Paris' Storm Slows Cyclones

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 11, 2009
Photos Box Score | Photos Coach & Player Quotes | Photos Game Notes
  1st 2nd F
ISU 26 23 49
OU 26 32 58

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Photos OU vs. Iowa State Photo Gallery | OU Photo Store

 Stats Comparison OU ISU
 Points 58 49
 FG Made-Attempted 24-44 16-54
 FG Percentage 54.5 29.6
 3FG Made-Attempted 0-3 7-22
 3FG Percentage 0.0


 FT Made-Attempted 10-12 10-11
 FT Percentage 83.3 90.9
 Rebounds 36 24
 Assists 12 9
 Turnovers 14 8
 OU Stat Leaders
 ISU Stat Leaders
 C. Paris 25
15  Ezell
 C. Paris 19
7  Nisleit
 Robinson 4
4  Ezell
 4 players 1
4  Ezell
 A. Paris 3
0  -
2008-09 OU Women's Basketball Central

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Courtney Paris' extended double-double drought has come to an end. Extended for her, at least.

After going 112 straight games with a double-double and then two without one, Paris had a season-high 25 points and 19 rebounds to lead No. 2 Oklahoma to a 58-49 win against No. 16 Iowa State on Wednesday night.

"Well, I'd been praying about it," Paris said.

Paris turned it on in the second half, scoring 16 of her team's 32 points to guide the Sooners (21-2, 9-0 Big 12) to their 17th straight win.

Paris had eight of her points during a 16-5 run as the Sooners charged back after allowing Iowa State to take the lead in the opening minute of the second half. Her basket inside put Oklahoma on top 42-35, and the Sooners were able to hold off another charge that got the Cyclones back within two with 4 1/2 minutes left.

The Sooners had gotten away from relying on their All-America center so much this season, and their balance had been their strength during the second-best start in school history. But when they needed Paris the most, the 6-foot-3 senior came through.

She had the rare chance to go against single coverage most of the night as Iowa State (18-5, 6-3) hounded Oklahoma's shooters, keeping them without a 3-pointer for the first time in one year and three days. The Sooners tried only three 3-pointers, the fewest in coach Sherri Coale's 13 seasons.

"I just think that's what you have to do against them. You have to feed it inside and then you have to rebound," Paris said.

Heather Ezell scored 15 points to lead Iowa State, which had held every opponent under 50 points during a five-game winning streak. The Cyclones slowed the tempo and were able to keep Oklahoma well below its Big 12-leading 80.9-point average. It was the Sooners' second-lowest scoring output of the season and only the fourth time they had been held below 70 points.

"What you want to do against a great team is at least give them a chance to think that there's a chance they might get beat," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "We were close a couple of times, but we could never get the one or two plays we needed."

Ezell gave the Cyclones one last chance with a 3-pointer from the right wing and then steals on Oklahoma's next two possessions. Lacey converted the first with a jumper in the lane to cut the deficit to 48-46 with 4:30 remaining, but Nicky Wieben missed a 3-pointer after Ezell's next theft that could have put Iowa State ahead.

Paris followed that miss by trailing Danielle Robinson down the court for a layup in transition, and she added another basket inside to help Oklahoma keep pulling away. Meanwhile, the Cyclones -- the Big 12's most prolific 3-point shooting team -- missed two more 3s at the opposite end.

"That was kind of our breaking point right there," Ezell said.

Robinson added 14 points and Ashley Paris, Courtney's twin sister, scored 13. The Sooners had 14 fast-break points to none for Iowa State.

"The things that hurt us I think the most in our defense is we shot it and we stood there and watched it," Fennelly said. "When we missed it, by the time we reacted, they were ahead of us, and we were looking at the backs of their jerseys a lot. I think when we made them play halfcourt, we were OK.

"You can't guard something that is ahead of you."

The Cyclones survived a 4-for-21 start from the field and were able to tie the game by hitting their final four shots and scoring the last nine points of the first half. Ashley Arlen capped the comeback with a pair of layups inside, the second leading to a three-point play with 6.1 seconds to go before halftime.

Amanda Nisleit then opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the left wing and Ezell drove the right side for a layup as Iowa State took its only lead at 31-26.

Coale credited a brief experiment with a pressure defense with starting the run that gave the Sooners the lead for good, but said she didn't want to use it too long and risk leaving the Cyclones open for 3-pointers.

"We're all about the results, and you've got to win a lot of ways ... in this league," Coale said. "You have to be versatile enough to win a lot of different ways."



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