Sooners Roll Past Cyclones, 69-49

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 25, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma can be dominant even with Courtney Paris on the bench.

Chelsi Welch scored 13 points, Leah Rush added 12 and the sixth-ranked Sooners did much of their damage with their All-America center on the bench in a 69-49 win against Iowa State on Wednesday night.

Paris notched her 46th straight double-double with a season-low 14 points and 13 rebounds, but it was during the 6-foot-4 sophomore's two rest periods in the first 35 minutes that Oklahoma took control.

The Sooners (17-1, 7-0 Big 12) combined to outscore Iowa State 24-3 in those spans on their way to their 26th straight conference win.

Stats | Notes | Quotes |   Photos

``When you look at the numbers, it's not just Courtney Paris,'' Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. ``It's Courtney Paris on a really good team.''

Oklahoma won for the third time in the past five days, including a double-overtime victory against Texas Tech on Monday in a game rescheduled due to icy weather. The Sooners get two days off before hosting No. 21 Texas A&M on Saturday morning.

``It seems like we play every day,'' Sooners coach Sherri Coale said.

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Megan Ronhovde scored 13 points to lead Iowa State (15-5, 3-4), and Lyndsey Medders had 10. Iowa State shot 32 percent and committed 20 turnovers while getting outrebounded 48-29.

The Sooners' 13 steals were their most of the season.

``Our inside game got mauled,'' Fennelly said. ``I know that they are very good players, but we should have played better.''

Postgame Video   Coale & Company in Postgame Press Conference
  Iowa State Postgame Press Conference   O-Zone Highlights

Immediately after Paris headed to the bench with 16:18 left to play, Rush scored six straight points to start a 14-3 run that put the Sooners up 50-32. She hit a 3-pointer from the right wing, then added a three-point play after banking in an airborne layup off a lob pass. Britney Brown followed with a 3-pointer from the right wing, and Welch finished the spurt with two free throws and a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Before that, most of Oklahoma's lead got built during a first-half stretch while Paris was taking a breather. The Sooners took advantage of three Iowa State turnovers to score 10 straight points, and Paris then returned to add a layup and stretch the lead to 22-8.

``I think it's a great sign,'' Coale said. ``We don't need to play her 40 minutes a night if we want her to be at ultimate strength in March and early April. It's important to be able to continue to score, and score in a variety of ways. I thought that's what we did.''

During Paris' freshman season, the Sooners often struggled to keep scoring when she came out of the game. That's been less of a problem this season.

``They've been with Courtney more, and we've all been together longer,'' Coale said. ``I think also a big part of that is (her twin sister) Ashley's improved play as well. If we do need to keep exploiting a post player at the block and Courtney needs a break or she's in some sort of foul situation, we can keep exploiting that post player by going to Ashley. I think that's made a huge difference.''

Iowa State scored the final seven points of the half to get within 28-19, as Oklahoma went more than 5 minutes without a point.

The win was Coale's 100th at the Lloyd Noble Center.



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