No. 3 Sooners hook No. 14 Longhorns 89-69

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—Courtney Paris saved her biggest game of the season for No. 3 Oklahoma’s fiercest rival.

Paris had 23 points and a season-best 21 rebounds, and Danielle Robinson added 18 points and eight assists as No. 3 Oklahoma routed No. 14 Texas 89-69 on Sunday to set up a showdown for first place in the Big 12.

Paris recorded her 110th consecutive double-double and the 10th of her career with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, but it was her first 20-20 game this season.

“I don’t know that there’s been a kid in college basketball this year play a better game than Courtney did tonight. She was almost flawless,” Sooners coach Sherri Coale said. “It was unbelievable.”

Nyeshia Stevenson hit a pair of 3-pointers and Robinson had two layups during a 15-0 run that put the Sooners (16-2, 5-0 Big 12) in control midway through the second half, and the lead eventually reached as much as 23. Oklahoma will play at No. 5 Baylor, the Big 12’s only other unbeaten team, on Wednesday.

Ashley Lindsey scored 15 points to lead Texas (14-4, 2-2), which gave up its most points of the season.

Oklahoma shot 37-for-62 (60 percent) against a Longhorns defense that had been holding opponents to 33 percent shooting, the third-best mark in the nation. No opponent had shot more than 46 percent against the Longhorns until they encountered Paris, the Sooners’ 6-foot-3 All-American center.

Paris dominated under the basket, going 11-for-13 from the field and setting the pace early for Oklahoma. She had 16 points and 12 rebounds by halftime and scored all but one of her points by the time her sister, Ashley, converted a fast-break layup to put the Sooners up 51-40 with 16 minutes left.

“I just felt good today. It was a big game for us, and Texas is a great team, so that’s easy to get pumped up for, too,” Paris said.

“I just wanted to establish myself early, and then late in the game Ny and D-Rob showed they can get to the basket and do things, too.”

During nonconference play, Paris had been content to let her teammates do the damage and let her production come later. But since Big 12 play, she has increased her averages from 15.3 points and 12.8 rebounds to 18 points and 16.2 rebounds per game.

“We just can’t guard her. She’s really not doing much different—she’s making layups—but she’s playing with more of a purpose,” Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said.

Texas made it close with a run of eight straight points to get within 51-48 on Brittainey Raven’s 3-pointer from the right corner with 14:12 to play, but that’s when the rest of Oklahoma’s lineup came to life.

Stevenson, who made seven of her eight second-half shots, hit a 3-pointer from the right corner that Robinson followed with a driving layup and then another easy basket off of a baseline inbounds pass. Ashley Paris added a scoop shot in the lane before Stevenson’s second 3, and Whitney Hand provided the capper with another 3 to make it 69-50 with 8:51 remaining.

“Everything started clicking for them once they hit their 3s. Then it forced us to really spread out a little further, and once that happened, then it opened up the driving lanes as well,” Goestenkors said.

Stevenson came off the bench to score all 18 points of her points in the second half, and Ashley Paris finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season.

Robinson broke the school record for consecutive free throws when she hit her first two foul shots to reach 30 in a row, surpassing LaNeisha Caufield’s old mark. She missed her fifth free throw of the game, ending her streak at 32 straight.

Carla Cortijo added 11 points for Texas, which forced 24 turnovers, but couldn’t overcome a 46-27 deficit on the glass.

“It’s difficult when you’re playing a great team and they’ve got both their inside and their outside attack. It’s difficult to defend,” Goestenkors said. “Clearly, they did a tremendous job on the boards. They just kicked our tail on the boards.”

Oklahoma, which avenged one of its only two home losses from last season, scored its most points in the Red River Rivalry since the 2002 game in Norman that ended with the same score.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
Carla Cortijo Carla Cortijo
4-6,  11 Pts
5 Rebs, 6 Assists
Courtney Paris Courtney Paris
11-13,  23 Pts
21 Rebs, 1 Assists

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