No. 3 Sooners Top Tulsa, 72-49

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 02, 2006

TULSA (AP) -- After sitting on the bench for more than 10 minutes, Courtney Paris wanted to make it up to her teammates.

The All-America center scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds for her 34th straight double-double and sparked a late run that boosted No. 3 Oklahoma to a 72-49 victory over Tulsa on Saturday.

Tulsa cut a 22-point deficit to single digits after Paris picked up three quick fouls in the second half and had to leave the game after getting her fourth foul on a post move by Jillian Robbins with 16:09 to play.

Paris returned with Oklahoma ahead 54-45 at the 5:34 mark and immediately put the Sooners back in control. She converted a layup, then followed Chelsi Welch's 3-pointer with a layup off an offensive rebound. Paris' three-point play with 3:56 left extended Oklahoma's lead to 64-47, and Leah Rush stretched it past 20 with a short jumper from the left side.

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``I felt really bad because I got three quick, stupid fouls and had to sit and so those guys are working extra hard to keep us in it,'' Paris said. ``It makes it easy when Coach puts you back in there to finish it off, to just do your job and have fun. And that's exactly what happened.''

Rush, who contributed a season-high 18 points, also picked up her fourth foul during Tulsa's run and re-entered with Paris.

``It's tough when you have to be on the bench and the other team's making a run a little bit,'' Rush said. ``When you get back in, you want to try to finish the game right.''

Oklahoma outscored Tulsa 18-4 after Paris and Rush came back.

``I thought we probably looked as good as we've looked all year in the final 5 minutes of the game, just relaxed and playing together and playing with emotion and energy,'' Sooners coach Sherri Coale said. ``It's a good win. It's a really good win.''

While Tulsa was able to close the gap, Coale said ``it never did get too scary or too dangerous.''

Welch added 12 points for the Sooners (6-0), who won their 11th straight road game to tie the Big 12 record set by the Sooners from 2000-01.

Robbins finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks to lead Tulsa (3-4), the defending Conference USA champions.

Robbins, the Conference USA player of the year last season, scored seven points during a 20-7 run that brought the Golden Hurricane back within 54-45 after Robbins' reverse layup with 7:18 left.

``I think we did a good job despite what the score says. That score does not show how the game went,'' Robbins said. ``That score shows the last two minutes. We gave all we had, to a certain extent, and good teams know how to put a fist in somebody and keep them down, and that's what OU did.''

Rush, who scored 14 points in the first half, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 10-0 run that put the Sooners up 37-16 late in the first half. She also scored eight of Oklahoma's first 10 points to help the Sooners to an early 10-5 lead, and they would never trail.

Tulsa held Oklahoma without a field goal for 5 minutes in the first half, but was able to score only two points in the same period.



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