Jan. 4, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) --With a loaded conference schedule just around the corner, No. 5 Oklahoma didn't mind playing a final tune-up.
The Sooners set a new school record for fewest points allowed in a 89-25 drubbing of North Carolina Central on Saturday. Whitney Hand scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the opening half and Oklahoma blew out to a 50-15 lead in the first half.
Five Sooners scored in double-figures, including Courtney Paris, who finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds in only 22 minutes to stretch her NCAA record streak of consecutive double-doubles to 105 games.
Hand connected on four 3-pointers in the opening half against NCCU (4-12) and finished 6 of 10 from the field.
"We saw defensive plan similar to what we'll see when we get into Big 12 play, where they double-down in the middle,'' Hand said. "That leaves some wide open looks and fortunately, we knocked them down today.''
The Sooners (11-2), who won for the seventh straight time, travel to Nebraska on Jan. 10 for their conference opener. While the Cornhuskers are not among them, there are six Big 12 teams ranked in the latest Top 25 poll, including four south division teams in the top 10.
"This is an amazing league where every game is a challenge,'' said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. "(This game) helps you develop mental discipline, to play every possession like it's the most important one.''
The Sooners had no problem making plenty of their possessions count, as they shot 53 percent from the field, including 10-of-23 from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the Eagles had very few answers for the hosts' speed and athleticism. Oklahoma forced 19 North Carolina Central turnovers in the first half, while limiting the Eagles to 26 percent shooting from the field.
Eight different Sooners had at least one of OU's 12 first-half steals.
The Sooners scored the game's first 13 points before Jori Nwachukwu got the visitors on the board with a single free throw with just under 16 minutes left in the half. Oklahoma owned a 20-1 lead when NCCU connected on its first field goal at the 11:19 mark.
Nyeshia Stevenson and Amanda Thompson scored 12 points each for the Sooners, while Carlee Roethlisberger had 10 points.
Chasidy Williams led the Eagles with eight points and seven rebounds. Nwachukwu added seven points for NCCU.