No. 9 Oklahoma hands Women's Basketball a 61-54 setback in Big 12 action
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman post Courtney Paris picked up her 23rd double-double of the year and her 18th in a row with 20 points and 20 rebounds, to lead No. 9 Oklahoma to a 61-54 win over Texas in Big 12 women's basketball action Wednesday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
The Longhorns were held to their fourth-lowest point total of the year, and drop to 12-11 overall and to 6-6 in the league. UT played its third straight game without leading scorer and rebounder Tiffany Jackson, out with an ankle injury.
UT was paced by its lone player in double-figure scoring - senior point guard Nina Norman, who equaled her career-high with 24 points. Norman also had 24 points three days ago against No. 4 Connecticut. Norman's third and fourth points of the evening - on a driving layup with 17:05 left in the first half - also gave her her 1,000th and 1,001st career points. Norman becomes the 32nd player in Texas history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. She now has 1,021 points as a Longhorn. Norman also added four steals.
Texas, which turned the ball over only 12 times, was hurt by poor shooting. UT shot just 31.8 percent from the floor, making 21 of 66 field goal attempts, while OU, now 22-4 and 12-0 in the league, hit 43 percent of its shots. The Sooners connected on 23 of 53 shots as they clinched at least a share of the Big 12 regular season championship.
Texas got eight points and a career-high 15 rebounds from senior forward Daria Mieloszynska, while freshman Ashely Lindsey also finished with eight points and four steals. Joining Paris in double-digit scoring for OU was forward Leah Rush (12 points). Paris also had a game-best six assists.
Texas was down by nine, 31-22, with 3:05 left in the first half but battled back with a 7-0 run over the final minutes to pull within two points at intermission, 31-29. Lindsey netted two short jumpers and Crystal Boyd hit a three at the buzzer to end the run.
In the second half, Texas took the lead, to start the half, 34-31, with back-to-back jumpers by Erika Arriaran and a Mieloszynska free throw three minutes into the period. OU then regained the lead for good when Rush hit two free throws to make it 34-33 and Paris scored down low for a 35-34 edge with 16:13 to go. That began a 16-7 run by the Sooners, as they pulled ahead by six, 47-41 on another Paris layup with 9:35 remaining.
Both teams went scoreless for the next two minutes, with UT missing four jumpers and OU missing one shot with two turnovers before Texas cut the lead to three, 47-44, on a Norman straightaway three-pointer with 7:30 to go. However, the Sooners countered on their next three trips with an Ashley Paris jumper and Laura Andrews layup and free throw, to push the lead to eight, 52-44, with 6:28 remaining.
Texas cut the lead to four (54-50) with 2:48 on another Norman jumper, but Britney Brown answered with an OU jumper on the Sooners' next possession with 2:20 to go and Texas then went scoreless for the next 1:34, missing three shots.
The loss also marked the first time since the 2001-02 campaign that the Longhorns lost back-to-back Big 12 home games. The last time happened in January of 2002 when UT was ranked 13th nationally and lost in Austin to No. 15 Baylor (80-70, Jan. 26) and to No. 9 Kansas State in double overtime (80-76, Jan. 30). After that, Texas ripped off 31 consecutive Big 12 homecourt wins before losing to No. 23 Texas A&M last Wednesday (73-53 on Feb. 8).
Oklahoma out-rebounded the Longhorns, 47-37 and had 30 points in the paint to UT's 22. The Sooners turned the ball over 21 times. Texas had 13 steals to OU's six thefts.
Texas ends its three-game homestand and returns to action with a road contest on Saturday, Feb. 18 against Oklahoma State (6-17, 0-12) in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Game time is 2 p.m. for that Big 12 contest. There is no television, but the game will be carried live on KVET Radio 1300 AM in Central Texas and via the internet.
There were too many possessions tonight for us without anyone scoring. The shooting percentage was dismal in the second half. Look at the turnover difference. We forced them into 21 turnovers, but we still didn't make enough buckets with the extra possessions to make a difference. We have offensive limitations. It is glaring. We don't have scoring options right now. Erika (Arriaran) really struggled tonight, and Daria (Mieloszynska) and Ashley (Lindsey) gave us some good minutes and good effort, but we need more contributions from everyone. Daria is the energizer for our team. She was great on the boards tonight, but we are asking her to do so much right now.
In terms of Tiffany, she will be back when she tells me she is ready to play. There is no one who wants to be out there more than Tiffany. I don't know when she will be back. She practiced yesterday for a bit and then today at the shootaround, I asked her how she felt. She said she was at 55 percent, and that was not a big enough percentage to have her play. I do know that we have grown as a team without Tiffany out there. People have played harder and done more these last three games.
On how Texas tried to match up against Courtney Paris: Our goal was to make Courtney work harder for her shots tonight than she has in the past, especially in the first game we played this year. She did have to work hard, and we put a lot of bodies on her tonight. We knew she'd get her points and rebounds, but wanted her to work really hard for them. But, I go back to the score. If you hold a team to 61 points, you should win. We did, and we didn't win because of our poor offensive effort.
Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
Texas defended us differently than they did in Norman. They didn't do the usual Texas thing - deny every passing lane and defend every pass, man to man. They didn't concede what we like to do - penetrate and kick it out. We are at our best when we do that, and they didn't let us. Against Courtney (Paris) tonight, they brought up baseline help, and it forced our feeders to make some bad, slow decisions. We had bad timing, and were worried about the help coming. But, it was our defense in the final minutes that got the win for us.