Paris Sends Sun Devils Packing

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 21, 2008
Photos Box Score | Photos Coach & Player Quotes | Photos Game Notes
  1st 2nd F
ASU 28 29 57
OU 35 35 70
Photos  OU vs. Arizona State Photo Gallery | OU Photo Store
Video  OU vs. Arizona State SoonerVision Game Highlights
 Stats Comparison OU ASU
 Points 70 57
 FG Made-Attempted 27-64 22-65
 FG Percentage 42.2 33.8
 3FG Made-Attempted 4-15 4-14
 3FG Percentage 26.7 28.6
 FT Made-Attempted 12-13 9-12
 FT Percentage 92.3 75.0
 Rebounds 47 35
 Turnovers 21 14
 OU Stat Leaders
 ASU Stat Leaders
 C. Paris 19 Points 14  Simon
 C. Paris 20 Rebounds 6  Dosty
 Robinson 4 Assists 3  Engelbrecht
 Robinson 2 Steals 5  January
 C. Paris 6 Blocks 1  2 players
• Big 12 Conference

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- The basket, like hundreds before, was vintage Courtney Paris. She took an entry pass, pivoted around a defender and scored off the backboard.

And just like that, Paris became Oklahoma's career scoring leader on Friday night, just three games into her senior season.

For added measure, the 6-foot-4 preseason All-America center also had her 100th career double-double, finishing with 19 points, 20 rebounds and six blocked shots as No. 2 Oklahoma beat No. 18 Arizona State 70-57 in the semifinals of the Preseason Women's NIT.

Oklahoma (3-0) will host No. 4 North Carolina on Sunday in the tournament title game.

"It wasn't the prettiest basketball game I've ever been a part of," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said, "but it was a win against a very talented team. Here we are 3-0 and we've won in three completely different ways, so I think that bodes well for our future and for our versatility."

Neither Coale nor Paris claimed to have noticed as Arizona State (2-1) held Paris without a shot or a point for the first 15 minutes and 50 seconds. But once the Sooners figured out they could dominate using their inside game, Paris began racking up the points en route to her 95th straight double-double, extending her NCAA record.

Paris' final basket, with 2:02 left, raised her career point total to 2,189 in 103 games at Oklahoma, eclipsing Phylesha Whaley's 2,187 points from 1996-2000 in Coale's first four seasons with the Sooners. Coale praised Whaley again Friday, calling her the "foundation" of the Oklahoma program.

"Her spirit, her work ethic, everything that she had embodied what's good about college athletics," Coale said. "...For Courtney to surpass her with this much time left in her senior season is amazing."

After the game, Paris -- who went 8-of-11 from the field -- received a game ball from Coale and a standing ovation from the crowd at Lloyd Noble Center, then answered questions about her feat in a self-depreciating manner.

"It is a great honor," Paris said, "but I couldn't have done it without my teammates getting me the ball, and also myself for missing so many shots and getting the rebound and putting it back in."

Whaley, who now serves as a U.S. Army nurse stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., said she's happy someone like Paris broke the record.

"She is a good kid," Whaley told The Associated Press by phone from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where she's on a temporary assignment. "She works hard and she has so much fun playing. She's fun to watch because she's so good at it. ... I'm surprised she didn't do it sooner."

Paris' twin sister, Ashley Paris, also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Oklahoma won despite committing 21 turnovers. The Sooners limited Arizona State to 34 percent field-goal shooting.

Dymond Simon scored 14 points for Arizona State, while Briann January and Lauren Lacey had 12 each.

"I'm disappointed in our team," Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "We were extremely undisciplined and that is not representative of Sun Devil basketball. We really don't practice those shots."

Despite Courtney Paris' lack of early scoring, Oklahoma never trailed thanks in good part to sophomore Carlee Roethlisberger, who for the second straight game set a career high, scoring 12 points, all in the first 13 minutes.

Roethlisberger scored seven points during a 10-0 spurt midway through the half that put Oklahoma ahead 22-12.

"I like to be able to come in and help when they come and double down on Courtney, and if I hit shots, maybe it will draw players out to me," Roethlisberger said.

The Sun Devils made it 24-22, but Courtney Paris had seven points in the final 4:10 of the half for a 37-28 halftime lead. The Paris twins teamed to score the first six points of the second half, putting the Sooners up 43-28 with 17:17 left.

Arizona State came within 48-41 with 10:15 left on a putback by Sybil Dosty, but Courtney Paris scored the next two buckets and Oklahoma's lead never fell below double digits again.

"We just need to keep pressure on the ball," Turner Thorne said. "We didn't do that and we let them move the ball. Those are two things we don't want to do. (Courtney Paris) got some easy looks and putbacks and we missed some blockouts."

The Sooners beat Arizona State last season 69-57 in the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico, in a game played in a hotel ballroom.

Arizona State is 21-6 in its last 27 road games, dating to the second half of the 2005-06 season.



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