No. 13 Oklahoma 72, Missouri 57

Sunday, February 25th 2007, 4:41 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Courtney Paris scored 33 points and set Oklahoma's career mark for offensive rebounds, and the 13th-ranked Sooners beat Missouri 72-57 on Sunday.

Paris pulled down 21 rebounds, including 7-on the offensive end, to record her 54th consecutive double-double.

The Sooners (22-4, 12-3) used an 8-0 run to pull away in the 2nd-half after Missouri (17-11, 5-10) had cut a 13-point deficit to 57-51 on Marchele Campbell's 3-pointer from the left wing.

Paris put back her own miss to start the run, and Leah Rush added back-to-back baskets before another layup by Paris stretched the Sooners' lead to 65-51.

Paris' 314th offensive rebound of her career also came during that stretch, although it was one of the few times she didn't immediately bank the ball right back into the basket. Phylesha Whaley, Oklahoma's career leader in scoring, held the old mark for offensive rebounds with 313 between 1997 and 2000.

Paris again put back her own miss to extend Oklahoma's lead to 69-53, and Sooners coach Sherri Coale called timeout at her next chance to insert a lineup full of seniors, who were honored after the game.

Rush added 12 points for Oklahoma, which matched a season-high with 13 steals.

EeTisha Riddle led Missouri with 12 points on 4-14 shooting, but was held below her 17.8-point average in conference games that ranked only behind Paris' 23.4-point average.

With the win, Oklahoma kept pace with No. 16 Texas A&M in the Big 12 title race. The Aggies won at Baylor on Sunday to knock the Bears from a three-way tie for 1st-place. Oklahoma hosts Baylor on Wednesday.

Carlynn Savant hit two 3-pointers to break Tracy Losier's school record at Missouri. The Tigers had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Paris, who yielded her starting spot to the seniors and came off the bench for the first time in her career, hit back-to-back layups to end a 12-2 run that gave Oklahoma an 18-7 lead midway through the 1st-half.

Missouri used 3-pointers from Campbell, Alyssa Hollins and Savant to narrow the gap, and Savant's 2-free throws trimmed the deficit to 23-20.

Paris and twin sister Ashley scored the Sooners' final 9-points of the 1st-half, and they took a 32-25 lead into the break.

The Sooners then opened the 2nd-half strong, going up 44-31 after Erin Higgins' 3-pointer from the left corner.