holding them off,'' Coale said. ``We did enough on defense to keep them from scoring.''
Nina Norman led the Longhorns with 13 points. Brown scored 13 for Oklahoma.