Paris & Freshmen Lead OU Past Texas

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 12, 2007


NORMAN, Okla. (AP)
-- Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale used a couple of freshmen to jump start her slumping Sooners.

Courtney Paris had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and freshmen Jenna Plumley and Amanda Thompson provided a spark in their first career starts as No. 14 Oklahoma routed Texas 78-58 on Monday night.

Plumley had 11 points and a career-high eight assists and Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds as the Sooners (19-4, 9-3) used a 27-3 surge at the end of the first half to win for just the second time in their last five games.

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``I thought we played with passion. I thought we played together,'' Coale said. ``I just thought we had great poise, and a lot of that begins with Jenna. I thought we moved the ball well and played with great energy, and just had a ball and just were having fun.''

Oklahoma's emotion was never more evident than after Paris hit a buzzer-beating turnaround jumper off an inbounds pass from Plumley with 1.5 seconds left in the opening half. The shot gave the Sooners a 48-22 edge.

Paris ran off the court with her teammates, getting congratulated as though she'd hit a game-winner. Instead, it was the emotion of capping a dominant stretch and all but assuring a victory.

Jenna Plumley

``It's never been a question of we're not good enough. It's how can we get this thing clicking on all cylinders so we can be as good as we are,'' Coale said. ``We know we have these parts and we have all this positive energy and emotion right below the surface.''

Paris got her 51st straight double-double and her twin sister, Ashley Paris, got her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Jackson led Texas (16-10, 5-7) with 19 points, Bailey scored 14 and Earnesia Willams had 12. The Longhorns have lost three straight games.

The Longhorns, who beat Oklahoma 67-62 in Austin on Jan. 31, got back within 55-38 when Tiffany Jackson came across the lane and scored a layup around Paris from the left block.

With Jackson on the bench with four fouls, Erneisha Bailey scored six straight points to cut the deficit to 62-46.

That's as close as the Longhorns got. Oklahoma pushed back with six points in a row, and Paris' basket inside made it 68-46.

   Highlights |  Postgame Press Conference

Texas coach Jody Conradt thought her Longhorns played well when they took their time, but they too often got in a hurry.

``When you take quick shots, you take away floor balance and you are going to put pressure on your defense,'' Conradt said. ``I think that is where our youth hurts us as much as anything.''

On this night, Oklahoma turned its youth into an advantage - starting two freshmen against Texas' three.

Plumley had a pair of 3-pointers in Oklahoma's big run to complement Paris' 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting, and she ended up with the most assists any Sooners player has had in a Big 12 game this season. She also set a career-high with five steals.

``I like her freshman swagger as much as anything,'' Coale said. ``When she comes out there on the floor, she just looks like she believes she can do whatever she wants to do, and I think that infuses the rest of the team.''

Thompson knew Coale put her in the lineup to bring energy, and she did her best to take advantage of the opportunity.

``I felt like for the first half, she wasn't a freshman. I felt like she was a kid who was giving us our heartbeat,'' Coale said. ``That's pretty special when you're talking about a freshman.''



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