UNC Drops Sooners at the Wire

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 23, 2008
Photos Box Score | Photos Coach & Player Quotes | Photos Game Notes
  1st 2nd F
UNC 34 46 80
OU 37 42 79
Photos  OU vs. North Carolina Photo Gallery | OU Photo Store
Video  OU vs. North Carolina SoonerVision Game Highlights
 Stats Comparison OU UNC
 Points 79 80
 FG Made-Attempted 30-70 33-73
 FG Percentage 42.9 45.2
 3FG Made-Attempted 2-17 5-17
 3FG Percentage 11.8 29.4
 FT Made-Attempted 17-25 9-15
 FT Percentage 68.0 60.0
 Rebounds 46 44
 Assists 8 8
 Turnovers 17 18
 OU Stat Leaders
 UNC Stat Leaders
 2 players 20
31  Breland
 C. Paris 12
6  2 players
 Hand 3
3  DeGraffenreid
 Robinson 2
4  DeGraffenreid
 C. Paris 4
1  3 players
• Big 12 Conference

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Jessica Breland scored a career-high 31 points -- including two key buckets in the final two minutes -- as No. 4 North Carolina held off No. 2 Oklahoma 80-79 on Sunday in the title game of the Women's Preseason NIT.

After North Carolina's Rashanda McCants missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw chance with 7.2 seconds left, Oklahoma (3-1) had a chance to win on the final possession, but Danielle Robinson's running 6-footer went over the rim as time expired.

North Carolina (5-0) has played in 13 games involving two top-five teams since the start of the 2005-06 season and raised its record to 7-6 in such matchups.

Courtney Paris had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma, extending her NCAA-record streak of double-doubles to 96. Her twin sister, Ashley Paris, also had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Since the WNIT began playing its semifinals and final on home courts in 2001, North Carolina is only the second road team to win, joining Purdue, which beat Baylor in the 2006 title game.

The game featured seven lead changes, with the teams never separated by more than seven points. The Tar Heels went ahead for good at 63-60 on a 3-pointer by Heather Claytor with 9:07 left and led 80-75 after Breland -- the tournament MVP -- scored off an offensive rebound with 1:04 left.

Amanda Thompson hit two free throws to cut Oklahoma's deficit to three points, and after Cetera DeGraffenreid missed a long 3-point attempt for the Tar Heels, Oklahoma opted to go for a 2-pointer. Italee Lucas fouled Robinson, who made both free throws with 8.3 seconds left, making it 80-79.

Courtney Paris quickly fouled McCants, who missed her free throw and Oklahoma called time-out to set up the final play.

Oklahoma, which entered the game averaging 17 more rebounds per game than its opponents, managed only a 46-44 edge against a North Carolina team that had been outrebounded 59-34 in its WNIT semifinal win over Xavier.

Thompson gave Oklahoma three players with a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Oklahoma's poor outside shooting -- 2 of 17 from 3-point range -- proved to be its undoing. North Carolina went 5 of 17 from behind the arc.

Besides Breland, only two Tar Heels scored in double figures -- Chay Shegog, with 12 points, and McCants, with 10.

The Sooners sprinted to a 6-0 with three layups, but North Carolina soon took control of the lane thanks to a seemingly unending supply of 6-foot inside players.

The Tar Heels limited Oklahoma without an offensive rebound for the first 12 minutes and led 27-19 after a putback by Shegog with 6:09 left in the half. Oklahoma rallied within one, but two baskets by Breland -- short jumpers over Paris, who was playing with two fouls -- restored North Carolina's lead to five at 32-27.

Oklahoma answered by scoring the next nine points and the Sooners' first 3-pointer of the game -- by Thompson -- put them back ahead at 34-32. Oklahoma led 37-34 at halftime.

North Carolina opened the second half with nine straight points, but an 11-2 run by Oklahoma gave the Sooners the lead again -- and back and forth it went.



Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications and Tyler Media, LLC.


Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.